People Skills: Essentials to Seeing Others’ Views #Peopleskills
by Kate Nasser | 10 Comments »
Some say you need the ability to see beyond your own thoughts — in other words, telescopic talent. People with this talent can see others’ views more easily however it’s possible to consider others’ perspectives without it.
Others say you need the ability to see into another person’s mind — microscopic talent. There are people who have a natural ability to analyze and go deep yet it’s possible to see others’ perspectives without it.
So what does it take to listen and see the perspectives of others?
The short answer — love and courage.
Not tangible enough for you? Too touchy-feely especially in a work setting? OK. Here is a more substantial list that will help you improve your people skills ability to see others’ views.
People Skills: Essentials to Seeing Others’ Views
- Desire to grow. Wanting to know something new is the great motivator. If you don’t yearn to go beyond your current view, skills and ability won’t help you.
- Courage to explore and be vulnerable. Your beliefs help you feel grounded and comfortable. To see others’ views you must have the courage to go outside your comfort zone and hear very different ideas. This also means temporarily feeling vulnerable in the gap.
- Belief that the status quo is just as risky as change. People who find the courage to delve into others’ views also see discovery as risk reduction — not just as risk.
- Patience with ambiguity. If you always like feeling in control, you may also find that you don’t explore others’ views. In exploration there is always some ambiguity as you try to understand something different. Those who see others’ perspective have some patience with ambiguity.
- Comfort with diversity. Those who see others’ perspectives have accept diversity. Rather than categorically seeing ideas as right/wrong, they first see ideas as different. They don’t prejudge. They explore because they are comfortable with diversity.
- High self-esteem & humility. When high self-esteem and humility unite, your people skills shine. High self-esteem is the safety net for exploration. New ideas don’t threaten your ego. Humility prevents arrogance and self-righteousness. It keeps you learning about others and their views.
As you read through this list, the underlying elements are courage and love. It takes courage to explore, to go outside of the known and the comfortable. It takes love to give others a moment of your time and your courage to see what they have to say.
Consider what seeing peoples’ views can do for your personal and professional life.
- Strong friendships and happy marriages are based on willingness to see the other person’s view.
- Successful negotiation is all about exploring and seeing many aspects and views.
- Leadership and employee engagement hinge on exploring various perspectives.
- Teamwork gels when team members can work through different views to find a winning solution.
- Customer service soars when you take time to see the customer’s perspective.
Want some of these great successes? Give up the need to be right. Ease up on your need to control. Give some of your time and attention. Explore without fearing capitulation. Discover without confusing it with mindless agreement.
Seeing others’ views does not mean you will agree. It simply gives you and others a true chance to discover if you agree or disagree! With desire and great people skills, you will be respected for your openness — even in disagreement.
One great way to start: Ask yourself what if. ====> “What if I find out their ideas are similar to mine? What if I learn something that can help me in another way? What if they end up seeing value in my view? What if the different views are surprisingly helpful and give me happiness and success?”
It costs nothing to explore and learn and the return is great. Muster your courage, give your love, see others’ views, and fearlessly watch the new horizon emerge.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
What’s So Hot About Humility Anyway?
12 Most Professional People Skills to Use When You Have Little Power
People Skills: Empathize Before You Analyze
Image of telescope by KristinMarshall via Flickr Creative Commons License.
Image of microscope by Carl Zeiss Microscopy via Flickr Creative Commons License.
©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
Such a great post, Kate. I love how you nail this topic, right down to the “love and courage” piece and your insight about “giving up on the need to be right.” I enjoyed your lovely openers, too, around telescopic and microscopic vision. I know a few people who have great telescopic capability, and it’s a pleasure to be around them for they often can see and then affirm what’s best about a person, even with short acquaintance.
For me, noticing when I’m not listening is a primary strategy. What I must do is notice what’s going on in my head. Am I actually hearing someone else’s voice? Am I paraphrasing? Am I exploring through open-ended questions that I don’t have the answer to, or am I showing off with some clever thing I want to say?
Discovering that I’m not listening compels me to put all my internal stuff aside immediately in order to truly hear the amazing mind and heart of another.
Best to you, and thanks again!
Thanks Dan. And you “nailed” the issue of listening blocks. So many! Internal noise is one of the biggest and fears turn that noise into a roar.
Always pleased to see your input here. Very grateful and enlightened!
A wonderful post and one that should be read by all! Woven through many of your points is empathy. Maybe that is what courage and love are surrounded with, but it is having that empathy in our approach, our listening, and our interactions that really enables us to see through the eyes of another and gain a great understanding and appreciation.
This is such an important capability and mindset to develop. It is a leadership necessity.
As I was writing the post, I thought of putting empathy on the essentials list. I do think it’s critical to building professional and personal relationships. Some claim that empathy comes after you consider another person’s view. I tend to agree with you that it’s best to empathize before you analyze!
Many thanks for your thoughts. It was interesting to read it given my thought process in planning the post.
Grateful for you and your contribution.
Hi Kate, I must concur with Dan & Jon that this is an excellent post! So much food for thought and to apply to one’s life. I was wondering what else I could add as in a #7 and what came to my mind – Trust and respect.
Saying that, I believe it’s a 2-way street. They are essential to seeing others views but another food for thought is: Are others really connecting to us leaders the way they should, especially if they have lost the respect and can no longer trust what it is that we say/do?
Just thought I would put that out there. I am tweeting this one for sure but would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Have a great day
I’m inclined to agree Yvonne on the issue of trust. If we mistrust someone, we are less likely to consider their views. Our perception of risk is much higher.
As for disrespect, it is also difficult. Yet I think it’s possible to tell ourselves “listen for a moment” to see if their view has merit. I might disrespect someone for how they treated me and yet in a completely different setting find their expertise valuable. It’s tough yet it can happen.
Overall, I love your addition to this post for it highlights how important it is to live a life of integrity. It builds trust and respect allowing everyone to more easily hear/see our perspective!
Thank you for sharing your views on this subject.
Always pleased to read your thoughts,
Wow! What an excellent post in an excellent timing!
I’m in a cross road to choose between two IT products. One I’m used to support for years and another which my boss wants to introduce! I think I need to open up for what my boss wants as he could have a point!
Thanks Kate for your very well written post.
I am thrilled that the post connected with you at a crossroads. Serendipity yes?
Thank you for sharing your moment here.
Great Post Kate!
I thought I’d share some neuroscience that explains a bit about what’s behind our difficulty in seeing other people’s perspectives.
First – we all create our own individual mindware programs (the software that runs the computer that is our brain). Every one of us has unique mindware, based on our experiences and learnings. Our unconscious mindware drives nearly 95% of our decisions and behaviors. So each of us is acting and thinking based on our own unique perspective. That sets us up to see and process our experiences as unique “realities”. That’s one reason we can have differences of opinions over seemingly simple events or information. We all filter our information differently, then act upon it based on our unique mindware.
Secondly – we all have a similar mindware program that’s an instinct created back in caveman times. This instinct tells us to believe that we are right, no matter what the topic. Let’s face it, our caveman ancestors had to have a pretty strong belief in themselves to go out and chase that mammoth for food. That instinct works on us today as well – so we innately (and unconsciously) believe that our perception is the correct reality. We have to consciously move beyond this unconscious assumption to be able to see other’s perceptions.
Then there’s the herd instinct -which literally drives us to follow the group by releasing a pleasure chemical when we do just that (and a threat chemical if and when we think about leaving the herd.) That’s one of the instincts that keeps us agreeing with the popular perspective and limits us from hearing new ideas. Of, and our status quo bias also releases a threat chemical whenever we are presented with a perception that is viewed as a change – compelling us to stick with the safe and known.
There are other mindware programs that also influence how we respond to others and their perspectives, from our motivation programs to how we sort information. We are such complex creatures!
All that said, as you point out in your suggestions – the way to move beyond out instinctual and mindware programs is to stop and ask a question or consciously step into a different state. By doing this, we move from our unconscious to our conscious mind. Once in our conscious mind – our creativity is triggered and we are able to see, hear, feel and process new and diverse perceptions from others.
Thanks for the fabulous information you share Kate!