We all want to have good relationships with other people. No one wakes up in the morning hoping to have negative interactions with others. So, what causes difficult relationships?
Whether we’re talking about family relations, conflicts with a co-worker, or a tenuous client relationship, quite often our interactions are focused on what we want, and from where we are standing. We tend to look at everything from our own perspective.
We fail to realize that our perspective is based on our own experiences. Things we have seen. Things we have heard. Things we have been taught.
For example, a kindergarten teacher introduces Amy’s father to Johnny and Adam. Johnny runs up and hugs Amy’s dad. Meanwhile, Adam begins to cower and shake. It’s obvious, based on their perspective of what a father is, one responds with love and affection, while the other is overcome with fear.
Our responses to situations, conversations, and ideas are directly tied to our perspective. Too often, in trying to influence others, we attempt to get them to see things from our perspective. Before we can get others to where we want them to be, we must first start with where they are at. This requires changing from our perspective and seeing things from their perspective.
As I’ve mentioned many times, I believe our purpose in life is to be of service to others. A key aspect of service-based leadership is to focus on what you’re not doing to make a relationship work.
Whenever I’m working with two individuals to resolve a conflict, inevitably, both individuals will say “I’ve tried everything.” They share how they have repeated themselves several times. They have shown and explained to no avail. They are convinced the other party is not listening. I concur they have tried all they can think of trying. I then point out what they have not done. They have not considered the other person’s perspective.
When you consider other people’s perspective from their view (not yours), you develop empathy for them. With empathy, you will be inspired to be more thoughtful in your interactions. You will take things less personally. You will begin to realize their reluctance isn’t about you. It’s about them and their fears and concerns. Things brought about by their perspective, not from you.
Your efforts to be of service to others is only limited by your desire to take initiative and your imagination.
Using your imagination and initiative, you can begin to explore the people you interact with on a daily or regular basis. If you are curious about others, you may already know some things about those around you. The best way to learn more about people, positioning yourself to be of service to them, is to ask them questions.
The more you can learn about their background, their interests, what gets them excited, why they chose their career or their employer, how things are at home, and what you can do to add value to them; the better you are positioned to serve them.
Regardless of your position, do not underestimate the service you can be to others. Some people make the mistake of thinking it’s not their place to offer service. If you are sincere with your intentions, your motive is to help, and your focus is to empower others, offering your services will be less difficult and more straightforward.
The key is to focus on empowering others. Being of service is not about coddling or enabling. Being of service is all about empowering individuals. Coddling involves telling people what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear. Enabling involves lowering the bar so people can meet it or doing the work for someone else. Coddling and enabling is detrimental to all parties because an enabled person will always be dependent on you.
When you empower others, you provide options, information, and hold others accountable for their actions. Over time, you are helping others become more successful by getting them in the habit of making better choices, making better use of their time, and getting them to take responsibility for their results.
While the process of empowering others can be difficult, the end results are much better. This is more than we can say about relationships where we remain focused on our own perspective.
Being of service to others is a habit. It takes time and consistent practice to learn where others are coming from, to see their perspective, to develop empathy, and to keep your focus on empowering others. Once you develop this habit, it becomes easier to hold others accountable. Through this process, others will learn to take responsibility. As they become more responsible, many will thank you for positively impacting their lives. It will improve your relationships and take them to a whole new level.
Remember, there is greatness within you. You must choose greatness. It won’t develop on its own. I believe in you!
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If you would like assistance with changing your perspective, I can help you. We can meet by phone, on Zoom, or at a mutually convenient location. Whether you choose me or someone else, a coach will expedite your results.
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Published by Bryan M. Balch, Results Coach
Helping Individuals and Businesses Achieve Desired Results
#perspective #relationships #mindset #servantleadership