An optical illusion image that is open to individual interpretation
The illustration above is an optical illusion image that is open to your own interpretation

Working out the knots

Let’s come back to how we make decisions. Consider the illustration above. What do you see?

At first viewing we might see one thing, on second viewing another. The point? If we have no reason to believe that an illusion is taking place right in front of us we accept what we see as fact.

Knots, or our unconscious biases, work in the same way. Sometimes we just don’t recognise that they are there. We see what we want to see, but we need to accept that we all have biases.

Knots are deeply held beliefs and assumptions which influence our decisions and how we work with other people. Sometimes they form due to poor experiences we have had and we end up basing all future decisions on that one bad moment, without looking for different perspectives.

To develop Cultural Intelligence we have to be prepared to make these discoveries, and as soon as we discover our knots we need to do everything we can to work them out. They do not survive when we put a spotlight on them. We need to be honest with ourselves and start having some courageous conversations. Here is a further piece of reading on the subject to take a look at.

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This article is from the free online course:

Developing Cultural Intelligence for Leadership

Common Purpose