The ability to consider situations through the eyes or lens of others.


Ideas, perspectives and strategies don't come from raw intelligence or creativity. They come from a prepared mind, one broadened by lots of varied but disconnected experiences, exposures and interests. The people with the broadest perspectives usually have a larger pool of life experiences to draw from and more chances to make unusual connections to new ideas, cultures, events, etc.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.Proverbs 4:7

Skilled Characteristics

  • Broad View

    Looks toward the broadest possible view of an issue/challenge

  • Well Rounded

    Has broad-ranging personal and work interests and pursuits

  • Visionary

    Can easily envision future situations or scenarios

  • Global

    Can think globally – recognizing interconnected impacts and opportunities

  • Open-Minded

    Can discuss multiple aspects and impacts of issues and project them into the future

“Life is easier than you think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, and bear the intolerable.”

– Kathleen Norris

Unskilled Characteristics

  • Closed/Narrow

    Is narrow minded – has narrow views of issues and challenges

  • Singular

    Uses only one or a few lenses to view problems and opportunities

  • Too Focused

    Does not have far ranging interests – not well-read

  • Non-Analytical

    Is not good at considering ‘what if’ scenarios

  • Present-Focused

    Lacks interest in the ‘maybes’ of life and the future – is not a good strategist or visionary

  • Does Not Plan

    A here-and-now person who is often surprised by unexpected change

  • Specialist

    May be a person with one main area of functional expertise or technical skill

How do you make sure that all sides and perspectives of a situation are being considered before making a decision?

Causes of Weakness

  • Risk Averse

    Is uncomfortable taking risks

  • Background

    Comes from a background that has provided only limited life experiences and perspectives

  • Detailed

    Focused only on the detailed tasks before oneself – but not on the bigger picture

  • Comfort

    Desires to only think about and do things that are easy and comfortable – but not to challenge one’s own thinking or ways of doing things

Who do you welcome into your life to challenge and expand your thoughts and perspectives?


Review the simple application steps below and choose 1 or 2 things you can do to spur yourself on to further growth.

  • Be Creative

    BE CREATIVE: Gather people together who have little or nothing in common, and who know little about the issue at hand. Their differences of perspective and experience will likely help to create more creative ideas and solutions.

  • Read and Learn

    READ AND LEARN: Read things you don’t normally read: history books, newspapers and magazines, international publications like the Economist, autobiographies of famous people. Learn about the history of a country. Learn a new language, which opens your eyes to learning about different cultures.

  • Travel

    TRAVEL: Go on an adventure to somewhere you’ve never been, and to a culture that is unique to you. Go to ethnic events/celebrations in your community.

  • Eat

    EAT: Eat at different restaurants representing foods from all over the world.

  • Volunteer

    VOLUNTEER: Volunteer your time to work with/for people you normally wouldn’t be around.

  • Task Force

    TASK FORCE: Join a short-term team or committee to tackle a special project or event.

  • Assumptions

    ASSUMPTIONS: Challenge your assumptions. Allow yourself permission to question what you think, believe or assume about anything and everything. Ask questions of others to determine what they think and believe. Prayerfully consider other’s thoughts and beliefs and be willing to change or expand yours.