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Work tips – Taking the ‘helicopter’ view

This blog will explore the difference that ‘perspective’ can have on situations in the workplace.

I once read a story about two people driving along in a car; the passenger had a terrible journey- all she could see on her side was all the dirt and rubbish that littered the road. She was consumed with the view nearest her and this really affected her experience.

The driver on the other hand, had a better experience- his side of the road was lined with beautiful flowers and he could not understand his passenger’s perspective.

The essence of this story was that the passenger allowed her view to become limited. She could only see what lay immediately before her.  She didn’t take the time to use her full range of vision. By focussing on this one area, she became more negative and down hearted. It can be the same for us in the workplace.

At work sometimes when we recognise our faults and not our achievements and successes, we can disable ourselves (read more about this in this blog). Or when we become consumed with a particular activity (e.g. outcomes, targets), to the detriment of other aspects of our work which can be more rewarding – we create stress in our daily working practices and it can feel like we are descending into a downward spiral.

downward spiral

Sometimes, it is out of our hands. We may work within systems or with managers who dictate our priorities. Typically within many organisations, the focus is on demonstrating outcomes or generating profit. And this comes with a lot of pressure.


Sometimes therefore, it can feel disheartening, especially if you had entered your profession for more philanthropic reasons – such as making a difference to your community, making a difference to healthcare or to work with people in need. This is very much the case within the health sector; caseloads are ever increasing, and staff shortages abound. Yet in many such settings, the emphasis often is on quantity (of clients seen daily) instead of quality (of work and time spent with vulnerable people in need of care and attention).

What can we do about it?

In this and similar cases within other industries, the pressure can start to take its toll and it can become easy to feel defeated. However, in such cases, it can be wise to remember the bigger picture (a friend of mine calls it ‘the helicopter view’):

Take a holistic look and rather than focussing on what doesn’t work well, also take the time to identify what does work, what motivates and encourages you. (I like to think of this as an interesting take on career planning ).

It could be particular colleagues or clients, or particular styles and types of work activity, or look out for opportunities to learn and develop, etc.

…And where you can, try to optimise these experiences.

 What Now?

These suggestions might seem like ‘pie in the sky’ but you never know until you try; so try them and let me know!!!


photo credit: <a href=”″>Sailing Westward</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

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