We have seen times, when the other person – whether it is our friend, our boss or our subordinate – seems to be unreasonable, or at least, that is how it looks. The reason that it looks that way, it is usually that we are trying to judge the person or his / her behavior from our glasses only, which show us “our side of the story” or from our view-point. When we look at a particular action or reaction given by the other person, we do not consider “their part of the story”. There are always multiple angles, which need to be considered. One, which we see from our side, the other, which the person facing us has and also, a third person’s view. In case, we want to grow and wish to get a better understanding about anything, it becomes important to explore the other viewpoints as well. Perhaps, considering these other viewpoints will help in getting an overall view of the situation as well as understanding why a person reacted in the way he / she did?
Let me narrate an incident, which could be an excerpt from any one of our lives. It was a cold chilly night. Ashish was with a doctor, who was examining his son, who was not keeping well for a long time. After examining his son, the doctor wrote the prescription and handed it to Ashish. He asked Ashish to get the medicine, at the earliest or his son’s fever would rise leading to other major complications. Ashish immediately got into his car, dropped the doctor at his clinic and drove off to the medical shop, which was operational 24 X 7, due to it’s proximity to the city hospital. Even in this killing weather, it seemed as if, all the town’s vehicles were parked there itself. He was getting impatient in searching for a parking space. He thought, “Let me leave my car on the road itself” and while he was thinking about it, he saw a police vehicle towing van nearby. He had to decide otherwise. After spending over five minutes of searching for a place to park his car, Ashish saw an area, where he might get to park. Every minute that was being spent was like an hour for Ashish. While he started to move towards the parking space, a motor-cyclist drove his bike in the same place and ran away. Ashish became furious. He had his son, who needed the medicines urgently and now, this person had taken the only space available.
Think about you being stuck in such a situation. Give it a couple of minutes and think about what would, you be feeling, if you were Ashish. For some time, keep these thoughts in your mind.
The incident continues – Ashish waited for over ten minutes. The motor-cyclist came running along with a medicine pack in his hand. Ashish immediately started to hurl abuses and for him being insensitive. The motor-cyclist turned to him, drove out of the parking and said – “My doctor has said, if my mother does not take this medicine in next thirty minutes, she will die.” And, the motor-cyclist drove off.
Now, try to analyze the same situation once again. Would your reaction change, or would it still remain the same?
In the corporate and the personal lives as well, we seem to confront similar situations. Whether, it is achieving some unrealistic sales targets set by the bosses, inconsistent performance by the team members or some demand put forward on us by friends or family. Usually, we try to look at all these things from our viewpoint. As a leader, it becomes important, that you broaden your horizon, the comprehension and the way in which you react to the given situation would change. It might be a strategic planning, motivation issue or some pressing assignment. Remember, having an outsider’s viewpoint is interesting and good, to be an effective leader.