Perspective-Taking for Leaders and Teams in the Workplace
Perspective-taking helps us see, clarify, and understand ourselves and others from many viewpoints versus making assumptions, being rigid, certain, polarized, or remaining in conflict. In this blog, we will explore perspective-taking for leaders and teams in the workplace, its benefits, examples, and team outcomes.
What is Perspective-Taking?
It is a skill that can be developed and strengthened. It requires a stance of curiosity, openness, empathy, and being non-judgmental. It can help leaders and teams in the workplace address and resolve conflict and misunderstandings. This can create a positive interpersonal climate that improves morale, productivity, collaboration, communication, and coordination.
- It requires a genuine curiosity about why someone may hold certain views or react in a particular way.
- It is the ability to see and understand the thoughts, feelings, and perspectives of others.
- It entails being open to hearing divergent points of view without judgment or criticism.
- It involves active empathy in understanding how someone else may perceive a situation differently. By empathizing with others, leaders can create a more inclusive and supportive work environment.
- Understanding team members’ feelings and experiences enhances emotional connections and boosts morale. Embodying the “just like me” stance and “walking in their shoes.” This creates a supportive, safe environment for open communication.
- It is a creative, imaginative, exploratory stance that involves an open-ended process to hypothesize and develop multiple perspectives regarding where someone may be coming from.
What are the Benefits of Perspective-Taking?
- We can identify common ground, bridge gaps, and find mutually agreeable solutions through collaborative problem-solving.
- Perspective-taking strengthens interpersonal relationships by fostering a climate of empathy, respect, collaboration, and trust.
- It can help resolve conflicts.
- It can prevent misunderstandings.
- It strengthens interpersonal relationships.
- It creates an environment of giving honest feedback.
- Helps teams flourish versus languish.
Examples of Applying Perspective-Taking With Others?
- What might the other person be thinking and feeling? And being curious about why?
- How might their thoughts and feelings influence this person’s behavior?
Examples of Applying Perspective-Taking with Oneself?
- Self-Inquiry: What am I doing? And why?
- How might my thoughts and feelings affect my perception of the situation?
What are Team Enablers of Perspective-Taking?
- Teams that are fearless and experience security, safety, and trust.
- Reduced misunderstandings
- Conflict resolution
- Improved morale
- Feeling acknowledged, affirmed, understood, and given the benefit of the doubt.
- Why is perspective-taking important in fostering understanding and empathy?
- How can perspective-taking contribute to personal and professional growth?
- What challenges might you face when attempting to practice perspective-taking?