1 Insight from the ‘Other Side of the Street’

This past week I was back in my hometown celebrating my father’s (and his identical twin’s) 85th birthday. It was an amazing weekend celebrating two incredibly revered and respected men, and a tremendously happy occasion. As I was walking my 4-legged niece through my childhood neighborhood one morning, I needed to cross the street to avoid the sprinklers. I had not walked on the other side of the street in probably 20+ years!

What a change in perspective. It gave me pause. Houses which I had grown up around for over 50 years looked different to me. Flowers, trees, and foliage took on different shapes and shadows. It was simply fabulous – and oddly a bit unsettling.

The one key insight I took from my ah-ha moment this week was simply this: by simply changing our position – literally and figuratively – we open our eyes and minds to see thing differently. Sure – we all know this and many think they do it already;  yet, what I observed about myself was until I actually changed my location, I didn’t really get it. The same is true relative to our mindset and entertaining another person’s opinion; we have to be in it to really see it. This is not rocket science by any stretch, but a truism just the same and bears remembering.

How often do we get into a rut of seeing things from the same point of view, perspective, and set of lenses just based on where we are at the time? What can we gain by shifting – even just a little – to see things from the other side? What would happen if we stopped selling the way we want to sell and position what we are selling the way the buyer wants to buy? What would happen if we genuinely tried to put our feet in the other person’s shoes in a negotiation?

What insights do you have to share? When have you tried to see and feel things from another perspective and been the beneficiary from such an experience? We would love to hear your thoughts and wise words!

6 responses to “1 Insight from the ‘Other Side of the Street’

  1. Beautifully said – and so true. Happy Birthday, Pop and Almost Me Pop! You made the world a better place when you gave us your two amazing daughters. Thanks!

  2. Very true kirstin.

    `Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change `.

    Once we learn to lok at things from teh perspective of others, it will make easier for all concerned.

  3. I loved the visual. I know the street where Kristin was walking and reflecting and her observations are so accurate.

    I recently spent three weeks on Vallecito Lake Northeast of Durango, Colorado. I do not vacation well. I have a hard time letting go of my business and the need to stayed plugged in….. but I promised my wife to make a real effort and I honored the promise. To Kristin’s point , I conducted a self imposed personality inventory while sitting on the deck of my house listening to the river flow. I looked at how I make presentations, represent my clients once retained, how I relate to friends and family and am I being all the man God made me to be? The answers were interesting. I learned alot by looking at the other side of the street. I intend to walk there more often. Great job Kristin!!!!!

  4. Dear Kristin,
    Your description of seeing things from a different light is very meaningful. I grew up in the segregated South. My first troop duty assignment in the Army was to an all-black artillery battalion. I was truly one of very few Caucasions in that battalion. From the first day I saw things from a different perspective and I became a strong advocate for integration of our armed forces. The lessons that I learned then have been a part of the remainder of my life, and I feel that I am a better person as a result.
    Thank you for you interesting writings, including “Is This Seat Taken.”

    Love, John

  5. Thank you ALL for your kind comments and wise insights. Thank you, too, for the birthday wishes for my daddy and Uncle Ben!! It has been an amazing few weeks.

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