I was once reprimanded by an unsolicited life coach who told me “It’s not a problem, but a challenge!”
To which I replied “I’m sorry, Sudoku is a challenge, ordering Mongolian Barbecue is a challenge. Talking to you is a challenge. What I’m talking about is a problem. Challenges can be ignored. Problems can’t.”
Since my perspective was not the one he wanted to hear or was one that he expected he seemed offended by my reply. He was assuming his perspective was the only one that mattered. Sadly, this is not uncommon.
It seems people rarely take time to see how the other person may look at things or perceive a given situation. Maybe because it no longer fits our 140 character, instant status updating world. Maybe because their perspective doesn’t fit our own narrative. We don’t want to see their side because we have become too invested in our own ideas, our own perspective, that we don’t want them to be challenged at all, otherwise we’d risk “being wrong”. Maybe it just takes too much supposed “time and effort”Maybe it’s a combination of a lot of different reasons.
Looking at things from other’s perspective, teaches us new things, builds empathy towards others and creates long term trust.
Teaches us new things: If you can see something in a new light, gain a new understanding on a subject or a person, uncover information you hadn’t considered before, you can make better, stronger decisions.
Builds empathy: If you can’t see someone’s perspective, it’s hard to understand that person or relate to them. It’s easier to slap a label on them based on one thing and move on. Doing that closes the door to all their talents and skills. If you can take a moment to at least look at things from their perspective, it can clear up misinterpreted animosity, remove the presumption of personal intent and create understanding that leads to:
Creates long term trust: Honest looks at other’s perspective builds trust through your ability to show fairness. Being fair-minded is a huge advantage when leading others. Fairness doesn’t mean you have to agree. It doesn’t mean you have to acquiesce to other’s ideas. It does mean you are willing to hear others ideas or concerns and weigh them accordingly. You have the final say, yet allowing others to express their ideas/concerns/opinions in an environment they know they will be heard gives you a track record of fairness.
And that’s all most people really want out of life…a fair shake
What’s your perspective on perspectives?