In today’s article you’ll learn everything you need to know about understanding other people’s perspectives.
“Look at the situation from a different perspective” – how often have you heard that phrase?
Now you finally know what it means to see the world from a different perspective. Learn about perceptual position, one of the most efficient tools for NLP in relationships.
Thanks to it, you’ll be capable to embody multiple points of view, receive the key to resolving conflicts. You will get a whole new resource, creatively tackle problems and go beyond your mere perspective scheme. You will get a new perspective on every situation in your life.
Have you ever argued with someone who was so focused on your standpoint that you did not pay attention to what they were trying to tell you?
Most conflicts result from an absence of ability to play the role of another. Too often people become connected to one limited way of seeing reality, which frequently creates conflict between them.
It’s time to change perspective…
How to Understand Other People’s Perspectives:
Why is it important to understand the other person’s standpoint? The concept of perceptual position was initiated by Virginia Satir, a family therapist. He offers his patients to look at their problems from the standpoint of other members of the family.
It turns out that changing perspectives gives these people access to very different information about conflicts or problems in their lives.
What’s more, often after such views, the conflict simply dissipates and members of the family apologize for their egocentric behavior.
Just seeing it from a different perspective gives you access to new resources. Stuck only in your own standpoint, you miss lots of important information and you are willing to fight for your own opinion without realizing that somebody else might be right.
Joseph O’Connor wrote:
“Observing from a single standpoint occurs in a narrow perspective, which is true when one sees something from a certain angle, but doesn’t present a holistic picture. We see only part of reality, and we need both an awareness of detail and magnification, and insight into the overall depth of the matter.
Seeing only from one’s standpoint can be likened to looking out the window in one’s room. You will at all times see the same piece of reality when you’re in the room through the window.
Take a trip to another room and you’ll see a utterly different world in the window!
Three points of view
NLP distinguishes between three basic perceptual positions. The ability to switch between them will provide you with great flexibility and access to utterly new possibilities.
You’ll be capable to better resolve conflicts (when they arise), think more creatively, learn more effectively from your past mistakes, and learn new behaviors more quickly.
The first perceptual position is the view from the standpoint of “I”.
That is, your own comfy perspective. From here you can see what is important to you personally.
When you remember a situation from your life, being in this perceptual position, you see it in association, that’s, from the standpoint of your eyes. You are guided by your own needs, you perceive the world through the prism of your beliefs and experiences.
The second perceptual position is the other person’s standpoint.
It consists of “jumping” into another person’s skin and seeing the problem/situation/conflict from their standpoint.
Think how this person feels? What is important to him at the moment, what does he need? What will he believe? Imagine that you’re this person.
Experience the situation as if you were the person. Being able to enter this perceptual position will let you know what empathy really is. You will be amazed, the world looks so different when we see it from this perspective!
If, for example, you were in an argument with someone and that person’s argument seemed strange and utterly irrational to you, you would see from that person’s perspective that the argument is now utterly normal and significant.
You will understand this person’s model of the world. And this is the key to building healthy and lasting relationships.
The third perceptual position is that of the observer.
The point is to become someone who is utterly independent, someone utterly disconnected from this situation. It means going beyond yourself and beyond the eyes of others. This is key to understanding the relationship between the perspectives of the two conflicting parties.
This will free you from any emotional influences and you’ll be capable to see more. When you see conflict between you and others, for example, choose a place by your side – and from there look at you and the other person.
Listen to precisely what you are telling yourself, what is your relationship.
Be an independent observer, a point in space that has nothing to do with this conflict.
I want you to know that every of these positions is important. Neither is more important than the other. What matters is the ability to move between these positions.
You possibly know people who view the world only from their own perspective. Such people behave very selfishly, never paying attention to one another’s needs.
However, people who are in a second position of perception all the time are highly prone to influence, at all times thinking what others will think.
People who spend most of their time in the third position of perception seem “separated” from the world, feel no emotion (1). Therefore, it’s worth finding a balance and having the ability to change your standpoint depending on the situation, checking what it looks like from each position of perception.
Realizing the existence of perceptual positions and the chance of embodiment in them, you get a superb mental advantage and tools.
There are two other perceptual positions – looking from a systems perspective (noticing the relationships between diverse elements) and from a universe perspective (or how your actions affect the rest of the world), but I’ll be writing about both. another time.
Now I want you to focus on trying these three basic items, because they will provide you with the biggest and most noticeable change.
Where can you use position perception?
There are many applications of this concept. Below are some of the most interesting examples so you can try them right away.
1. Conflicts and quarrels.
It is the position of clear perception that’s most useful here. By acting as the other person’s standpoint and then as an independent observer, you’ll quickly understand the causes of conflict and be capable to resolve them quickly.
When I use the second position in this way, I often think: “How could I be so blindly looking at only my own arguments? Perceptual positioning is also very useful in negotiations.
2. Creative problem solving.
Ask yourself: “How do friends/mother/heads/whoever think? By taking each of these points of view, you’ll discover utterly new ideas.
This applies to every kind of life problems in addition to those times when you want to find a creative solution by creating a project.
3. Business creation.
Take on the role of your client’s standpoint. Think about what your client needs, what he thinks about, what problems he has. For example, if you want to set up a restaurant, go to the pub as a customer. Always pay attention to how you behave as a customer – what you expect from the place you’re going.
Write down all of your observations. Then take on the role of observer and observe the sales process. What is the relationship between seller and customer?
4. Overcome past experiences.
If you have a memory that negatively affects you when it comes back to you, return to that memory in your imagination and look at it from a different perspective.
You will see that you’re the only one who considers this situation very important and from other points of view it does not look so bad.
5. Learning new behaviors.
Do you want more confidence? Remember a situation when you did not have this resource and look at it from a different perspective. Pay attention to your flaws and how you should behave so that others see you differently.
Now imagine a situation in the future, when you want to behave like this. Look at it from a different perspective, even from your own, when you use the power of confidence.
6. Personal development.
Look at yourself from the standpoint of various people. Look at who you are, where you’re going, what sort of person you are in interpersonal relationships. Write down your observations, you’ll see that there will be lots of them.
Some of them will surprise you and you possibly would not normally consider them until months or even years from now. Then see yourself as an independent observer and observe your behavior and actions.
There are many other position perception apps, you’ll discover the others yourself. This is a terrific tool and a valuable skill. Because I’ve been using different perception positions, I’ve been paying attention to more, more and more, and this has allowed me to improve more quickly.
Perspective in practice
Below I present you with an exercise, which will help you to use the concepts in this article at first. Once you find out how to enter into different points of view, you’ll be capable to do it automatically by simply closing your eyes.
However, if you want, you can begin with this exercise – it will certainly help you to experience what position perception is.
Place three chairs in a circle. You can put a piece of paper on each chair that says “I”, “others”, “observer”, but this isn’t necessary.
Now identify any situation for which you want to use your perceptual position. It can be an argument, a negotiation process, a job interview, or a straightforward meeting with friends.
Let it be a situation where you want to learn something (2), draw conclusions, or change them. Now, as you sit in each chair (starting from the first perception position), take a different standpoint.
Close your eyes and imagine the situation in each place. Keep something to record with you to write down your observations. Pay attention to your body language, the words you use, the entire situation, the behavior of other people.
The spatial distribution of these places is extremely important, because in some way it makes your mind understand that these are different points of view.
You’ll notice that the location change itself will provide you with a different perspective. There can be more than one seat if there are more people in the situation. You can use the second perception position for more people.
You can use this exercise to refer to situations that have already happened in your life, but also to situations that have yet to occur.
Perceptual position can become part of your way of seeing the world, which will absolutely be conducive to your development and make your life easier and more enjoyable every day.
Thank you for reading this article on how to understand other people’s perspectives and I actually hope you take action on my advice.
I wish you good luck and that I hope that its content has been a good help to you.