Relating to other humans isn’t easy because they don’t always (read: practically never) act the way we want them to. What’s with that?

Well, just like us, they have their own set of filters and ways of thinking. That can be both a beautiful thing and the most frustrating – all at the same time.

Take my husband, for example. He just sees things in a different way than I do. There are times when I have a really good angry going on about some sort of people situation, usually I’m mad for someone who’s experiencing some sort of sub-optimal circumstance, and then he asks me THE QUESTION. He has an astounding knack for asking me a seemingly simple question that makes me stop dead in my tracks and go, “Hmmm.”

It’s a beautiful thing, because it gives me a new perspective in a matter of seconds that makes a lot of sense, and then it’s also the most frustrating thing because I had a really good mad on that hit the wall, hard. That new angle changes everything. Usually, in a good way.

We all see the world through our own specific set of filters and experiences, guided by the beliefs that we’ve built from them. We tend to think other people see the world in exactly the same way we do. But they don’t. How can they? We all have our very own unique combination of DNA, our brains are all wired differently and our personal perspectives are singularly our own.

No one has exactly the same point of view on anything. We might agree, but there will most definitely be differences in our reasoning for doing so.

So how do we navigate this world of human relationships?

The shortest answer is to be flexible in your thinking.

Sticking to one perspective and just getting louder and louder with it, until a screaming match ensues, doesn’t work for anyone.

Knowing that no one else thinks in exactly the same way we do, means that it doesn’t make sense to come at a conversation from one fixed perspective. Instead, get curious. Try to figure out the other person’s angle, the way they make sense of the world and what drives their behaviours, by asking discovery questions or statements like, “That’s an interesting perspective, tell me more.”

Understanding where the other person is coming from and what they actually value (people drop hints ALL the time if you know how to listen), makes it easier to adapt your communication style in a conversation, and you just can’t do that with a “my way or the highway” kind of mindset.

The quality of your relationships equals the quality of your life.

I remember listening to a speaker who asked the leaders in the conference room, “Would your team take a bullet for you? Or would they use you as a shield?”

Fascinating question for business and life. How do you become so loved that people would willing step in front of a bullet for you?

Answer: you build solid, mutually beneficial relationships.

That can ONLY be done by understanding the person on the other side of the table. What are their hopes, dreams, aspirations and fears? What do they value? How do they think?

When you can answer those questions, you have the keys to the success at your fingertips because from there you can adapt. You can figure out how you can help them meet their wants and needs, and at the same time, figure out how you can meet your own.

People are motivated in a multitude of ways.The more you understand the people in your life and what’s important to them, the more people power you gain. Not manipulative power (though you could use those powers for evil) but synergistic power, which is far greater than you can ever anticipate.

So, put your personal views and perspectives aside, as much as possible, and learn more about what’s driving the behaviours of the people in your life. From there, success is a given.

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