The gift in seeing what you don’t see

"You can see in others what they don't see in themselves and what the world doesn't see in them. We all have that possibility, that potential, and that promise of seeing beyond the seeming." - Maya Angelou

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!

from “To a Louse” by Robert Burns

The power of seeing ourselves objectively is a topic I return to again and again from multiple angles. Today reflecting on two experiences yesterday and on the gift of someone seeing us in ways we can’t see for ourselves.

The first experience was making my very first visit to the office of a client. When asked what I saw (from the appearance, layout and location of the office), my observations about the individual and their business really took my client aback, first giving them pause for several minutes, then for them to say aloud “I had never thought of that” and noting they would really think about what that means and what to do next.

The second experience came a few hours earlier, when a truly amazing specialist in Brand and Positioning got on a video call with me, having first looked at my website. They told me that my home page was “all about you” and they suggested one simple re-ordering of the language that would be far more compelling to my audience.

Gosh. When I talk to clients about their positioning and how to express it on their website, a key message I always give them is that it must be about the potential client (the viewer of the site) and not about them and their business. However, somehow I couldn’t see that in the copy on my own site I was failing to do this myself!

I simply hadn’t seen it, yet when it was pointed out to me it was suddenly obvious.

That experience did feel like a gift to me and I will now work with that person, who will see me objectively then help me edit and re-order my site to focus on the reader far more.

So, others can see what we don’t see for ourselves. Who do you have who can do that for you, who can give you that gift?


Also published on Medium.