If nothing else, 2016 has shone a very strong and revealing light on the seemingly polarised nature of society. Our ability to see, hear, repeat and convey from a singular point of view.
“They just don’t get it”
“Why can’t they open their eyes?”
“It’s right in front of them, they’re just too…”
They. Their. Them.
In the ontological approach to coaching, there is a model that with the acronym OAR, where O is the observer, A are the actions and R the results. In life we are often taught to focus on the latter two: first we do stuff and in return we expect stuff to happen. When the results don’t go as we want, we change the actions, or repeat them twice as hard.
Seldom, do we consider the fact that the range of actions that we observe, might not be the entire and only options. In other words, we see things entirely from our perspective. Which is only human, but also limiting.
The model suggests that if we widen our perspective as observers, then the range of possible actions and potential results will also increase.
The boss who “always” seems to make the “wrong” decision?
The spouse who “never” understand what you want?
The stranger that voted the other way to you?
It seems to me that their is often no absolute “right”, no definitive answer. Just people observing, making actions and seeing results. And given the different experiences, different lifestyles, different upbringings and existences we have, the range of observations are going to be entirely different too.
We like to believe that we are enlightened and that others some how need to catch up to our perspective. But what if, instead, we chose to try and understand the point of view, ask ourselves what they might see that we don’t, what they might understand?
They. Their. Them.
Entirely natural, but unhelpful. And ultimately limiting ourselves as well.