Viewing Posts by John Watson
Have you ever had an ah-ha moment because of something that just happens to you?
As I sat at my desk preparing for a Skype call with a colleague from across the globe, I watched the sun rise as it kissed and glistened the morning dew. While sitting in front of a pair of windows, I noticed the one on my right had taken on cloudiness in the glass, and the window on the left is perfectly clear. And yes, the azaleas are still blooming, and the mock cherry is starting to light up!
Since I sit right in the middle, and with a slight turn of my head I could go from a crispy clear view to a not so clear view.
As the phone rang, a multitude of thoughts were racing through my head, including several quotes, “if you change the way you look at things the things you look at change!” – Wayne Dyer.
“Good leadership requires the ability to imagine life through another’s eyes”- Seth Godin.
And then I checked on a definition of Empathy- “Being able to appreciate and experience emotion from another person’s perspective.”
This led me to think about the many ways we view the world, and how often we have differing interpretations or views of the same idea or situation, whether it be a problem, an opportunity or a solution. We tend to view the world and our impact through our own lenses. I wondered how much we could benefit and learn from other perspectives and how my friend was seeing the world today.
So, I asked…., and here is a small portion of our conversation.
Although we did not achieve the intended purpose of our call, what we did accomplish by better understanding each other and growing our relationship was much more valuable.
While this happened by accident, we imagined how many of our relationships that would benefit from having more of these types of conversations, intentionally!
We discussed the critical importance of clarity. What is crystal clear to one person may not be so clear to the next person. And within that difference, with its presence or absence, therein lies the opportunity for conflict, creativity, and growth. And among other things, also the breakdown or building of Trust!
What is the difference between those two outcomes?
If we can so easily become vulnerable to see things differently, how often do we understand the things we hear differently from intended? Or how often do two or more of us hear the same things, and walk away with a different understanding of what was said?
How often do we take the time to look at things through the other person’s lenses, and make a sincere effort to try and understand what, why or how they see things?
Empathy is a leadership competency. Practice putting yourself in the other persons shoes, see it and hear it from where they stand, and see if you can find a common ground to build on.
Discovering clarity on our different perspectives increases our understanding, capacity and ability to find the best solutions and outcomes for whatever we are trying to do.
If you think that is important, how might we make achieving clarity a shared responsibility?
Please join our conversation, we welcome your perspective. Where do you stand on this?
If yes, then what other values or attributes should we include when exercising this responsibility?