Putting Oneself in Someone’s Shoes

I felt that man’s ability to put oneself in someone’s shoes, the competence of “Empathic Intelligence”, so much important for a leader’s success, is slowly and gradually diminishing in our society. I felt so, reading, on the one hand, the perception of the global media on Indian politics and on the other hand the US elections – the top 2 largest democracies in our world. Most of the articles seemed being neutral and factual, is what that troubled me.

At the same time, I felt relieved, that I am doing my bit in incorporating this competency in all our doHow® programs, which is the main theme of my blog today.

In my understanding, almost always our behaviours 24×7 are driven by our sub-conscious mind. I came to this understanding as I learnt of “Readiness Potential” and read quite a few books on neuroscience describing how good a “Prediction Machine” our mind is. My understanding gets continuously reinforced everyday during my morning walk, as I thank my mind for taking care of me despite the huge number of opportunities to trip and fall.

Mindset and Culture

I have understood that the mindset drives perceiving, thinking, deciding, and acting or responding as an individual and culture that of a team or a group.
You are probably correct if you have concluded that we really don’t have free will at all. At the same time, you may also be wrong, when it comes to a handful of the almost 8 billion people in our world, who have attained the final state of selflessness – स्थितप्रज्ञा Sthitaprajña, a feat accomplished by this handful.

Let me know come back to most of us who are driven by our sub-conscious mind’s real-time predictions. Originating from this understanding, I introduced these four families of contextual hints in the doHow® Game for the participants to speak:

  • PERCEIVING by Others: Specify ‘Other(s)’, put yourself in their shoes, and then describe the actual reality (Feeling, Emotion, Image, Sound, Smell, Taste, Facts, Data, Information, Timing, Size, Location, etc.) as perceived by others regarding….
  • THINKING by Others: Specify ‘Other(s)’, put yourself in their shoes, and then explain the typical drivers identified by others, after thinking the cause and effect, influencing….
  • DECISION by Others: Specify ‘Other(s)’, put yourself in their shoes, and then explain how others are deciding, communicating and guaranteeing effective and smooth implementation of their decisions when it comes to…
  • CONSISTENCY by Others: Specify ‘Other(s)’, put yourself in their shoes, and then explain how others are acting/behaving for achieving consistency in their actions when it comes to…
Others doHow Cards

Continual Improvement, Stakeholder Needs and Expectations, Governance and Compliance, Sustainable Trustworthy Relationships, and Monitoring overall experience are a sample of the contextual hints for the doHow® Game Edition “Sharpening Webworkshop for Leadership and Management Skills”.

In every doHow® Session we conduct, some participants get to speak on one of these topics, apart from many other contextual hints. Initially, I used to get very shocked when the participants normally spoke of their own point of view, while attempting to put themselves in someone’s shoes. Now I have got used to this experience and am trying to carefully listen to what they are saying and confront them by rephrasing what they said which seemed to be their own point of view. Doing so consistently has resulted in people really learning this competency, which has naturally resulted in better teamwork apart from the participants feeling less stressful even with more challenging targets.

I will end my blog as usual with a quote by Dev Patnaik:

“The best organizations and the ones that survive economic tsunamis are those with emphatic cultures and managers who are able to step outside themselves and walk in someone else’s shoes.”

The key is to practice putting oneself in someone’s shoes. I wish that we can become a better world with more and more people learning this skill, by doing and not just by knowing!

Happy Reading!

1 thought on “Putting Oneself in Someone’s Shoes”

  1. I have no words to explain… Absolutely the need of the hour. Hats off to your blogs. They add a great value. Thank you and keep sending the same to me

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