I love getting up early in the morning and walking down the street and feeling like I have the whole world to myself.
That experience never fails to give me the proverbial stab of joy.
Of course, one man’s pleasure is another man’s poison. Some people loathe doing that. Because at six in the morning, the streets are dark and quiet and vacant and they feel vulnerable to muggers and attackers.
A perfect reminder that the biggest communication mistake we could make is assuming that other people are having the same experience we’re having. And if we refuse to slow down and see things from another person’s point of view, we’ll never have a chance at true intimacy and connection.
It will be impossible to make the empathetic leap.
The goal, then, is to show concern in a way that they would experience as loving; as opposed to assuming they have the same wiring as us.
One strategy I find helpful is using curiosity to disrupt my own point of view. To engage with people from a place wonderment, fascination and the genuine desire to learn how they might process decisions differently than myself.
A tool my mentor once gave me was, when somebody is finished sharing, you can say to them:
I acknowledge that you _____, and I appreciate that you _____.
That person will feel seen, heard, felt and appreciated. Every time we have that kind of opportunity to peel back another one of those layers, we ought to be grateful.
It’s an infinitely interesting and satisfying feeling too admit, wow, all of this can be looked at from another angle.
Remember, once we are shown that our own point of view is only one of many options, we can respond to people from a deep reservoir of empathy and care.
Next time you sit down to dinner with someone you care about, resist the temptation to cling to your point of view.
Commit yourself to understanding the experience of others and see what kind of wisdom unfolds.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
When was the last time you allowed a new perspective to knock you off your intellectual perch?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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