This week’s focus:
Remember to take your shoes off!
We are often asked to put ourselves in the shoes of others when trying to understand where they are coming from – and this is probably one of the most useful tips for us to make a habit of in our relationships with our family members, friends and people at work.
The trouble is that it often doesn’t work. Why? Because we still look through our own eyes, our own perspectives, in doing so. The result…we manage to rationalize our views instead of understanding the other person’s.
The trick, therefore, is to remember that we can’t put someone else’s shoes on without taking our own shoes off first!!
Turning theory into practice: So how do we do this? Well, try this exercise or practice each day this week every time you speak to someone else. It’s called S.T.O.P. and is a tool we could use constantly to bring things out of autopilot into our conscious world – this is just one application of it:
- Stop and step back: This is where you take your shoes off and prepare yourself to really listen to what they are saying.
- Think: What are they saying? How do they feel about what they are saying?
- Organise your thinking: check your understanding of what they are saying with them.
- Proceed: Discuss your view with them now as an additional possibility not as a right view that makes theirs wrong. It may be worth starting with “Yes, and…” rather than “Yes, but…”
- Try this each day this week. Explore different ways of doing the practice – for example, take your shoes off to experience how they receive what YOU are saying? You might be surprised!
Monday Morning Perspective: “There are no facts, only interpretations.” – Friedrich Nietzsche