Sarabande - In Unison

Beautiful as the Melody, Paced out as Choreographed, Synchronized to the Beat... Fast or Slow, it's in Unison

Sunday, June 11, 2006

In his/her shoes

One thing I learnt about listening and understanding another person is to put myself into his or her shoes and think from his/her perceptive angle(s).

However, at the same time, this style of listening has also failed me many a times for one simple reason - I'm still not the other person. Tried as I might, it is not always possible to be in sync and truly figure out the thought and decision process of another complex human mind. (when is the last time you figure out your own process totally? :p)

And usually I find that a lot of information, however, can get filled in as a conversation goes along and as more rapport is established. And then, there is the re-confirmation, questioning and answering, clarification process to make sure the pictures in both parties are as close to one another as possible.

Ok, the above are just some side talk. The main point I would like to share here about putting yourself in someone else's shoes is this: Remember that a problem/issue of that someone else, no matter how big or small it seems to you, is still a problem/ issue to him/her.

We must not forget that each one of us has different capacity to handle problems and issues. As much as I am not the other person, the other person is also not me. His/her problem might seem so small and trivial in your eyes, but to him/her, it could be the end of world. You may have the confidence, capabilities and all the shit to settle HIS/HER problems, but not him/her.

A swimming coach has no issues in swimming 20 laps in the pool, but to a beginner, he may not even know how to breathe properly underwater. So, do what a swimming coach will do. Understand that a beginner needs to learn how to swim and so a coach will show him and get him to practise the skills.
One point to note when helping another person to sort things out, is not to belittle the problem. Respect it and guide the person towards the resolution.

Of course, do not do the opposite and start magnifying the problem thinking that you are showing that you understand the severity of the problem. I can't imagine how stress up I could get if my problem suddenly gets twice as difficult to handle.

I guess it boils down to respecting each individual, know that the map is not the territory and showing empathy and guidance the way the other person wanted it to be shown. Yup, read the Empathy Before Solutions Series on the treasure trove, Life Coaches Blog. You will get to acquire more specific and detailed pointers on communication and some of the stuffs which were just briefly mentioned above.



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