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Tips and tools to see other people's perspectives

Our ability to see other people’s points of view is one of the most crucial tools we have.

It’s key to productive and successful collaboration, and this is vital when working together to give us fighting chance to see a different and better future for both people and the planet.

Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes is a relatively simple concept, but it can be difficult to master. It is human nature to see things from our own perspective.

But it can, and must, be mastered.

As journalist Charles M. Blow pointed out:

“One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient.”

These tools and tips are dedicated to helping you better understand other people's points of view so you can continue your tremendous progress tackling sustainability issues in your organisation.


Practical ways to build empathy and openness in the workplace
These 10 methods, shared by game developers Housemarque, aim to foster trust and openness in a working community that is growing and changing. This article explores what it really means to show empathy, along with actions to create stronger connections with colleagues to build a culture of honesty and openness.
These tools can help prevent conflicts, resolve differences and work toward collaborative solutions that take the best of each perspective, look for commonalities and rise above reactions to minor differences.
Try the perceptual positions technique, which can help you understand other people’s perspectives, so that you can communicate with each other more constructively and work out resolutions. This technique may take some practice, but the more you do it, the easier it will become.

Counter intuitive ways to take on another person’s point of view
Written by a team of PhDs, who have reviewed 100s of articles on perspective taking, this article describes how perspective taking works, what its benefits are, what can get in the way, and also provide three exercises to help you practice thinking about things from another person’s point of view.

Tools to get your team to see your point of view
You’re working with an awesome team of people from right across your organisation who want to help you deliver a project or initiative. Here are some tools, and a checklist, to keep them on board and here is our advice on getting, and keeping, difficult people engaged. 



Make the choice to respect perspectives


If you don’t know where you are starting from and the perspectives you are working with, you won’t be fully equipped for collaborative success. So, it’s important to make the conscious decision to understand how others currently see the world.

Also see our tools and tips to help you make choices and why not also read up on key choices that you can make today to make big and meaningful differences for our future.

Flex your empathy and compassion muscles


We all have the capacity for empathy. However, it is a skill that takes practice for most people. Here are seven practical tips to exercise and strengthen your empathy muscle. Compassion comes in three flavours: compassion with others, compassion with yourself, and the ability to receive someone else’s compassion. See how to actively integrate all three kinds of compassion into your life and work with these suggestions.


And, take a look at yourself!


If you have a negative mindset, you may find it tricky to understand anyone else's perspective or be open to altering your own. These tips will get you on a more positive path. Your mindset is so important for pretty much everything and our suggestions on stepping out of your comfort zone along with our tips on adopting a bold mindset will help you put most things into perspective and carve out a positive path to a brighter future. 


Now read our write-up on understanding different points of view, which include examples of compassion and empathy in action.

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Jennifer Clair Robson

Jennifer Clair Robson

Writing to make a difference because climate change, sustainability and the environment are issues close to my heart.

Topics: Tips and tools

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