The Power of Perspective

You limit yourself. Yes, it is true. Each day you behave in much the same way as you have always done. You act out your habitual ways of dealing with people, and you communicate as well or as badly as you normally do.

Although you know better, you do not apply all that you have learned when it comes to making the most of yourself. If this is true for you, then how are you going to improve?

Awareness is key. Until you spot what you are doing you will not know where to make changes to how you talk to people. How can you change what needs to be improved if you do not see it yourself?

There is a very simple way to generate awareness of how you behave with other people. A way to develop perspective that is not clouded by your biased perceptions.

Three Steps to Powerful Perspective:

1 Be a neutral observer

Choose a recent conversation you had which did not go as well as you would have liked. Next, pretend for a moment that you are a neutral observer of the conversation. In your imagination go back in time to that incident and see yourself talking to that other person. Picture the surroundings, hear the sounds and feel the atmosphere of the place.

Then run through the entire conversation again, only this time imagine that you are the neutral observer. See yourself and the other person talking and listening to each other and notice the dynamics of the conversation. Pay special attention to the non verbal reactions.

By doing this you will be gathering a lot of information that will be helpful in noticing what works and what does not work in your communication.

2 Be the other person

Revisit the conversation again only this time cycle through it as if you were the other person. Imagine what it was like to be there looking at you and listening to you. You are now walking in their shoes so as to get a close up look at what it is like to deal with you.

You may find that you spot the reasons why the conversation did not go as well as you would have liked.

3 Ask yourself - how did I get the result I achieved?

In this stage of the process you put the responsibility on your shoulders alone for the outcome of the conversation. Blaming others will not help you to think creatively for solutions and ways to better your conversational skills.

Revisit that conversation one more time as the neutral observer and one time as the other person. In each case look for the answer to the question: how did I get this result? Then ask yourself: what could I do differently to get what I really want?

You will discover ways to change your approach that can dramatically improve how you communicate when it matters most.

By using this approach I often spot opportunities to use more emphasis on key points and the value of being enthusiastic when I want someone to consider my opinion. At other times I notice that I could listen more carefully instead of just getting carried away with my own agenda.

Peter Murphy is a freelance business writer. He publishes a free weekly ezine full of practical tips for communicating at your best under pressure. All new subscribers receive a free e-book with powerful strategies for being at your best.

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