I have been reflecting on the importance of the individual. Each one of us makes a decision every day about how we want to show up in the world. With the big emphasis on teams and teaming, we can easily forget the difference we all make as individuals. I know that when I choose to bring “my best self forward,” it often creates the space for others to do the same.
One of my individual goals has been “to consider the other side.” When I pause to consider the perspective of others, it becomes so much easier to show up with compassion and kindness. In coaching we often talk about sitting in someone else’s chair. To get the point across, they literally have you walk over to a new place to sit and play act another person’s point of view. It takes some effort to do this at first. Typically ,we are so caught up in being right, that it just feels natural to resist another’s point of view. But after a while, I find that I can simply take a few minutes and mentally slide into someone else’s seat.
In such a scenario, here’s what I ask myself:
- How does it look from here? What do they see?
- How are they served by this perspective? Do I feel the same?
- How does it feel? What’s the emotional pull?
- What are they sensing? What value set/belief system is apparent?
- What are they hoping for? What do they want from this exchange? What do they need?
- What do they fear? Can they expand their viewpoint? Would they?
And then, when I return to “my chair,” I can ask myself:
- What’s helpful here? What is kind? Can I show that? Be that?
Of course, I cannot and do not always answer “yes.” Sometimes I realize I just need to be kind to myself. Sometimes I remind myself that I can be forthright in a kind way. Sometimes I don’t remember any of it and just sound off! But this year, one of my goals is to be committed to working at being both thoughtful in my considerations and in my responses.