Practice perspective-taking

3 min read
Louise halimi

We see situations and the world according to our own experience (education, social background, culture of society, experience, etc.). Perspective-taking is the ability to step outside our perspective to see the world through another person's eyes. It involves empathizing with their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. In a diverse and interconnected world like ours, it is an important asset in personal and professional interactions, but also in our construction and development as individuals.

The importance of perspective-taking

The practice of perspective-taking has many benefits. It helps to develop empathy and understanding of others. It promotes strong and solid bonds and reduces the risk of conflict. It enables effective communication, as it helps us understand different viewpoints and adapt our messages accordingly. It encourages inclusivity and reduces bias by exposing us to diverse perspectives and experiences. Perspective-taking improves problem-solving skills because it teaches us to consider multiple angles and find mutually beneficial solutions. In addition, it cultivates open-mindedness, broadens our horizons and therefore promotes our personal growth. Recognizing the value of perspective-taking, psychology and communication experts have established methodologies and exercises to develop and improve this skill. I suggest you explore 5 of them. These exercises are recommended by experts in the field of psychology and interpersonal communication, and recognized as effective tools for improving perspective-taking skills.

The “five whys”

Take a moment to reflect on someone's behavior or point of view that you find difficult to understand. Start by asking yourself “why” to discover his motivations or reasons. Once you have an answer, ask yourself "why" again, digging deeper into its underlying intentions. Repeat this process up to five times, deepening the reflection until you gain a comprehensive understanding of their point of view. By exploring the deeper reasons for their actions, you cultivate empathy and develop a more nuanced understanding of their worldview.

Role games

Engage in role-playing activities where you immerse yourself in another person's mindset. Assume their role and try to embody their thoughts, emotions and experiences. Putting yourself in their shoes will give you a good insight into their point of view. This exercise allows you to explore different motivations, values ​​and challenges, fostering empathy and broadening your understanding of others.

The challenge “A day in their place”

Spend a day experiencing life from someone else's point of view. Shadow them and actively participate in their daily activities. See the world through their eyes, paying attention to the challenges, joys and realities they face. Engaging in this immersive exercise allows you to appreciate the complexities of their lives, foster empathy, and break down preconceptions.

Cultural immersion

Immerse yourself in different cultures by traveling, reading, or engaging with people from diverse backgrounds. Take the time to learn about their customs, traditions and beliefs. By gaining knowledge of their cultural background, you will develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of their worldview. Multiply cultural experiences to challenge your own assumptions and broaden your view of the world, cultivating respect for different ways of life.

Reflective Journaling

Keep a journal in which you reflect on your interactions and experiences with others. After each meeting, take a moment to write about their perspectives. Focus on their emotions, motivations, and challenges. This practice encourages self-reflection and improves your ability to consider different viewpoints. By capturing your thoughts and observations, you will develop a greater sensitivity to the diversity of perspectives that surround you, which will promote your personal growth.

By engaging in these exercises, you are actively embarking on a journey that will be rich in lessons and discoveries. Each exercise offers opportunities to broaden your understanding, challenge biases and develop empathy. Adopt these practices to cultivate a richer appreciation of the experiences and perspectives of others. You will gain authentic relationships and participate in creating a harmonious and compassionate environment.

Photo by Alonso Reyes