Perspectives. We all have ONE. Successful People have MANY!


We all have one.  Most successful people have many.

You hear people describe this in other ways, such as vision, understanding, success, and leader. But watch the successful people interact with others, listen to what they say and who they say it to, and observe how they can see problems from more than one direction.

If you want to find the best professionals to help you, find the ones that understand perspectives.

They operate differently because they work with the understanding that everyone else has a different perspective.  They also tend to operate with the understanding that everyone else believes their individual perspective is “right.”

If you want to be the best professional, learn to understand perspectives as part of your skill set.

Once you understand these concepts and how they effect how we all interact, you can communicate better because you can now communicate in a manner that fits the other party’s perspective.  This is central to getting others to at least consider what is presented, offered, sold, purchased or provided.


For instance, if you saw each of these on a billboard for a Realtor and could only call one of them for help, which would you select?

Example 1:  Best Team In Town, 25 Years of Experience, We Believe in Service

Example 2:  House Not Selling?  We Solved this Problem for 16 Clients Last Month

Example 1 is what most people create and what most people see and, to be honest, ignore.  That one is “All about the Realtor” but not about the customers.  Me, Me, Me, Me, Me.  You see this type of advertisement for every market and industry, including technology, insurance, plumbers, contractors, roofers, veterinarians, auto repair, landscapers and even advertising agencies.

Example 2 is about the potential customer’s perspective and creates a perspective of a third-party, the other customers.  It talks to the concern of the customer and a possible solution the customer would like. It does not say Me, Me, Me, Me.  In fact, it does not even say “How” or “Why” this Realtor is successful.  And that is why people will call.  They will want to know the secret to the success OTHER customers are having with this Realtor.


Here is an easy exercise for you.

1. Get a magazine from your industry that is distributed to the market of potential customers.

2. IMPORTANT: Think of yourself as a customer, not a professional in your industry.  “BE” the customer.

3. Go through the magazine and look for the advertisements you feel are really only about the people that bought the ad (not as much about the customer) and count the ones you would REALLY LIKE to do business with now based ONLY on the ad (as if you don’t know this company at all).

4. Now go through the magazine again and count the advertisements that you feel are more about the customer and count the ones you would REALLY LIKE to do business with now based ONLY on the ad (not your knowledge of the company).

Which group did the best convincing the customer (you) to consider calling?  Which ads said the same things over and over (and did you believe them)?  Which ads look most like yours?  Is that good or bad?

There are so many other exercises like this we do when working on business communication. I encourage you to find exercises or workshops to improve this skill.  And keep in mind that not everyone will open themselves up enough to accept that their perspective is not the best.  That’s okay. Success is not mandatory.

Seeing and having empathy for other perspectives, whether you agree or not, can be very hard.  And even harder if emotions are involved.  But you can be better at it with practice.  And if you understand that your perspective may not always be right (so stop pushing it on others or defending yours “to the death”), you will be in a position to communicate better for everyone’s sake!

And if you think this is not important or not something you can do (or would want to do), you are probably right.  After all, your perspective is yours, not mine!

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About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.