Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

If perception is reality - how do you shift someone's perception (which they believe to be accurate) to bring them in line with reality?

Ask questions to understand more about their thinking

We've all met people who seem to jump to conclusions or misinterpret other's actions or words, how does that happen? Usually it's the result of some interesting internal thinking.

Ask people why they believe what they believe, to get them to reveal their internal thinking. Keep asking questions that broaden their perception.

Here are some examples of questions you could try:

'Why do you think that?'
'What else could it mean?'
'What would be the point of that?'
'What do you think they were thinking/feeling at the time?'
‘How might you have contributed to those feelings or beliefs?’

Try seeing the problem from different perspectives yourself

Most conflicts deepen when we lock on to our own perception of the problem. Instead try this: Think outside the square, avoid assigning motives to people and think about how you are being perceived too.

If tension is developing in the relationship, get to it early. Avoidance rarely works. Often a good talk can sort things out. But remember to listen with your barriers down and own your contribution to the problem.

Determination to be right can make us into our own worst enemy.