Unit 2 Portfolio, University of the People
Our perception can sometimes ignore important aspects when we scan our surroundings. For example, in a situation, our assumptions quickly set in. We focus on what is present and ignore what is missing, which can possibly clarify the behavior of those around us. Amy Herman termed this phenomenon as the pertinent negative (Burkus, 2016). Sometimes, the most valuable information is what we cannot see. In the study of perceptions, this consideration can help us to respond better and avoid misjudgments.
Research the concept, Pertinent Negative as it relates to our personal behaviors and perceptions. Then answer the following questions in essay format:
- What are the benefits of Pertinent Negative in human interaction?
- How can we use the broader view of things in improving our relationships with others?
- If you were a manager, how would you use pertinent negative in understanding employee behaviors and actions?
- Reflect on your current situation to see how this concept can improve your own attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors.
Grade: 7/10 (506 words)
Amy Herman explains Pertinent Negative is “the power of noticing what you’re not seeing(Burkus, 2016)”. She knew the term from emergency medicine, and she emphasized the importance of paying attention to what is not there. Before thinking about the Pertinent Negative, we need to know about the people’s tendency, the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, and Frequency Illusion. According to Zwicky, Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, and Frequency Illusion, you believe it happens a lot once you notice a phenomenon, but it is not really. (Zwicky, 2006) The phenomenon is composed of people’s frequency selective attention and bias talking. (n.d., 2016) Therefore, we must remember that everyone has more or less biased thinking without our will.
1. What are the benefits of Pertinent Negative in human interaction?
The benefits of Pertinent Negative in human interaction are preventing misunderstanding, building a good relationship, and having effective communication. As explained above, we misunderstand each other, and the misunderstanding leads to new problems.
2. How can we use the broader view of things in improving our relationships with others?
First, we should understand we all have biases, and we can not see and know everything. Second, we can't be conscious of what we can not see. For example, if I feel bad because of someone’s act or comment, I can ask others about it. Then I can understand the different perceptions of others’ views and learn new things or remove understandings.
3. If you were a manager, how would you use pertinent negative in understanding employee behaviors and actions?
If I were a manager, I would not make decisions based on only my perceptions because I can miss information or misinterpret some incidents. Therefore, I will ask questions of several employees to understand their behaviors. Burkus and Herman recommend making a habit of asking what I don’t notice in the team collaboration. (Burkus, 2016)
4. Reflect on your current situation to see how this concept can improve your attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors.
As a working staff at the International Office in Japanese University, one of my tasks is to organize intercultural events for students and manage the event team. Since Covid-19, my working environment has changed a lot. I had to spend a lot of time adjusting to adjust to the rapidly changing environment. Moreover, two new employees joined my team in April. It was a confusing time. Under these circumstances, I could not have a lot of time to care about the new employees, and the team did not work well. The new employees could not understand my explanation, and I felt dissatisfied with them. The effect of the Convid-19 was huge to our work, and it was not only my fault, but I can more improve my attitude to the new employees. Maybe I might miss some important facts, and after I find the new perception, I can be better to make a good relationship with my colleagues.
Burkus, D. (2016). How to notice what you can’t see. Inc. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/david-burkus/how-to-notice-what-you-cant-see.html
n.d. (2016). How visually intelligent are you? Take Amy Herman’s perception test. Big Think. Retrieved from https://bigthink.com/videos/amy-herman-on-visual-intelligence-and-the-pertinent-negative
Zwicky, A. (2006). Why are we so illuded? Stanford University. Retrieved from https://web.stanford.edu/~zwicky/LSA07illude.abst.pdf