Self Improvement 6: Look at Things from a Different Perspective

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different perspective

Do you want to be more persuasive?

Understand what is behind their position and you may change their mind (or your own).

Whether you want to make your child eat vegetables or convince the client to sign off on a big purchase, it is important to understand what motivates their actions. Understanding the motivation behind the decision of others will give you tools to sway them in your direction. Understanding the different perspective of your opponent will also save you a lot of frustration and even anger.

Be an observer outside of yourself

Detaching yourself from your own view will give you the perspective you do not have when clinging to your own position try in to protect it and convince the other side. Try to step out of the situation and see the issue as a neutral bystander.

If you can see the motivation behind the arguments of the other side, you will be better equipped to offer solutions that satisfy their needs. You do not have to agree with their point of view, you may think that it is wrong or stupid or both, but before you understand you are not able to work out the solution.

Seek to understand

Judging others wrong or stupid means you don’t understand how their reasoning works. The different perspective usually arises from the set of facts through some kind of reasoning. Understanding that may help you point out that the facts are wrong or incomplete and the reasoning may be flawed. Of course, there’s the other side that your facts may be off and reasoning faulty. Considering the other side may reveal that to you.

different perspective daniel goleman

Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection – or compassionate action. ~~Daniel Goleman

emotional intelligenceTHE book on Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (10th Anniversary Edition). Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. Daniel Goleman’s brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny.

Through vivid examples, Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence and shows how they determine our success in relationships, work, and even our physical well-being. What emerges is an entirely new way to talk about being smart.

The best news is that “emotional literacy” is not fixed early in life. Every parent, every teacher, every business leader, and everyone interested in a more civil society has a stake in this compelling vision of human possibility.

Different perspective may be right

But you have to be ready to accept that people don’t want their point of view changed. Research shows that we are incredibly skilled at ignoring the facts that contradict our position.

You may be surprised, but there’s no law that says people have to share your opinion. Shocked? I know! Get a grip and try to understand why people act the way they do. Instead of becoming frustrated, irritated, or angry, become a collector of different perspectives. You will expand your mental horizon, be more emphatic and less stressed / hurt / disappointed.

open mind parachute quote zappa

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open. ― Frank Zappa

Now go ahead try to understand the point of view of a child not wanting to eat vegetables.

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Image: Frogs 2 by Andrzej Pobiedziński
Image: Daniel Goleman – Pop!Tech 2009 – Camden, ME by PopTech

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2 Responses

  1. April 29, 2013

    […] Improve Your Life #6: Consider the Point of View of Others […]

  2. May 3, 2013

    […] Improve Your Life #6: Consider the Point of View of Others […]

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