Yesterday was the annual Tour de Shawnee, a non-competitive bike ride around my town. In past years, I have ridden in the front with the fast guys. It was a great ride, because the police made sure all the intersections were safe, they had rest stops with candy and cold drinks, so all I had to do was ride.
This year was a little different. My son works for the local Trek store and they were there providing support. So instead of riding in front, we rode in back and helped out people that ran into problems. It was an enjoyable way to do the ride. We were able to talk more, we got the satisfaction of helping a couple riders out, and we saw riders with a different perspective. They weren’t as concerned with keeping their speed up, having the latest bikes, or the most hi-tech clothing. They were there for fun.
It’s good to change perspectives every once in a while. This is a great technique to help resolve conflicts. Once I was having a disagreement with someone in another department because she wasn’t supporting a new process I was deploying. I had executive support and was just steam-rolling ahead, not stopping to think why she wasn’t on the same page. It wasn’t until I took the time to see things from her perspective that I understood it wasn’t that she didn’t support my process, she just didn’t have the resources to help me out. Once I realized that, we were able to reach an alternate solution that everyone was happy with.
So next time you’re facing conflict, think about the other person’s perspective and how things might look from the back.