Perceptual Positions Defined
of any experience depends on the position from where you perceive it.
Same Reality, Different Perceptions
Taking different perceptual positions enables
you to step out of what you are currently experiencing and gather new
information by seeing things from a different perspective. You can also
check out how your own words and behavior may be impacting on other people,
and how they may be feeling about you and your actions. This new knowledge
will help you make the necessary changes in your behavior and thus achieve
Establishing Rapport and Building Trust
We all have different
maps of reality – ways in
which we perceive the world – and "we can only really
trust people who look at the world
the way we do. If we feel understood, we give people our trust and open up
to them more easily."2 Taking the other person's perceptual
position will help you achieve
and be on the same wavelength with him or her.
Your People Skills 360
Tool in Point
Thinking Hats proposal analysis tool invented by Edward de Bono5
is particularly useful for evaluating innovative and provocative ideas.
While most of our thinking is adversarial, the six thinking hats technique
overcomes these difficulties by forcing everyone to think in parallel. As
participants wear each hat – white, red, yellow, black, green, or blue –
they all must think a certain way at the same time...
Case in Point
Charles Schwab, the founder of the
US leading discounted stock brokerage company, has talked about his
effort to assume the perspective of his customer. "I am like a chief. I like
to taste the food. If it tastes bad, I don't serve it. I'm constantly
monitoring what we do, and I'm always looking for better ways we can provide
financial services, ways that would make me happy if I were a client."...
Case in Point
Disney Creativity Strategy
Walt Disney was true genius at turning
fantasies into reality.
According to Robert Dilts, an NLP pioneer who
developed the technique called
Creativity Strategy, this process involves three distinct
perceptual positions working in coordination with one another: (1) Visual
imagery, (2) Kinesthetic feelings, and (3) Re-viewing the story in memory...
Entrepreneurial Creativity: 4 Keys
in Point The
Blind Men and the Elephant
There are various versions
of the story of the blind men and the elephant. The blind men and the
elephant is a legend that appears in different cultures - notably China,
Africa and India - and the tale dates back thousands of years. Some versions
of the story feature three blind men, others five or six, but the message is
always the same. Here's a story of the six blind men and the elephant.
blind men were discussing exactly what they believed an elephant to be,
since each had heard how strange the creature was, yet none had ever seen
one before. So the blind men agreed to find an elephant and discover what
the animal was really like.
didn't take the blind men long to find an elephant at a nearby market. The
first blind man approached the beast and felt the animal's firm flat side.
"It seems to me that the elephant is just like a wall," he said to his
second blind man reached out and touched one of the elephant's tusks. "No,
this is round and smooth and sharp - the elephant is like a spear."
Intrigued, the third blind man stepped up to the elephant and touched its
trunk. "Well, I can't agree with either of you; I feel a squirming writhing
surely the elephant is just like a snake."
fourth blind man was of course by now quite puzzled. So he reached out, and
felt the elephant's leg. "You are all talking complete nonsense," he said,
"because clearly the elephant is just like a tree."
confused, the fifth blind man stepped forward and grabbed one of the
elephant's ears. "You must all be mad –
an elephant is exactly like a fan."
the sixth man approached, and, holding the beast's tail, disagreed again.
"It's nothing like any of your descriptions
the elephant is just like a rope."
six blind men continued to argue, based on their own particular experiences,
as to what they thought an elephant was like. It was an argument that they
were never able to resolve. Each of them was concerned only with their own
idea. None of them had the full picture, and none could see any of the
other's point of view. Each man saw the elephant as something quite
different, and while in part each blind man was right, none was wholly
is never just one way to look at something –
there are always different perspectives, meanings, and
perceptions, depending on who is looking.4