Reminiscing with friends over dinner recently we got into a conversation about different management techniques we had experienced during our careers. One of the favourites was the beach ball theory and in case you have forgotten it goes like this.

Imagine your office or workplace has a giant beach ball in the middle of it. Half the ball is black and the other half is white. From your side of the office you can only see one side, you only see white. Your colleagues at the other side of the office can only see the opposite side, they see only black. Everyone is looking at the same thing but seeing it differently.

So the point is to understand the full picture we all need to make the effort to go round to the other side of the beach ball, to see both sides, understand our colleagues’ viewpoint on a situation or concept. Basically there’s always two sides to every story. Brilliant.

Managers, we were told, have a different position because they have a top down view and can therefore see a bit of white and a bit of black, but perhaps not the whole picture of either side.

So, does it work in practice? You tell me. During one office dispute I experienced I suggested to my manager at the time to ‘go round to the other guy’s side of the beach ball’ but the response I got was along the lines of ‘If I go round to his side of the beach ball I’ll punch his lights out!’ (Expletives removed).

I get the concept of always considering both sides – go with that – perhaps just don’t mention the beach ball.

If any of you have other theories you want to share I’d love to hear from you.

Next time I might even tell you about the monkeys in the tree……….!

January 31, 2015 at 1:20 pm
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Category: Training & Exercising
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