Shifting Paradigms: Embracing Perspective to Transform Challenges into Opportunities

Jessica George

Industry Relations Manager, Milady

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Chris Linford:
You guys, we’re excited to welcome Jessica to The Beauty School Summit. Milady always a great partner every year with the summit, providing great education. Yes, my green screen is doing some weird stuff, so we’ll have to reset that. We’ve got Jessica. Are you’re with us? Welcome.

Jessica George:
I am. Thank you. Thank you, [inaudible 00:00:24]. Appreciate that. A warm welcome. It’s always great to be here.

Chris Linford:
Yes. Well, we’ll turn it over to you. We’re excited to hear your presentation.

Jessica George:
Absolutely. Thank you. All right, well, hello everyone. It’s so nice to also be following our friends at BAB, so many great speakers today. Again, always a pleasure to be here with Oozle at their virtual summit. Today we’re going to talk about shifting paradigms, embracing perspective to transform challenges into opportunities.

Checking In On Our Current Perspective

Now, we’ve all heard the terms like reality check. If you have kids, of course you’re familiar with the attitude check. Or even relationships, maybe a heart-to-heart check. Now, today we’re going to do a little perspective check together, if that’s okay? If you’re in the chat, of course, talk to me. I love that. Shout it out. Talk to me through this presentation. I’d love to hear what you’re saying.

“No two persons ever read the same book.” -Edmund Wilson.

He is a noted American writer, editor, and critic. But how true is that. Have you ever read a book? I’m a huge book junkie. I love books. But have you ever read a book and someone else got a completely different takeaway than you? Or even a movie, and you’re like, “Now I got to go back and rewatch that. I got to see what you’re seeing.” It’s so true. We can see one way and someone else can see a whole different way, now let’s prove this to be true. Now I want everyone to join me with this. I know it’s later in the day. It’s about four o’clock here on the East Coast, and I want you to… You don’t have to stand up, but take your finger and point up to the sky. Your head should be following your finger. I’d like you to make a clockwise circle with your finger looking up. I want you to bring it down like a tornado and follow your head with that circle. Which direction is your finger going in now? Counterclockwise. The direction of our hand did not change, but how you saw it did. Clockwise to counterclockwise, the only thing that changed was our vision.

Yes. Now, let’s zoom in on that a little bit. Now, what does that look like in our lives, in our work? It’s simple. The object, the challenge, the task could have always been going one way. Maybe it’s always been that way in our lives, in our business. But whether it’s ourselves or someone else who has a different eye or a perspective, that can help shift the direction even while going the same way. If that makes sense. Let’s go forward together. All right. Have you ever thought why isn’t this changing for me? For my business? For myself? Same thing. New days. Sometimes when things happen, we have to ask ourselves a few questions. How is my perspective today impacting my tomorrow? When I’m facing challenges, how’s my perspective impacting that? When I’m celebrating wins, how is my perspective impacting that? When I need to tap into some resiliency, how is my perspective impacting that? Now, it’s not always what the problem actually is. It’s not always how we’re celebrating and what actually went well. It’s all about our perspectives in that moment.


Perspective Lenses 

Now, I created this slide just as a visual. I thought it was important to call out some perspective lenses of which we view things or other people view things around us. There’s distance perspectives, how far or close you are from the problem. That can change some variables. Here’s an idea, let’s say you’re a business owner, you’re a school owner, maybe offsite, or maybe you’re an educator, or maybe you’re an admissions lead. All of those perspectives may be different depending on how far or close to the problem you are. If you’re the educator and there’s a challenge in the classroom, an offsite owner might have distance to that problem, so you’ll have a different perspective and vice versa. Visualization. Creativity. There might be a creative lens. Maybe someone on your team or yourself has a creative way to see something through a lens differently than the person next to you.

This is an interesting one that I’d love to spend more time on, but we have to move. Diversity. Different life paths. We all come from different backgrounds and different ethnicities and different thought processes and different ways that we were brought up. That diversity plays into a perspective lens, how people see things, how people see things today. Experiences. Been there, done that. Let’s just say we’ve done something. We are an expert at it, or even we failed through it, but we’ve been there, done that. You have a perspective lens that can shed light on something that someone may not have any experience in. Connectivity. Someone who’s extremely passionate about an idea, a purpose, a mission. For example, it is still Earth Month. Yes, it’s the 25th. It’s Earth Month. Let’s say someone’s really passionate about Earth Month. They’re going to see probably almost everything that they do through a very specific lens on what they’re connected to with their heart, what they’re passionate about.

Then agility. An agility lens is the ability to be flexible when needed, to just move as the wind blows, and also adjust to circumstances through change. They’re going to see things with a very optimistic light where not all of us do. I wanted to call these out because I thought it was interesting as I was researching perspective, and it’s more than just someone else having a different view than maybe I or I to someone else. It really is how you’re understanding what someone’s sharing with you through one of these lenses. Seeing what they see through one of these lenses. Then ultimately, I thought it was interesting to connect these lenses. When you’re asking questions and when you’re being curious with someone who’s sharing a perspective with you, ask yourself and ask that person, “Hey, how does this connect to our mission as a business? As a school?” If it connects, it’s probably a yes. If even you’re struggling with understanding something but it aligns to the mission, it might be something to really dig into a little bit deeper.

What do y’all think about that? Share with me in the chat. I’d love to know your thoughts. I can’t see you or feel your energy, so share that with me in the chat. Now, how many of us have been to an art museum? Probably some form or fashion we’ve all been to an art exhibit or a museum. Now, as you’re walking through and you’re experiencing art, you’re looking around, and you can see people seeing all different things. Personally, I like to walk around by myself because I don’t like distractions. But we’re looking at art, and something calls you to this one piece. You start looking at it, and what do you feel? What does it tell you? You’re starting to think, okay, what does this mean to me? Then you might even be with someone, and you’re like, “Hey, come here. Let me ask someone else. What do you see? How are you feeling when you look at this art?” They see it in a completely different way. Now we can’t unsee it. It’s like, “Huh? Yeah. You’re right. Absolutely.”
Now, that’s how perspectives work. It all starts with a question. That curiosity of, “Hey, what do you think? What do you see?” I know I’m not sharing anything new here, but it’s always a good reminder to be curious, ask those questions and also assess who’s around you. How is your perspective affecting those who are around you? That’s a big question. We have hard days, we have good days, but how’s your perspective affecting those around you? Do they feel open to share? Do they feel safe to share? Do we feel safe to accept what they want to share with us? Who is around you and what I guess culture are you embracing to be able to share that? Who’s around you that’s influencing your perspectives? What do they say, the top five people that are around us are who we become? Who is around you that’s influencing your perspectives for the good? For the openness? For the acceptance? What do you do to set the tone for your day or even switch tones when is needed?


I’m sure y’all have heard of habit stacking. If you run into one thing, what do you do after that? Habit stacking is great for this. Let’s say you get stuck in traffic. What’s my trigger to switch tones so it doesn’t affect my day? I have a favorite song. It’s always going to be Whitney Houston, I Want to Dance With Somebody. I’m going to put on Whitney Houston, and I’m going to rock out my morning. We’re going to ship that day so I can be open to new perspectives. Come up with some of those for yourself. Like, “Hey, if X, Y, Z happens, let me do this.” That’s your default. That’s what you’re going to do. If you need to walk away, if you need to do a breathing exercise, get some sun, whatever it is, make it be just for you. Are you inviting those around you? Asking them, “What do you see in that piece of art?” in your day to day.

Now, when we run into those different perspectives, we have to master dealing with them. Being mindful. Being mindful how we listen, how we respond. Ask open-ended questions. Tell me more about that? What about your life experience led you to feel that way? Asking those open-ended questions opens a whole new doorway to understanding each other. Use reflections to clarify. That’s amazing what you shared. I love that. Will you tell me more? Use affirmations. Summarize the conversation. What I heard you say is… See if that’s what you actually heard, if that’s what they meant, and allow them some area to explain further. It always helps us to share both sides so we understand each other. Then shifting our perspectives. Let’s say we do run into those different perspectives, that’s what life is about. That’s the amazing thing about this world is we’re all different, and we all have different viewpoints.

Simple Hacks to Shift our Perspective

Now, shifting our perspective, these are a few simple steps. But really I wanted to title this slide, Simple Hacks. These are life hacks.

Now, leading change to opportunity. Let’s tap into it. Reframing your day, your mind. Start listening your thoughts. See if you typically track towards negativity, or do you frame your events of your life as positive or even neutral? Reflect. Slow down your thoughts. Slow it down. Maybe that will help with maybe jumping to conclusions or overthinking all the things, but reflect. Take a moment.

Take a walk. Do those breathing exercises as you’re understanding someone or trying to understand someone. Turn inner monologues to positive. I can’t emphasize this one enough. The voice in our heads may narrate negative thoughts, like, “I could never get that promotion,” or, “I’m not actually good at this,” or, “My business won’t succeed,” or whatever’s going on. It can change.

How about a little bit of that imposter syndrome? Like, “Am I in the right place?” This can dampen your self-esteem and close off your mind to new experiences. Also, stand in someone else’s shoes. Feelings can be all-consuming when you’re in an emotionally-charged situation and trying to understand. A great way to gain perspective is to see the situation from someone else, a third-party point of view, like a friend or a family member. What would they tell you? Perhaps your best friend would say, “You’re talented,” and they’ll go on and on. I hope you all have a friend like that. They’ll tell you all the good things about yourself and how you can handle this challenge. They’ll empower you. Try to find that energy within yourself to be that best friend. Talk to yourself with that inner monologue. Set boundaries. Oh my goodness, now this is such a good one.

The greatest gift you can give to yourself is boundaries. No, boundaries don’t have to be… They’re not a negative thing at all. The word no is a full sentence. There are positive ways to set boundaries, especially when it helps set the tone, build guardrails around the tone that you want to position around yourself. It helps open your mind to perspectives. It keeps the things away that you do not want so you can be receiving those new perspectives. Embrace change. I got a little carried away there. Embrace change. Change is inevitable. We hear this all the time. The only thing constant is what? Change. Change is inevitable and often offers pleasant surprises, learning moments and opportunities, but it also can be really difficult to accept. Adjusting your perspectives can help you overcome that fear, stress, anxiety, all those things. Approach it with excitement as well, with a zeal in life, and practice gratitude.

The last couple ones here, stop comparing yourself. I hope you don’t do this. But social comparison in today’s age, especially with social media, my goodness, it pushes you to rank your achievements, your abilities against others, which can lead to lower self-esteem. For a perspective change, focus on appreciating your unique gifts instead. Help others. Volunteer. It helps you provide solutions for others who are struggling. It helps remind you that you’re not alone and also helps you interact with other people of all kinds of backgrounds that can open your mind to new perspectives. Then lastly, just take care of yourself. Take care of ourselves. General wellbeing. Enough sleep. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t get enough sleep the next day is not okay. Proper nutrition. Hydration. It could lead to mental fatigue if those things aren’t in order. Definitely don’t try to hear anyone’s new perspective if you’re hangry.

Have a meal, and then hear someone out. Then lastly, hey, learn a new skill. Challenge yourself. Take a new class, a new certification. Or even if it’s just for fun, maybe it’s a yoga certification or learning a new sport. Who’s into pickleball? Challenge yourself with those new things. Remind yourself you are capable, and you can emphasize that and be open to different perspectives. Now, I’m going to leave you with this. If you follow me on LinkedIn, you might’ve already seen this story, but it was just so timely I couldn’t not put it in this presentation. I was on a plane a couple of weeks ago heading to a conference. We were descending and getting ready to land. In front of me… I was going to Florida, so the whole plane was full of Disney families, which was so on fire on that plane.

In front of me, there was a young boy. He had to be between seven and 10. It looked like he was with his Nana and his Pop-Pop. As we were descending, he’s seeing the lights and he’s looking around. It must’ve been his first flight. He is looking around and he’s like, “Oh, wow. I could see a baseball field. I can see a train. Oh, wow. Nana, look at that car.” We’re getting closer and closer and he’s seeing, “Oh, look at the light.” He’s recognizing everything that he knows, and he’s calling it out to his Nana. She’s just smiling ear to ear. It made me smile, his sweet little voice, and it just reminded me that he’s seeing the world from this point of view for the very first time. He’s seeing things that are recognizable to him, that are familiar, that he sees every day.

But something about changing his perspective to a aerial view, something that was new, that was fresh, he saw things with such excitement that lit a fire in him that made him a whole new version of excited. Forget about [inaudible 00:20:17] and then he started tapping on his Nana, and that excitement started to overflow to her. I was like, “Wow. This little boy, he is only going to ride this plane once in this first time. After that, it becomes boring, if you will. We get used to it from the air.” Now, I started to think about what if we in our lives, in our personal lives, in our businesses, in our jobs, we start thinking of things, of our everyday occurrences with new perspectives? We start looking at how he will look at the cars in the baseball field. Because I can guarantee you if he was riding on the road with his Nana on the ground in a car to his baseball field, he’d get there and just put his socks and his cleats on and go about his day.

But the fact that his perspective changed made it that much more exciting. Today, listen, I’m just challenging you to think big. Think with excitement through perspective lenses that others share with you, whether it’s through experience lenses, those who’ve done it before. Maybe a mentor. Diversity lenses. Those who are different than us, distance lenses, those who have different positions or experience to bring, or creative lenses. Just see what comes of it. I encourage you to do that today. We are so, so happy to be here, and thank you for that opportunity. Together let’s change the face of beauty, let’s embrace new perspectives and get onto that new opportunity. Thanks for having us.

Chris Linford:
Thank you, Jessica. Everybody in the chat show Jessica some love. Thank her for being here.


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