When I first saw the Dove Real Beauty video, it blew me away. As a marketer, I tell clients that if I do my job well, I will simply hold a mirror up from their organization to the world. In other words, we spend most of our time on the front end “discovering” the organization, and then the task of telling their story becomes easy.
As I was having lunch with a friend yesterday, I realized that we all have blindspots in the perception of ourselves or our organizations. We self-reflect and come back with a picture that doesn’t resemble the reality. If you haven’t seen the Dove video, take a look here:
Obviously, the “perception” of the women’s beauty was distorted and accentuated features that were unknown from the surface. While the male parody of the video is funny, it also demonstrates another flavor of the inaccurate perception of reality–false confidence or perhaps hubris:
I’m big into writing blessings for special occasions because words are powerful affirmations. One phrase I’m particularly fond of is “may you know as you are known.” We seldom have an accurate perception of our own reality as demonstrated in both of these videos. In place of these blindspots, we fill with stories: “I didn’t go to prom because my neck is too fat” or “I can’t practice law because I’m not detail oriented.”
The “truth” is sometimes clearer to someone on the outside as illustrated in the Dove video. With companies, sometimes their aspirations overshadow their competencies. With friends, self-confidence leads their paths into wild directions. Speaking truth into someone’s life may be as simple as a compliment, but it may make all of the difference in the world by replacing the “stories” with truth.
So, give it a try. Make a goal to speak truth into someone at least once every day.Who knows, we might save a life.