“My employER doesn’t see my point of view.”
“My employEE doesn’t see my point of view.”
These two quotes, usually accompanied by sighing, head-shaking, gritted teeth and other signs of frustration, are quite common in today’s workplace.
We often have “tunnel vision” which means we can only see our side of a situation. The other people involved are busy focusing on their side. Communication lapses, frustration and anger increase and situations turn into major problems. How can we avoid this dilemma? How can you get your employer or employee to see your point of view? Here are three steps to take.
Switch sides. The most effective way to get someone to see your point of view is to see their point of view. This sounds simple enough but how can you actually do this? Put yourself “in their shoes” so to speak. If you’re an employee, imagine that you were the CEO of the company.
Consider your daily CEO responsibilities and all of the tasks you would have to complete. Think of the overall vision of the company. What needs and concerns would you have? What roles would you play? This will allow you to have empathy for your boss’s broader perspective, and you can change how you verbalize your concerns to address this. You can begin with a statement of understanding and be able to address your superior’s concerns. This will allow him or her to feel heard and understood and they will be more open to hearing your concerns and needs.
- Imagine. If you are an employer, view things from your employee’s perspectives. What are their responsibilities and daily tasks? Who do they work with and what is their daily environment? What are their concerns and needs? What roles do they play and how does their position at the company fit into the overall picture? Many companies have programs where management spends a day filling an employee’s position so that they can get hands on experience and really see what their employees go through. Find out if your company has one or suggest starting one.
- Communicate. Now that you have a better understanding of the other person’s perspective, the next step is to communicate your needs and concerns to them. Begin by mentioning their concerns and showing them that you understand their position. Next, look at their style of communication. Do they prefer e-mail, phone calls, in-person conversations? Use the method that they are most comfortable with. Are they a morning or afternoon person? Consider the timing of your conversation as well. If you approach someone when they are rushed or stressed, they may not be receptive to you.
Following these steps will make even difficult conversations go more smoothly. By understanding and showing empathy for their point of view and using the right style and timing of communication, you’ll increase the chances that your ideas will be heard, understood and acted upon.
Copyright ©2005-2016 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved.
Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world's leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Visit Joel online at Garfinkle Executive Coaching. Subscribe to his Fulfillment@Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, 40 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!
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