Some see one thing, others another. If you've seen this picture before you will probably have had it 'explained' so that you can shift between seeing one image and another. [Some people see a young woman looking away; others see an old hag looking down. Look at the almost-horizontal line at the bottom: it's the collar-band of the young woman and the mouth of the hag. Got it?... OK]
Gestalt psychology demonstrates with images such as this that the human brain makes sense of reality more by interpreting whole patterns than individual elements. This has a consequence: we tend to focus on certain matters in the foreground of our consciousness whilst filtering out a lot of other detail, detail that doesn't fit the structure, putting it into the background. In this way, we are told, we all approach reality with our own frames of reference.
Our own research tends to confirm, for example, that not all project managers have the same frame of reference. Some see data, see evidence, see indicators that others simply do not see.
But this is not merely a matter or personality or taste. Our frames of reference matter. It seems that some of us have been ignorant of some quite important data.The data our brains choose to make sense of seems matter to our performance. We began to see a clear frame of reference for the few high performing project managers that is different from the rest.
And that data is largely in the area of people and relationships, of stakeholders and communication. For all too many project managers, people, relationships and conversation are all just a distraction; such things just slow them down. And yet the evidence is there: higher performers have a relational bias: a bias to making time for people and relationships.
So when you look at your project work priorities today, what do you see?