“All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.” ~ Leonardo Da Vinci
A few days ago I was listening to a radio phone in, as a friend of mine had been invited on to discuss the latest research which suggested that men are quicker to say “I love you” to a new partner than women were. Before my friend (www.glow-coaching.co.uk ) was interviewed the presenter spoke to a pyschologist who declared that those men who did say “I love you” first were likely to have done so as their goal was to have sex, and they knew that women were more likely to agree upon receiving this message.
However this would not apply to women who said it first as they had different emotional needs and would say it for different reasons. The research from the study has a number of interpretations and it has been interesting to read the different views people have on the findings of the various studies on the subject.
These views are usually formed by our own experiences and they then tend to dictate how we react to different situations. For example if you are in a relationship and your partner has declared their love for you, how did you react when they first told you?
Did you make the assumption as the psychologist suggests that they were after “something”?
If you were the first to say it, how did you expect/hope your partner to react?
When working with people on their communication skills, be they leaders, sales people, people wanting career coaching or dating advice etc, one of the key areas to discuss and consider is how the person/group you are communicating with might feel and react to the message you are giving.
Too often people will make the assumption that the people they are communicating with will have exactly the same view of the situation as them, and they will fail to consider how else they could feel about and interpret a situation. Being able to walk in another persons shoes for a while is a great asset to have in effective communication.
As an example to demonstrate this let’s assume you have a situation you are trying to resolve with a member of your team.
A simple and effective way to come up with a potential solution that will suit everyone is to put three chairs in a triangle, facing each other. Sit in the first chair and describe how you feel about the situation, what you think the issues and potential solutions are and so on.
Then move to the second chair and imagine you are the other individual. Then you need to describe how you, as the other person, thinks and feels about the situation. The challenge with this is “staying in character” and making sure you are expressing what you believe the other person will be thinking and how they are viewing the situation.
Having done this, move to the third chair. The movement between chairs is important as the physical act of changing chairs helps you take on the new thought processes. In the third chair you are playing the role of an objective observer and in this role you need to give some objective advice on what you see and what needs to be considered.
Sound crazy? 🙂
Try it, you will be surprised how effective it can be!
The starting point is to remember that everyone has a different view of the world, and it won’t be the same as yours.
If you can catch a glimpse of their view you are in a far better position to achieve a successful outcome to any communication you engage in, even winning the affections of your partner!
What can you see here?
A young woman?
An old Lady?
“The funny thing is, people’s perceptions of what a song is about is
usually wrong a majority of the time. But they’re still going to read what they
want to into it. ~ Vince Gill
Jimmy Savile, who passed away this week, expressed the importance of considering others point of view when asked some years ago about his show, Jim’ll fix it;
“I never to this day, had a favourite Fix it, because I never looked at it from my point of view. For most of them, that was the biggest thing that ever happened in their lives at that time, so they were all favourites”.