You are in the business of moving people. Whether you are the leader of an organization, the owner of a business, the member of a sales team, the employee or parent, you are constantly moving people.
In his book, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others Daniel Pink calls sales, the “art of moving people toward our ideas, our projects, or toward ourselves personally.”
In order to move people, we must seek to understand things from their perspective. The threat that keeps us from seeing from others’ perspective is our personal power. When we believe we have the best information, we feel powerful. When we’re convinced that we have the solution that’s best for everyone, we launch our personal power trips. And when we’re convinced beyond a doubt that we know better than anyone what others really need, we put ourselves in a most powerful situation.
While that power may feel good to us, it’s been proven to “anchor us too heavily to our own vantage point, (keeping us from) insufficiently adjusting to others’ perspectives,” Power and Perspectives Not Taken, Adam Galinsky, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Our personal power keeps us from seeing from other people’s perspectives. And the loss of people’s perspective inhibits us from moving people for the good of us all.
The next time you engage in a conversation where you want to move a person toward your ideas, your projects or toward yourself personally, surrender your personal power and make it your goal to first gain the other person’s perspective. Ask open-ended questions with an intent to discover real needs. Guard your mind from thinking over others while they’re talking. And take a real interest in what others are saying to you.
Perspective takers enjoy the art of moving people for their good. What will you do to take the perspective of others today?
“Teach thy tongue to say, “I do not know,” and thou wilt progress.” –Maimonides