Understanding different perspectives is a key element in growing richer relationships. Your level of perception is limited by your own belief system. The more you increase your understanding of perception, the better you become at communicating, and the happier you become.
Self-improvement is the easiest and fastest way to improve the quality of your communication. Especially when you consider yourself an introvert.
The question is, how can you improve yourself to benefit your communication with others?
A lot of it comes down to self-awareness. Being conscious of your own level of perception is a great start. From there, you can start to understand other people’s level of perception.
What Is Perception
Perception is the way you perceive reality. Let’s demonstrate this real quick.
Look at something around you that is the color blue. Now ask yourself, is it really blue?
Most people will agree with you that it’s indeed blue. But what about animals or insects, would they agree?
If a spider were to talk, it wouldn’t agree with you. Spiders can’t see the color blue. In fact, it won’t even understand what you mean with blue.
Your Map Is Not The Territory
You’re often convinced that you know reality, whilst in fact, no one does. It’s merely our own perception of reality.
Your perception of reality is your map that you use to navigate yourself through this world.
Everyone has got their own unique map of the world.
Everyone does their best to create the most accurate map of the world. But as human beings, we aren’t able to get this exactly right. There are just too many factors that are in play.
That’s why everyone’s map is just a little bit different.
This doesn’t mean that your map is better than someone else’s. In fact, someone might have some more advanced pieces. This makes it interesting.
Here’s a great Ted talk by Sean Tiffee for you to better understand the gap between perception and reality.
When you understand that everyone has got their own map, you can allow yourself to tap into their map. When you start to do this, you can see and understand why people do the things they do and say the things they say.
Before we dive deeper into that, let’s figure out what forms our perception.
Beliefs & Experiences
Your belief system is mostly shaped by influences in your early life. Factors in your childhood experiences are, for example, the people you hang out with and your parents.
You create your own map of reality based on this belief system.
Even when you go through the exact same stuff together with someone, you’ll still see the experience from a different point of view, thus shaping a completely different map (although it can be similar, depending on how long you’ve known this other person and how strong your bond is).
This is extremely important when you want to understand other people’s perception:
What matters aren’t the experiences you’ve been through, but the meaning you attach to those experiences, that shape your perception of the world.
This is the reason why no 2 people experience the same things. For that matter, we’re truly unique human beings.
Are you ready to become more influential and increase happiness?
Let’s dive into some valuable tools to improve your communication.
#1 – 3 Angles That Change Your Level Of Perception
Have you ever noticed what happens when you’re in disagreement with someone? You’re likely raising your defenses. Maybe it even triggers you to shoot into the offense?
This behavior is our natural protection mechanism.
However, if you want to improve your communication, you don’t want to use these natural instincts. Rather use some intellect and use these 3 angles in your advantage:
Self means from your own perspective. This is the place where you naturally observe from most of the time.
Others mean to be able to step into another person’s shoes. If you really want to understand someone, you’ve to tap into their perception.
You want to see their map of the world.
What’s going on there? Do their actions and what they say make more sense with this new perspective?
Don’t observe with the purpose to judge, observe with the purpose to understand.
All of a sudden, you’re able to understand why someone might be frustrated or upset.
It doesn’t mean that the other person is right, and again, judging isn’t the purpose.
If this doesn’t work, you can try to fly out of your body and observe the whole situation from an outer-body experience. This is the helicopter view.
I’m dead serious.
It works great because you can leave perceptions behind for a moment. This angle allows you to observe whilst leaving your emotions off the table.
Try and do this now because it takes practice. Try to step out of your own body and see yourself sitting or standing right now. Now observe with curiosity.
You’ve got to practice the helicopter view if you want to use this tool effectively when discussions are heating up.
#2 – Interact With Curiosity
Curiosity is one of the greatest human gifts on this planet. Yet, most of us don’t use it often enough because we’re afraid to say something that makes us look stupid.
“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.”
– Albert Einstein
You must leave this limited thinking behind if you want to reach happiness faster. In fact, you’ve got to bring curiosity to every conversation for the benefits of everyone.
Curiosity in this context means that you need to put yourself in the shoes of James Bond.
Your mission is to figure out what someone’s map looks like.
Doing this isn’t only fun, you can learn a lot of new things about the other person and about yourself, that you’ve never considered before.
#3 – Become An Observer
You can stay in the role of James Bond for now. To become an observer you want to pay attention to someone’s body language.
Is the person looking at you or looking away whilst talking? Is their breathing pattern relaxed or hasted? And is the person taking space or crawled up?
Bring curiosity to your observations. Just by observing, you can find out how someone’s feeling.
Understanding how someone is feeling is the key to effective communication.
That’s why you always want to make sure that you’re feeling great at first.
Words alone can often be misleading or used as a distraction to cover up what’s really going on.
But body language reveals the secrets that lie within.
#4 – Spot Incongruence
Spotting Incongruencies builds upon your Bond skills. And you don’t have to be an expert to notice when someone isn’t telling the truth.
When someone says that they’re doing fine but their body language is giving you different signals, you can almost be certain that something is wrong.
Try to tap into their map of the world and why they aren’t telling you the truth right now.
Maybe they don’t want to tell you the truth, because the last time they did you reacted in a defensive way.
Instead, allow them to open up and share what’s on their mind without judgment. If you can do this consistently, it builds trust and the relationships will start to flower.
#5 – Be Aware Of What Really Matters
What’s important in communication is that despite our differences, you need to try to understand the other person’s level of perception.
You can win an argument and yet create a lose-lose situation. How’s that possible?
“You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.”
– Dale Carnegie
It’s possible because we’re creatures of emotion, not logic. Despite winning an argument on logic, you can both feel worse afterward.
What matters isn’t who’s wrong and who’s right. What matters is to understand where the other person is coming from.
Before getting into an argument, think about the end result, both logically and emotionally.
So, do you want to win the argument or do you want to solve the issue?
#6 – Nothing Is Black & White
No single argument is either black or white. Of course, we all naturally want to take that standpoint and defend it.
But we can agree that there are more than 50 shades of grey, right?
A black and white approach can ruin connections because it’s completely based on logic. If you don’t take that option, we’ll take this option.
And as Steven Covey states in his book, the 7 habits of highly effective people, this is exactly how you create a win-lose scenario.
Understanding perceptions allow you to create true win-win situations.
Let your communication thrive and everyone’s happiness rise!
Inside Out Approach To Understanding Perception In Communication
You might have noticed that all those tools focus on our own behavior and understanding.
When you understand that everyone operates on a different level of perception, you understand that everyone got a different map.
Mastering this understanding is nothing else than being able to understand someone else’s map.
With this insight, you can create win-win situations, increase your influence, and solve problems effectively.
Enjoy The Different Perceptions
Enjoying the process is the mindset you need whilst you’re exploring other people’s maps. The discoveries you can make can widen your perception of communication
These simple tools take time to master. But when you start using them today, you’ll improve the quality of your communication immediately.
Enjoying the process is key to making any strategy work. If you want a simple strategy that can help you to take control over your own life, take a look at this ebook.
What you conceive as reality is merely your own perception of reality. Your level of perception creates the map that you use to navigate yourself through life.
Everyone’s level of perception is different and it’s important that you understand this. You’ve discovered what tools you can use to take a look at someone’s map of the world. Those were:
- 3 Angles That Change Your Level Of Perception
- Interact With Curiosity
- Become An Observer
- Spot Incongruence
- Be Aware Of What Really Matters
- Nothing Is Black & White
If you want to see an immediate result in your relationships, read this simple secret.