Have you heard about the study, “Gorillas in our Midst?” It is based on an experiment in which people are asked to watch a video of a basketball game and count the number of passes one of the teams makes. A minute or so into the tape, while the people are busy counting passes, a woman in a gorilla suit walks onto the screen, stops, faces the camera, and beats her fists on her chest. Fifty percent of the people who watch the video don’t see the gorilla. I think life in the contact center is much like this experiment.
Each day, we focus on the task of “counting the passes” in our own “basketball game.” We know what we have to do to get through the day, and we do it efficiently. But, we miss a lot by being so focused. What would someone without so much intentional focus see? Does our harried pace keep us from observing something as obvious as a gorilla in a basketball game? And, might the solution to some menacing problem be found in what we are not seeing?
A good way to check whether we are “missing the gorilla” is to ask the new people on the team what they see. These individuals haven’t been indoctrinated into our carefully orchestrated day, and therefore often observe what we miss.
Keep an open mind. You may hear some things you think are impossible. I’ll bet there were several people who didn’t believe they had missed something as obvious as a gorilla in the middle of the video. When we are hyper-focused, we become blind to everything in our peripheral vision. Believe me, that’s where those gorillas love to dwell.
In which fifty percent are you – do you see gorillas in your midst daily or have some manifestations gotten by you?
- The role of social meaning in inattentional blindness: When the gorillas in our midst do NOT go unseen (Study) (senmes.wordpress.com)
- The invisible gorilla returns to show us how often we miss the obvious [Mad Science] (io9.com)
- Chris Chabris and the Invisible Gorilla (thesituationist.wordpress.com)
- The Survival Gorilla (gomestic.com)