Perception and Prejudice – Why Mental Health and Seeing with Fresh Eyes is Important

We spend our days helping brands communicate to their customers and prospects. We focus on understanding that audience, figuring out what resonates most and how we can engage best. And rightly so. But with the world, and consequently people’s behaviours and values spinning so quickly, how can we ensure to keep pressure testing what we do? What role does mental health play?

When creating a campaign, we can spend hours, days, even weeks working on projects, campaigns and content. But are we in danger of a blinkered view? How can we build in those moments that force us to stop, strip back our (often unconscious) prejudices and truly challenge our assumption of what will work and who it will work for?

Several of us at 3 Monkeys Zeno recently took part in Mental Health First Aid training. We were taught to challenge our ‘frame of reference’, referring to how our past experiences and beliefs shape and affect how we as individuals make sense of the world. For example, you may associate a theme park with danger and stress, based on negative news articles you’ve read. However, I may relish the adrenaline and excitement, having had wonderful family trips there in when I was younger.

Whilst this training was targeted at supporting those with mental health issues, for me it also resonated with how we work. Do we step away from our own work enough and see it through the eyes of someone else? Are we confident we have created something free from our own perceptions, not shaped by our individual experiences?

Perhaps unhelpfully, there is no easy way to do this – we are products of our experiences and environment. But it also reinforces the importance of diverse ideas coming from diverse people. Sometimes, our window on the world can lead us to make judgements or form opinions, hindering us from truly seeing or hearing non-judgmentally. It’s important to notice these judgements, address where they have come from, then set them aside so we can more clearly address and answer the challenge in front of us.

The world is shaped by what you think of it, so think different. We all need reminders to step back and step out of our self. Washing away your own assumptions and removing your frame of reference can bring a whole new perspective you might never have considered.

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