Powerful Presence and The Gears

Yesterday I said that the ability to shift your perspective will help you to create satisfying relationships in your personal and professional life.
 
25 years ago, I learned the concept of perceptual positions in an NLP training. NLP is the acronym for Neuro Linguistic Programming; it’s the study of how we structure our experience.
 
Here’s the exciting thing that I learned about perceptual positions: just being aware of the existence of different perspectives allows you to explore conversation in a much deeper way than you ever thought possible.
 
Relationships are transformed when even one of the people in it is aware that other possibilities exist outside of their individual beliefs, values, opinions and experiences. When you consider the conversation you’re having from more than your own perspective, it’s possible to give  the other person’s beliefs, values, opinions and experience  the same attention you would give your own. Amazing things will happen!
 
When you see how this one shift in your consideration transforms your relationships, you can take it one step further and consider a third perspective: that of an outside observer who doesn’t have an emotional involvement in the conversation. What would they be able to see or hear that you are currently missing? When you add this perspective, you have the ability to be logical and objective in the face of any circumstance.
 
It took me several years of using the perceptual positions in my own life to be confident enough about their power. That made me  want to share the concept with others; however, at the sound of the term perceptual positions, my friends were glazing over.
 
Using the metaphor of the usefulness of having more than one gear in a car helped me to make the point. So here is my version of the concept of perceptual positions; I call it The Gears.
 
1st Gear: Your own experience and opinions (subjective)
This Gear is your beliefs, values, opinions and experiences. They are the truth for you; you are always right about them. However, they are only true and only right for YOU.
 
2nd Gear: Considering the opinion and experiences of others (empathetic)
In this Gear, you consider the beliefs, values, opinions and experiences of the other person. You learn about their side of the story when you walk a mile in their shoes. This is the only Gear that allows you to listen.
 
3rd Gear: Considering the situation without emotion (objective)
In this Gear, you get outside of the emotion or opinion; you can see the “big picture”. You are detached enough from the individual details so you can see everything involved and catch additional details you would otherwise miss.
 
Using The Gears will guarantee you the most amount of choice in any conversation. I hope you will explore the power of The Gears and see that for yourself.

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