What may seem like an ordinary interaction to you, may be a highlight for someone else.

Life is all about perspective and as we interact with others (forming relationships at work and in life), we are often reminded that to truly understand others we must learn to see things from a different perspective.

When I walk around my garden with my niece, she sees beauty everywhere; I see the fruit trees that need watering. When I walk into a retail store with my friend, she sees stunning merchandised goods; I see the immaculately groomed employee. When I walk into a meeting room with a colleague, they see the luxury branded glasses the client is wearing; I see the nicely presented refreshments on the table. Same garden, same retail store, same meeting room—yet what you look at is not always what you see. You see things differently to your client, your customer, your boss, your employee and your team mates because you see the world through a different lens.

When you narrow your perspective during small daily interactions with others, you limit the potential of seeing things from others’ point of view. By widening your perspective, you will:

  • See alternatives to situations.
  • Understand others more.
  • Expand your thinking beyond the issue directly in front of you.
  • Open up greater possibilities and receive greater inspiration.
  • Bring mindfulness and compassion towards another person.

If you want to get closer to someone and gain a better understanding of them so you can steer your relationship on a path of happiness, consider these three tips for widening your perspective:

  1. Slow down the conversation: create some space between your thoughts, emotions and words. When we slow down, we are able to see more clearly.
  2. If you and another have a different perspective on a matter, ask yourself: what if the opposite were true? Sometimes when we turn things upside down, we see things differently.
  3. Avoid the need to label a situation or solution as wrong or right. Remember that with a slight shift of perspective, what you thought was right may now seem wrong and what you thought was wrong may now seem right.

‘If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.’ – Wayne Dyer

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