There are over 7.5 billion people in the world today and every one of us thinks in a different way.
Sure there are people that have similar view points. It’s why we are able to gather around particular causes. But at their core, we do things for different reasons.
It’s this particular fact that has gotten me so interested in people and found a deeper appreciation for people.
It was through that fact as well that I learned a valuable lesson.
That lesson being that we need to appreciate the differences in perspective and therefore people.
In fact, by embracing these differences we can better learn ourselves in ways we can’t imagine on our own.
Why Perspectives Are Important
Perspective is how we see the world, our own reality.
It’s unique to ours and ours alone.
But is our reality the only one that exists?
Every person has their own realities, whether it’s job positions or people in general. These positions and perspectives are based on our reality.
From there, we see things differently.
As a leader or as an individual, it’s widely important to see things in different light. By doing that we add a deeper layer of understanding ourselves and others. I always use the example of people in power (like managers) or politicians to explain this.
It’s easy for people to see at times why managers or politicians do certain things that make no sense. Some people feel that these people are out to get them. They complain about change or something else when change comes.
The truth is, that those complainers could very well lack perspective.
I’m not saying all politicians are saints and all managers are good given the right circumstances.
However their actions shouldn’t be based solely on one perspective, the general public or their employees respectively.
In order to see things in a different light there are a few skills we need to develop: perspective-taking and perspective-seeking.
Perspective-taking is seeing things from various view points. In essence we need to learn to get into other peoples shoes and see things from their side.
With perspective-seeking it’s a lot more than walking in someones shoes.
Perspective-seeking is basically looking at things objectively rather than picking a side.
It’s having an open mind and a willingness to learn what someone is going through.
But it is through this cat-like curiosity and willingness to see things in different lights, that skills can be used in many different ways. It’s how through the course of this writing challenge, I’ve been seeing lack, toxic relationships, anger and revenge in different lights. I’ve been revisiting those themes and deepen my understanding of them.
Furthermore by having an open mind to peoples perspectives you can enrich your life by discovering other things about your life and reality.
Perspective Also Improves Society
You could take a global perspective as well and see the merit in having diversity in your group and social life as well.
In order to build teams, diversity is needed. We can see that already in work as people take a more collaborative spirit now more than ever.
That being said, there still is some lack in diversity in ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. In fact, a lot of us neglect it.
It’s for this reason embracing it can help us grow.
Businesses alone who have embraced diversity have seen increases in innovation and revenue for example. Companies who have women taking leadership positions have seen increased revenue as well as further innovation compared to other businesses who’s leaders are predominately white men.
These different perspectives and backgrounds are necessary in our lives as it opens up our world.
A lot of racial tension that has happened in society today could easily be associated to communities and lifestyles where people aren’t exposed to different groups of people for a good portion of their life.
That or they grew up with a certain standard and perception of particular people of colour.
Those barriers can be broken down by having an open mind and even working with other groups of people. Both as a child and as an adult.
Abraham Lincoln once said…
“Judge not, for you would do the same thing if you were in that position.”
I encourage other people to start living in that way as it encourages us to be both perspective-taking and perspective-seeking.
When we have a broad mind and attempt to understand both sides of the coin, we grow.
There will always be two sides to every story. So take both in and try to understand objectively.
To understand one side is to have knowledge, but to know both is to have wisdom.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon
This post is part of an 3 month writing challenge that I’m committing myself to. Every day for 3 months, I’ll be writing articles with specific criteria in mind. You can learn all about my reasoning as well as what that criteria is right here. This is 59 of 91 of this series.
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