‘Inattention blindness’ is a common problem among people in corporate. Once the existence of such problem is understood and diagnosed, most of the people related problems can be dealt easily and the real talents and capabilities of people can be extracted. Inattention blindness is not just a problem but a state of mind and being. It has its own positive and negative impacts.
Inattention blindness means the inability of people to see many things and changes within the frame of what they have been seeing. It means, when people are watching a dancing performance, a rare feature like someone suddenly appear in gorilla dress are likely to be missed or not being noticed.
The cause for most of the error of people is largely due to ‘inattention blindness’. When people focus too much about something, it is natural that they miss to see the periphery. Similarly when people are not with the ‘present’ or thinking about something outside the purview, they often get lost over there and naturally as a result of the above, miss to see what is happening around them except what they have been doing.
Why people either get lost somewhere or get engrossed deeply into something so often? Asking the above question is much easier than giving a convincing answer.
Every human action and thoughts are controlled by the brain or otherwise called as the mind. All the sense organs are only to collect data about the external world and to reach them to the brain. Interestingly the brain only directs the sense organs to collect what data it wants. When the sense organs are fully under the control of brain, whatever they are likely to see are not what is present in front of them but what the brain wants them to see. That is how inattention blindness occurs.
Not only when the brain controls the sense organs, people show inattention blindness, when the brain looses control over the sense organs, also make people to exhibit inability to see things around them. Such state is however, different. Most narcotic drugs and alcohol intoxication do cause similar situation.
The beauty is, when the brain grips firmly the sense organs or it totally looses its control over them, people suffer the worst.
If people often miss to see the frame and only the picture, such people may have great focus. On the other hand, the people less likely to miss the frame also while seeing the picture in fact may lack adequate focus. But unfortunately, the later group of people are well appreciated in corporate than the former group of people. The problem is not due to people or their problem of inattention blindness, most corporate leaders and the HR function are not aware of this problem and its significance.
It does not mean that people who see only the picture and not the frame are people with great focus and the rest lack focus. The suggestion is that the corporate must verify people in the light of the above facts.
If the corporate leaders programme the tasks of the organization in the brain of people with inattention blindness, rather ask them to be more careful, such people can be made to produce wonderful results.
Every problem and limitations of people also can be converted as an extraordinary strength and benefit to the corporate if the leaders of corporate are ‘true leaders’ and the HR function is really ‘wise’ not just ‘nice’.
The predatory animals that live in pack or pride usually exploit the inattention blindness of the prey animals by capturing their attention and focus onto something. Only because of the awareness of inattention blindness, perhaps most prey animals have preferred to live as group/heard.
Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai
Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum