Power of Perspective

Some weeks I feel like a broken record with my clients.

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What does this look like from the other person’s perspective?

So much of our frustration, our blocks and our conflicts at work come from our rigid attachment to our way of seeing the world as being the only, or right way.
We know that everyone sees the world differently, that they are different, have different motivations. And yet so often we get stuck because we expect them to see things the way that we do. “Why can’t they just get it?” comes out of our mouths (including mine!) so easily.

Wouldn’t life just be so much easier if everyone could see things my way?!

Shifting our perspective has a powerful impact on our thoughts and actions in many different ways. That moment when you feel stuck in a problem and you feel that you are ready to just give up, so you walk away to make a cup of tea. For many of us we make the tea in judgement of ourselves for not having figured the problem out. And yet in the movement of our bodies, the change that triggers in our brains, we find new connections.
We step back in to the problem (cuppa in hand) seeing it differently.

Our perspective has shifted and our next step forward begins to emerge.

In preparing for a difficult conversation with a colleague, we can focus endlessly on

  • what they might say..
  • how I’m going to feel..
  • what will I do?
  • what will they think of me?

We can wind ourselves up until the moment we step in to the conversation feeling anxious and unprepared and quick to pounce or to tears when things feel out of our control. If we take a moment to shift our perspective beforehand, to ask

what might be going on with this for them?

we shift our focus away from ourselves and towards the problem that sits in the middle rather than the human who might attack us on the other side.

Our perspective expands,
our defensiveness reduces, and
we step in with more readiness to speak, and to listen.

In the conversation we have the capacity to expand our perspective to include curiosity about theirs.

In preparing to influence our stakeholders, we can hold focus on what it is that we are trying to achieve.
We can have profound logical and emotional reasons for why we think this is the best way forward, and articulate that clearly and passionately. We can then walk in to the conversation and be easily pushed back, ignored or refused. If we step back in our preparation, look at what our project looks like from our stakeholders perspective, and ask questions that help us to understand that, then we find ourselves much more deeply informed, and able to articulate our logic and emotions in ways that are meaningful for our stakeholders, and more likely to engage them in the conversation with us.

On those days when it feels impossible – lifting our head up, stretching our bodies, looking at it all from a different perspective can have a powerful impact on our capacity to

  • see more,
  • think more deeply,
  • communicate more effectively and most importantly,
  • not dive deeply in to our default, least helpful, coping mechanism!

I encourage you to keep asking yourself –

What might be going on for them?

How might this look from someone else’s perspective?

#careerconfidence #teamresilience #effectivecommunication #leadership #professionaldevelopment #nurturingconfidence

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