Here it is again — our old friend perspective. And it’s just as important as attitude. In a recent post about attitude, Ryan spent a lot of his workday letting his negative side run wild. Instead, refreshed by a NEW perspective, he could have been using his creative energy to initiate things that both he and his boss would be proud of.
Considering Ryan’s dilemma, an adjustment in perspective might be very helpful. From his point of view, everyone else is to blame for his misery. But what if he stepped back and told his story from a new perspective — his boss’s. Or that of a stranger who had the power to see and know all. Clearly, the view would be quite different.
So what new perspective might his boss bring?
Through his boss’s eyes, perhaps Ryan would see that his boss is too busy to be thinking about what Ryan should be doing every minute. With over 200 emails a day and meetings lined up end to end, his boss shouldn’t have to check to see if Ryan is happy every minute.
His boss needs people who can be counted on to do what’s expected. And also to act as extra eyes and ears in support of their boss — and the company’s mission. He’d be happy to work with Ryan to help him grow and succeed. But he doesn’t need high maintenance employees who crave reassurance constantly. And who don’t know how to ask for it in a professional rather than needy way.
If Ryan could see through his boss’s eyes, he’d see an employee who is singing “me me me” a lot of the time. And when your day is overflowing with demands, those are not the people you want to connect with or rely upon. You want problem solvers. Not whiners. Nor employees who are seething inside. Even if you don’t realize it, people can feel that.
What about his coworkers?
Maybe, given the new perspective he so sorely needs, Ryan would realize that co-workers don’t especially want to work with him. Are they really being snobs and unfairly excluding him, as he’s been telling his friends? Why isn’t he included in their projects? He’s every bit as good as they are.
Well, just perhaps, they’ve learned to stay away, having worked with him before. I mean, if someone is good and will add to the project, you seek them out. But not if a person takes too much energy — or adds negative energy to the mix. Those are not the first ones you’re going to choose for your team.
From Ryan’s perspective, he feels sure he is someone everyone would want to work with. He knows he’s good at what he does. But with a new perspective and clearer pair of eyes, he might realize that he has not reached out to be a team player. And his “me me me” song of Ryan has not made anyone want to add him to their chorus.
What else might a new perspective show him?
It’s hard for us to see our real selves and how people perceive us. But actions and feedback through actions should get someone thinking. Hopefully, he’d see that the people his boss favors are self-starters who don’t need any hand-holding — the way he does. And who don’t sit around whining.
Then, just maybe, a light would go on inside. And he’d realize that he plays a bigger role in creating his own misery than he thought. And, therefore, he could also play a much larger role in turning things around for himself.
Telling a new perspective story
If Ryan doesn’t find the new perspective approach useful without some extra help, he could try telling the story of “Ryan at Work”. It’s still using the new perspective point of view, but the story may help him see things more clearly.
As a starting point, he could use the words “I am responsible for the way this turned out because…” Or “What I could have handled differently is….”
And then he could let himself tell the story as honestly as possible, letting everything that pops into his head spill out. Without self-blame or any self-censorship. And even with a smile, if he can manage it. After all, humans have always needed a little help to truly see themselves as others do.
It may sting a bit at first. But if we can learn from it and let it go, then we can start fresh at any point. After all, we’re part of a whole and need to see ourselves that way. Me-centered thinking not only keeps you in an isolated place, but it comes back to bite you in the end.
A few more thoughts
Using this new perspective technique can help break us out of the “me-centered” focus of being done TO. And that internal shift can help us begin taking responsibility for our own experiences. That’s a huge step, even if it takes time to get it exactly right. Or at least a whole lot better.
No one wants the pressure of perfection. Plus that could take forever. But even small changes can get you back on the team as a welcome and desired member. And that’s a perspective everyone can feel good about!
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