Would you love to know how you can gain better perspective in any situation?
I’m here to tell you that it is possible and it’s a lot simpler than you may think.
We all find ourselves in situations where we may disagree with other people, and 9 times out of 10 when we’re in these situations we see things differently. We see things differently from the other person because of our map of the world, how we see things, our beliefs, our values and the experiences we’ve had in our life up until that point.
So today I want to give you a quick NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) technique that I use in my practice, to help you be able to see things from other people’s point of view, so you can put yourself in other people’s shoes in any situation. I call this the three pillars of perspective (also known as Perceptual Positions). You can physically do this and practice this technique over an over in preparation for when you find yourself in any given situation.
To start off with, there are three positions in the three pillars of perspective, position one, is you. That’s your position within any given situation or conversation, second position is the person you may be having that discussion with, It could be a situation at work, it could be something in your personal life, business, any given situation. A lot of the time you will find that this could be a 1 on 1 conversation, and you’re unable to see somebody else’s point of view. The third position, you are going to become a neutral participant within the conversation. You’re going to be the person who looks on the situation as an outsider, from a totally neutral perspective.
So how does it work?
To begin with, you can set up three different chairs in your living room, kitchen, at work in a conference room, wherever you happen to be. You can do this by yourself, you can also help your colleagues and employees do this, so when they’re in negotiations and communicating with other members of staff, or they’re trying to close a deal, any of those kinds of things, you can use this. Practise with them regularly.
Position 1 – Start off sitting in the first person’s chair so at this point you’re looking at things from your own perspective. Close your eyes and think of a situation that you may have found yourself in recently where you’re having a conversation, and the perspectives have been different, think back to the conversation that you were having and picture exactly what happened, what was said? How did you see things? How did the conversation go through your own eyes? Sit with that for a moment. Then I want you to do what we call in NLP which is break that state. So, open your eyes, think of something totally different, outside of the conversation, it might be what you’re having for dinner. It might be what your next meeting is. Just think about something entirely different.
And at that point, pick yourself up and move over to another chair, and this chair will be the second position.
Position 2 – Now you’re the other person in the conversation. When you’re ready, sit in that chair, close your eyes and put yourself in that person’s situation. Go back to the conversation, but this time you’re looking at it from the other persons. How did they see it? Imagine the situation from that person’s point of view, imagine stepping into their body and becoming them, and looking at you through their eyes, through their perspective and think back to what was said. What is their understanding of the situation? How did they see you and your actions in this situation? Once you’ve done that, open your eyes and break state again.
Now move to the third person’s chair.
Position 3 – Now you become the neutral third person. We are now the objective outsider. This person is somebody that you respect, somebody that you admire, somebody that you trust. We’re looking through their eyes now and seeing their perspective. Imagine that you’re watching this like a ‘fly on the wall’. Now it’s helpful here to picture yourself, to close your eyes and picture yourself as looking down on the conversation. We call ‘the helicopter view’, so you’re looking down on the conversation of these two people. You’re looking at something from a completely outside point of view and I want you to ask yourself these questions. How are these two people acting? Are they being fair to one another? Are they actively listening to what the other person is saying? Is the way that they are behaving, or the way that this conversation is going resolving anything or coming up with any plan or solution? Is one person being more dominant than the other.? What advice would you as that outside perspective, give both of these people to help them work out their differences?
Once you’ve done that, break state, again.
This is such a powerful tool to enable you to step into other people’s shoes, to see their perspective, but also step outside of the situation altogether and look in from a completely different viewpoint, because 9 times out of 10, that will help you to come up with resolutions and totally different answers to the ones that you were coming up with before when you’re only looking at something from your perspective.
It’s incredibly useful in life, your career and even in business for any situation you may find yourself in.
After doing this exercise, take a few minutes just to write down those different perspectives, write down what came out of that. What did you learn about yourself having done it? What did you learn about the other person? How do you want to move forward from here?
Like I said, this is a really great and very simple exercise that you can practice either yourself, with family members, with friends, with colleagues, so that you can deal with Conflict better and get better results for yourself and others.
You can also subscribe to my You-Tube Channel where I release a brand new video each week talking about gaining perspective, limiting beliefs, changing the way you think and much more….