We all claim to know how important it is to look at the world from another perspective, but how often do we actually do it?
I was talking to a friend and colleague recently who was venting about how they disagreed with one of their client’s decisions not to take the recommended advice being offered, and I asked one question: “Why didn’t they want to do it?” to which he was stumped. “I dunno” was his response; and it got me thinking. Either he didn’t question enough or he wasn’t putting himself in his client’s shoes (or both!).
How often do we actually do that though? Stop, and think about things from someone else’s perspective. My belief is that many of us say we do when it’s a very different story in the heat of the moment, be it at home or at work.
When we talk about ‘perception’, it’s nothing more than our own view of the world, which by its very nature is distinct, different and unique for each and every one of us. It begins to form from birth and is moulded by our values, beliefs and experiences…hence why everyone’s is so very different.
At Right Trax, we often introduce this idea of perception during MBTI or Insights Discovery training and workshops by using a few optical illusions. Try this one with the revolving cat, which is another take on the popular revolving ballerina…
1. Stare at the image above and see if it is moving to the left or to the right (if the image is not rotating on your screen, you can find it at the link below).
(Image provided by Pech Misfortune from http://www.moillusions.com/2010/06/spinning-cat-optical-illusion.html)
2. Now keep staring at it for a while longer and see if it changes direction. For some people it will and for others it won’t, it doesn’t matter (although if you only see it moving one way or the other, trust me: it can change!).
Something like this helps to quickly hit home just how often we all can see something differently when looking at exactly the same thing. It doesn’t automatically mean that one person is right and one is wrong, just that they are seeing it from two different perspectives. But think how often that happens to us, just at work let alone outside of it. It’s practically every day isn’t it? And it is how we then deal with these differing perceptions that contribute to how successful or not our personal impact and interactions are themselves perceived to be by others.
So next time you feel yourself about to react to someone else’s perception, I urge you to stop and put yourself in their shoes; try and see the world from their point of view. I promise, if you do this, things will look different for reasons that are just as valid as the ones that have formed your own perception. Once you can appreciate the other perceptions you can then move towards having easier, more cohesive and just downright more enjoyable relationships, be it with colleagues, your manager or you husband / wife / boyfriend / girlfriend / best friend!
At Right Trax Training we can help your managers and teams to understand the power of their perception. Get in touch to find out more about the MBTI and Insights Discovery training and workshops that we offer.