If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
By Corporate Coach, Michael Steele
To achieve success, contentment, and peace – both personally and professionally – great people skills are a must. Building relationships is a skill so important to success, but so often taken for granted. Just like in athletics or any proficiency, some of us are naturals at relationship building, and some of us need to work at it. There are some basic skills required to building strong relationships and the ability to take look at things from a different perspective is at the top of the list.
Taking on the perspectives of others and looking at the world through their eyes takes practice and can be a very rewarding experience. Each day, we have a chance to look at different problems or opportunities through someone else’s eyes, and this offers a great opportunity to learn about how others think and learn about their values. Overall, this helps us respect the differences between us.
In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey talks about Win/Win in Habit 4. If we truly listen to the perspective of our counterpart, most often we will find a solution to the problem that creates wins for everyone, not just a compromise where no one is pleased.
In our business and world environment, our individual values will affect how we conduct ourselves. It is important to understand and connect with others who have differing values and perspectives. Strong relationships are created through reaching out and engaging in honest conversations, and trying to understand each other’s perspectives, points of view and values. Steven Covey so wisely states in Habit 5 : “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” If we could keep these two habits at the forefront of our mind, we could build and strengthen our relationships through listening and seeking to understand.
The practice of perspective-taking does not mean that you necessarily need to give up your point of view. It allows one an added viewpoint and gives you a better read on the entire relationship and situation. Listening empathically, interpreting words properly, and understanding various personalities, are all part of building relationships and seeking to see the world through other people’s eyes. It will make you a better leader, friend, mother father, son or daughter. Can you think of a recent example in your work or home environment where two people had very different perspectives on the exact same situation? What was the outcome?
As a leader, recognizing the backgrounds of teammates and employees will make a difference in the team’s ability to work together on the job, and support each other in times of need away from work. Respecting differences and working to understand others perspectives will create the team atmosphere that champions have on and off the field of play. That is the kind of team and relationships that make the workplace motivating and a place that people want to work. These are the benefits in a corporate culture that understanding others perspectives will create.
Michael Steele has used his basketball coaching experience to create winning teams in business and finance. He offers a unique perspective to business leaders and team members looking for the “win.” Click here for more info on Michael.