Fly & Bee − Just Change Your Perspective

How we perceive the world largely depends on where we direct our attention. The metaphor of the fly and the bee is a vivid example of how our focus shapes our experience. It is quickly understood, facilitates a change in perspective, and is enjoyable!

Our focus determines what we pay attention to, thereby defining the slice of the world we perceive. A guiding principle of Hypnosystemics founder Gunther Schmidt is, „Attention focus creates human experience.“ This means that we don’t just experience what is; we experience the portion of the world to which we direct our attention.

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Fly Focus and Bee Focus

In this context, two attitudes can be well described with a metaphor:


Fly Focus

Flies typically gravitate towards unpleasant odors, such as garbage, decay, and worse. The fly focus represents a problem orientation that amplifies the perception of weaknesses, risks, and negatives.


Bee Focus

Bees, on the other hand, usually fly to pleasantly scented flowers. In the bee focus, we perceive the positive, concentrating on strengths, opportunities, and solutions.


The Bee Focus emphasizes the positive: benefits, opportunities, successes, resources…

The Fly Focus emphasizes the negative: losses, risks, failures, difficulties…


Both are useful

The Bee Focus can generate approach motivation, create visions, describe attractive goals, look optimistically at resources, recognize opportunities, and highlight strengths.

The Fly Focus can trigger a sense of urgency and create avoidance motivation. It can draw attention to risks, self-critically highlight weaknesses, and question decisions.

50% of a SWOT analysis takes place in the Fly Focus, and 50% in the Bee Focus.

Applications in Training, Coaching, and Facilitation

Two crucial application areas are frequently encountered in training, coaching, and facilitation:


Sometimes, we tend to apply a familiar perspective too one-sidedly. Spending most of our time in the Bee Focus tends to make us feel motivated and comfortable. HOWEVER, looking through the optimistic lens often leads to underestimating the effort behind a task and overlooking risks.

The Fly Focus, on the other hand, brings a strong awareness of problems and risks, helping critically question decisions and avoid mistakes. However, the pessimistic lens can also have a very negative impact on overall mood and motivation.

So, as often is the case, it’s about balancing perspectives, consciously focusing in both directions. This way, thinking and decision-making processes can be structured.

Communication and Teamwork

The metaphor of the fly and the bee helps teams dissolve one-sided views. The following statement can make a significant impact in some meetings:

„Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for the intense last 10 minutes. In the Fly Focus, we’ve identified problems, highlighted risks, and made it clear where resources and competencies are still lacking. I now ask you to use the remaining 10 minutes for a change in perspective. Let’s collectively look at possible solutions. Let’s see opportunities and consider together what strengths we have as a team and with which resources we can shape the next steps. This way, a balanced picture is created.“

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