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Perceptual positions

‘Perceptual positions’ – now there is a well known phrase in the world of NLP…in other words, looking at things from another person’s point of view.

What relevance does this have, I wonder? Well, following on from my observations around boundary setting last week, it occurs to me that the ability to view things from a different perspective is such a valuable skill, that we all have and sometimes forget to use.

How many times do we find ourselves reacting to a situation, without pausing to consider things from the other person’s perspective.

And why is this so valuable anyway?

Well, I find that using perceptual positions to look at things from a different perspective can immediately introduce shades of grey into what seemed like a ‘black or white’, ‘right or wrong’, ‘win or lose’ situation.

Seeing a situation from another person’s point of view doesn’t mean we have to agree with it, condone it, give in to it or any of those other phrases that spring to mind and which imply capitulation!

It just means that by pausing to look at things another way, we have the opportunity to better understand the behaviour of the other person involved…and by understanding their reasoning and behaviour, we are immediately in a better position to facilitate a resolution. In other words, we can find that compromise, the way to having both black and white, rather than either/or…thereby creating a win:win.

…and then we have flexed our boundaries rather than destroy them!

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