Your View: Subjective or Objective?

05 July 2010

What is your method of looking at life and different situations? What kind of decision maker and problem solver are you?

Now based on the above definitions derived from the Dictionary program on my iMac, how do you look at things, subjectively or objectively?

The older I get the more I have changed my attitude and outlook on life and the various situations I encounter. I try my best to look at problems that arise or are brought to my attention objectively rather than subjectively. Just as the definition says, I try to look at the problem without letting my personal feelings play a role in it. I look at what the options are for resolving it from all sides and try to choose the best solution. If it is a dispute between two people and I am friends with one more than the other, I still try to maintain the objectivity of my opinion when it comes to helping them resolve their differences. Sometimes I may rule in favor of the the lessor friend at the potential expense of angering my closer friend. If that's the case, then so be it. I will feel good knowing that I didn't take sides based solely friendship and ignoring the facts of the problem. That would be biased I guess and I don't like being that way.

Essentially I try to play the devil's advocate in many situations. The below definition is from Wikipedia.

I find that using the objective view or playing the devil's advocate, leads to more resolved problems and prevents them from coming back around unresolved or being accused of having a bias in my decision. Thinking objectively, I think, tends to also garner more respect from your peers and superiors in that you are able to be a successful problem solver using the facts given and not just making a decision because you either like or dislike something about the problem or the people involved.

I think that when we look at things subjectively we are doing ourselves a disservice by letting our personal feelings get in the way of decision making. It takes the honesty out of it sometimes and you end up being the person no one wants to go to for advice.

My dad gave me one of those motivational wall pictures some years ago. It is an eagle soaring high up in the sky over a tree line. It reads:

Dare to Soar

Your Attitude in Life Almost Always Determines Your Altitude in Life

I try to remember that as much as I can throughout my daily life. I try to have a positive, objective attitude and when I succeed in doing that I usually always succeed in my daily activities and go home having had a good and productive day.

Download the pdf version with pictures here.