Anyone who knows me well, knows I’m an optimist, and sharing a world with others who let’s say are not always as positive. Is this challenging for me? Sometimes it is, and in fact I do need to avoid people whose personality favors being negative. They draw down my positive energy, and no one needs others to deplete their energy.
Due to the fact my perspective favors a sunny outlook, even during times when you wouldn’t expect this, I tend to look at the world via a different lens than most. One of my favorite things to do is to help others, see what I see. Doing this provides me with the opportunity to verbally and sometimes visually paint a different perspective for the person I am speaking with.
Generally, after I have helped someone to change their perspective, I’m always amazed at their reaction. So much so, that there have been times I wanted to video what they were telling me. There was one time in particular when I was in the process of helping to change someone’s perspective. The conversation involved a parent relating to a young person on their son’s sports team that I was working with. I was working with the entire team and the coaching staff too.
According to the parent I was speaking with, her perception of the young man I was discussing was vastly different than the perspective she and other parents had. The parent was commenting on some of this young man’s choices, and only had a one-dimensional perspective of who he was. They saw him as a troublemaker. I saw him very differently, and so did his teammates and head coach. The young men on this person’s team thought very highly of him, and of his lacrosse skills. He had high emotional intelligence, was funny and possessed a great deal of energy. Yes, sometimes his energy got him into trouble when it wasn’t constructively guided.
When I was describing the positive attributes of this young man to the parent who didn’t know him, but who had heard stories about him, they were shocked at what I was telling them. What did I tell this parent? I told them this young man had incredible potential as both a person and athlete, and if he was well guided, had a shot at playing lacrosse on a college team. Can you picture the look of someone staring at you in disbelief? This is what I was looking at.
The best part was that the parent told me they had not heard anything positive about the young man. However, based on what I was sharing with them about him, they admitted could now figure out why their son liked him. They apologized to me for thinking this young man was a troublemaker, and not a good teammate. The best part of this conversation occurred next. It was when this person said they were going to be a public relations champion for this young man. What were they going to do? They were going to talk to and tell the other parents on the team about what they had heard from me. Hearing this made my heart melt, and I had to hold back tears when I heard this.
It’s conversations like this one that make helping others change or alter their perspective for the better, and quickly that makes me know there is hope for those who you can’t imagine their perspective changing.
So, can you help others like I do to change their perspective? Yes, and here are some tips on how to do so.
- Ask the person if they would consider changing their perspective. Chances are no one has asked them to do so.
- Get the person to explain why they think the way they do. Often, they do not realize their thinking has been manipulated by others, and they found it easier to go along with what I call “group thinking” versus independent thinking.
- If the person’s perspective is negative, or can hurt others emotionally, ask them if this is their intention?
- If the person you are speaking with is open to changing their perspective, thank them for being open to doing so. It’s not always easy for people to do this, but when they change their mind and perspective in a positive way, everyone wins.
Granted not everyone will be open to changing their perspectives. However, it will be worth the effort of trying to get them to do so. Especially when the outcome can continue to help, as illustrated in my example above. Don’t give up if your first attempt doesn’t go the way you want it to. If you are passionate about changing someone’s perspective, it will be worth pursuing making this happen.
Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too. She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019), and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.
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