In a recent Learning Circle, we explored a potentially heated conversation between two people. One was describing a situation where everything to her seemed set in stone and that changing how things were seemed insurmountable. The other found this mindset unimaginable.
The ah-ha that we came to was: Everybody has their own perspectives. We don’t have to agree with those perspectives. We’re entitled to our own. What matters is our intention in the moment.
If our intention is to change someone’s mind, our behaviour might come across as cold, unempathetic, or even aggressive. If it is to help someone consider a perspective different from their own, our behaviour would more likely come across as warm and empathetic, thereby creating the context for them to contemplate the different perspective.
So when we feel ourselves wanting to or trying to change others’ perspectives (which rarely works anyway), we can, instead, do our best to create the conditions where their perspectives could change.