Looking At Things From Other People’s Points of View

Looking At Things From Other Peoples Points of View

It’s very easy to lose touch. Politicians, business leaders, football chairmen and headmasters. Sometimes people get stuck seeing things from a perspective that they have become accustomed to, without understanding the impact or thoughts of those who are directly impacted by the decisions they make.

They are there to lead and serve their teams, but they end up lording authority in a bureaucratic manner. As a result they miss the gems of wisdom and insight that are readily available to them.

I loved watching ‘Undercover Boss.’ It’s a show based on a senior executive of a company working undercover in their own firm to investigate how the company really works and identify how it can be improved. Not every boss can go on undercover boss to see other people’s point of view, but online messages are helping lots of people.

And due to the changes in law where people are now legally responsible for the content of their Tweets and comments online, this will result in specific feedback being far more useful. It’s harder for people to hide behind anonymous malicious comments. Mystery Shoppers, Twitter, Yelp, Get Satisfaction, YouTube, Blogs and Facebook all bring us closer to the direct effects that decisions have on other people, others point of view and how other members of the public feel about a company.

Does the flow of information get stuck in management bottlenecks, so that you are not aware how customers feel about your company? Do you bury your head in the sand? What can you do to see things from the ground up? What can you do to look at things from others people’s points of view?

Schedule time in to work on the shop floor, drive the vans, meet the customers, play with Tweetdeck for the day, stop in for a beer after work, read online what is written about your business. Although at times you may feel like it is a waste of time and energy, and your expertise is better spent elsewhere, I think you may be surprised by the ways it changes your outlook.

Contrast person David Clarke from Great Western Hotels with Sir Fred Goodwin from the RBS. Both are heads of large organisations, but one CEO was completely out of touch with how the public and members of staff viewed him. He was making a bunch of bad decisions, which I’m sure he thought were good.

As I’ve learnt painfully from experience, often when there are a number of people who have a similar opinion within your team, you’d be a fool not to listen to them and make the necessary changes. Things may not be communicated in a manner that is easy to hear, may be mixed up with inaccurate or confusing insights or changes may be impossible immediately, but it’s important to spend time understanding why people are upset. They’re normally upset for justifiable reasons, and it’s not enough to say you didn’t know. If you’re the boss, it’s your job to know. And you need to have a realistic workable plan to make the positive changes that have been highlighted.

Make sure you look at things from the ground up, work hard to interpret the messages, try not to get offended by others manner of communication and don’t lose touch with what others say about your company. Understand their point of view.

If you don’t understand them, then ask them; I’m sure they’d be only too willing to share.

After all good feedback doesn’t always come from the closest of friends.