By now you’ve probably experienced this latest on-line phenomenon, a sound clip that to some sounds like “Yanni” but to others is clearly “Laurel.” Some people report having heard both at different times. It led me to reflect on the “truths” that we use to support our world-views and how each of us experiences singular events uniquely. Naturally, we assume our perception of events to be unbiased, accurate and correct, especially when witnessed first-hand. What we don’t often consider is that others may be interpreting those same events significantly differently – and equally correctly. The Yanni/Laurel conundrum is a fun and provocative diversion, but it is also a cautionary tale that should remind us to maintain an open mind and to be respectful of alternative points of view, no matter how correct we assume our own view to be. We often hear what we want to hear. As communicators, it is wise to remember how easily our intended messages can actually serve to reinforce old attitudes and opinions we are looking to change.
To hear both Yanni and Laurel, check out the link below. I invite you to explore how difficult it can be to shake your first impressions and how your expectations influence your experience. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/16/upshot/audio-clip-yanny-laurel-debate.html
By: Bob Coady