Others Appraisals

Monday, January 8, 2024 at 3:17:42 PM Eastern Standard Time

It can be very difficult to know what impact we have on other people. This is true not only for the creative process but for all processes involving multiple people. There are many stakeholders in your success, and you are also a stakeholder in other people’s and organization’s success. Just because you thought you should be playing one particular role and then turned out to be playing a different one, which, perhaps, you thought to be of lesser value, does not mean your perceptions are correct. The way others perceive your value may differ substantially from the way you perceive your value. And both may not be correct, whatever that means. The goal is not to be correct. The goal is to make a contribution to others and yourself and situations in which you think have value and which you think you can contribute to. This is just an emotional intelligence thing, not an intellectual intelligence thing. And is it a creative thing? Well, it is hard to tell. But one way of defining creativity is as a different perspective on things. Now, if you are just perceiving and not manifesting anything, then maybe it doesn’t matter. But what if you were different perception is also memorialized and codified in something you write or do or suggest or close to happen or manage? The universe is a very vast place, and we just can’t keep track of all of the dimensions. They are also a moving target, constantly changing. It is not just the number of perspectives that are changing or the directions from which they are viewing things that are changing, but these are also both changing over time. None of this is time-invariant, especially your appraisal of yourself, or of others, or of situations. And even more, especially your appraisal of work products, especially in the arts where subjectivity reigns.

Part of getting your arms around reality is integrating. Multiple perspectives over multiple time periods. Some of this includes other appraisals. And some of it includes your appraisals. Where is the balance between? What do you think and others think? Ultimately, the responsibility for your life lies with you, not others, so what you think matters a lot. In fact, it matters the most. But you do need to know when to defer to the wisdom of others and the gradient of experience of many. The GroupMind is generally a lot smarter than the individual mind. I know a man in Silicon Valley who actually created an organization called GroupMind Express and practiced this understanding of his, which I am borrowing here.. You may be extremely intelligent. Sometimes, you might even be the smartest person in the room, although I would not count on that. The older notion that some sage could stand in front of many others and no more than everyone else present may be drawing to a close because of the Internet. If you are communicating with a group of people the chance of nobody in that group knowing something that you don’t know is zero. You can be an expert about some things some of the time for perhaps a short or long period of time, depending on how quickly the field is changing. But to me, a more valuable role-play is a guide on the side, not a sage on the stage. We all need other appraisals, both positive and negative. Others may think that you are more valuable than you do, and others may think that you are less valuable than you do. And both can even be at the same time for the same actions for different reasons within different contexts.

Life is complicated and constantly changing, and we need to adapt to these changes constantly. This is just another word for Innovation or, creativity, or survival. In all cases, more than one point of view exists, and you need to be flexible enough to engage in civil discourse with others to discover what is relevant at the present moment in your present circumstances. Be open, flexible, and integrating, but don’t be wishy-washy and lacking in judgment or definition, at least not for too long. It is okay to be unclear for some amount of time, but it is not okay to be unclear forever. When in doubt, try to stop talking and start listening because this is the only way you will find out what the truth is.