It seems to me that you are more likely to earn a point of view than to establish one. By paying attention to the expanse of your experiences you notice that certain ideas, beliefs, people and practices consistently take center stage. Paying critical attention to the pattern that emerges and then making a determination about how it influences your approach to professional life, is how you earn the ability to say that this is what I believe and why I believe it.
A clear point of view feels intuitive but not abstract. It can be explained simply, with examples to support it. It is your calling card, not how you wish to be known but how you are known in your circles of influence. When new people enter that circle, they will learn to know you by your point of view and then decide how or if they want to engage with you to learn more.
Like a finger print, your point of view is unique to you but it is not necessary that it be wholly original. A lot of people share similar points of view to mine: readiness for change that emerges from self-knowledge, investment in relationship (human connection) as a core performance practice, and continuous learning as the hallmark of both personal and organizational development. Lots of people believe in these things but no one but me thinks about and practices them through the lens of my personal experiences and stories. Those belong to me, making my point of view my own.
Too strongly held and a point of view becomes limiting, shutting down access to new information that may enhance your perspective. Too lightly held and a point of view struggles for identity, just another brand of vanilla ice cream in a crowded freezer case.
A point of view held lightly and held well emanates both conviction for what has been earned and openness for what may be learned.
DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world.