Importance of Understanding Different Points of View


Henry Ford, the great industrialist and credited as the man who almost single handedly popularized the Automobile once said, “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own”


Meanwhile, Winston Churchill once said, “Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.


Most people, including philosophers, would say that the truth about the importance of different points of view falls somewhere in the middle between those two tactics.


Shalom Lamm, a Real Estate Developer and Chief Executive Officer for Operation Benjamin which seeks to locate Jewish Graves from American Military Cemeteries and were buried under non-Jewish traditions and repatriate those graves certainly believes so.


His father Norman, who served as a Rabbi for 25 years, in the US, shaped his beliefs.


His father taught him that tolerance was one of the highest virtues of a person and an essential teaching of the Jewish faith.


Without being able to bend one’s views and be tolerant, most people fail miserably at getting along in the world.


And in business as well, as Henry Ford said, being flexible not only opens one’s eyes to a different point of view which may at least have very valid points, but give and take, in both business and politics is often a key element to winning the majority of your requirements in a negotiation.


On the other hand, if you clutch too tightly to your personal views, not only will reasonable alternatives tend to escape one, but the other party is liable to take a viewpoint of stronger resistance as well.


Understanding another’s point of view is essentially a matter of respect. The more respect shown to the other person, the less they feel that opposing points of view are a personal attack.


As business author Stephen Covey says, “When you really listen to another person from their point of view and reflect back to them that understanding, it’s like giving them emotional energy.”


Not only is Stephen Covey right, but that breath of emotional energy may be enough so that they relax emotionally and begin to comprehend in returns.


When both parties are relaxed and see negotiations as a discussion and not a war, miracles can happen.


Unfortunately, being cognizant of the other person’s point of view is not something most people learn in school.


And in fact, many great negotiators often learn to begin to open their minds only after failing at a number of important negotiations.


If they are lucky, they will have a wise mentor that will teach them the art and science of being open.


Most people with an over exaggerated of their own opinions come to negotiate from a scarcity mindset there is a limited supply of anything, be it money, or freedom, and that one needs a clutch tightly to obtain their share.


Actually, it’s the opposite. The more open you are, the less it turns out there is a limited supply.

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