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How easy do you find it to take a multiple perspective on things? How often to you walk in another persons shoes, so to speak, in order to get a slightly different view of things?  The below exercise is an excellent useful coaching tool.

Perceptual Positions does not look at two but actually three different perspectives and it is otherwise known as a triple description.

The principle is, do not evaluate, do not judge a person or a situation until we have gained knowledge through multiple perspectives.

Why should we gain other perspectives on things do you think?  Don’tt forget that we all have our own way of viewing the world, mine will be different from yours and so on. People interpret events differently, which is why they end up with different models of the world.

How to use Perceptual Positions and view Different Perspectives

Use it to review an interaction with another person – or to prepare for a forthcoming one.

Do two rounds.

The first round provides insights into the current situation. The second round enables you to benefit from the insights gained in the first round – while mentally ‘wiring in’ the learnings.

Round 1

1st Perspective

See the situation through your own eyes. Run through the meeting or interaction as if you are there in it. Pay attention to your own thoughts and feelings. Consider your own needs.

2nd Perspective

Imagine what it is like to be the other person. Put yourself in their shoes – as if you are looking back at yourself, seeing, hearing, and feeling as the other person. How is ‘that you over there’ coming across to you. Are they in rapport with you? Are they respecting you? Is he/she taking your views into account?

3rd Perspective

Take a detached viewpoint. Imagine you are looking at yourself and the other person ‘over there’ – seeing the two of them speaking, gesturing etc. Pay particular attention to non-verbal behaviour such as the body language and the sound of their voices. Then consider, as a result of taking this view, what advice you wish to give ‘yourself’ about how you are handling the situation.

Round 2

Now repeat the process using the insights and advice from the Round 1. Run through it with the new behaviours – first as yourself, then as the other person, and finally the detached view.

Finally, think of up-coming events in which these insights may be useful. Mentally run through these while imagining that you are incorporating your new learnings.

For Perceptual Position for Pros, follow the link.