by Lest Weaver
Clash Daily Contributor
Visualize a four-person emotional interface, that for this purpose, we will identify as a “room”. In the center of that room is a small square table with those four persons, each sitting at a different side of the table, facing one-another. For the sake of identification, name those positions (persons) as we would a compass: N, S, E, and W. Should you ask each position to comment on the centerpiece, it is likely that the description would be only slightly different? Some might describe it with more or less appreciation of the centerpiece, but only adjectives of their description would likely change. No one would doubt the existence of the centerpiece. Most importantly, each would surely place a different level of appreciation and importance of the centerpiece.
However, if you asked N to describe the room while looking straight ahead, you might hear about the window on the S wall, (directly behind and out of view of S) and visual peripheral hints of a couch at the E wall and a door at the W wall. If you asked S to describe that same room while looking straight ahead, you might hear about a picture on the N wall, (behind and out of view of N) and the same hints of the E and W but not about the window behind S. As the questions of description proceeds around the room, E would not see the couch and W would not see the door.
Each of the four would not see something in that room and yet that which they did not see not only existed, it was the most important item in the view of one of the attendees. All four might or might not recall seeing the other items when they entered the room. But when they described the room, the predominate thing was only that which was in their view. Other characteristics of the room were either not visible or as important from their perspective, yet each item was not only real; it was the most important item in someone’s view.
So it is with the human interface and interchange. You may maintain that certain things are the most important to you but always remember to hear and respect the view of others. To totally deny their view belittles both that person and their view as unimportant. Equally, to deny your view lowers both the view of your opinion and your self-esteem. Your view and the view of the other person, (if unencumbered), though different, are of equal value. Again, hear and respect the view of others.
There is an important qualifier. Never forget who owns the emotional room of the moment. Before you advance your view of a room belonging to someone else, ponder if your view was solicited, important and/or constructive and evaluate tomorrow’s consequences of your description. Too many times people describe how others should view things and disparage them for their different view. Those persons may end up in isolation where they are alone in their own “room” and no longer welcome in the “room” of others.
By just changing the words a little, this also makes a great talk to children. Imagine this if you are compelled to make an ad-hock presentation of personal interfaces and understanding the other person’s point of view.
A simple display using Doll House furniture would be even clearer. For a large audience, with today’s technology, this could be presented on closed circuit T.V. It would certainly grab the interest of your audience and above all, be impacting and clear!
Les Weaver: Born into abject poverty in 1934, he spent his teen years on farms as a foster child and was classified as a farm laborer when he joined the Navy in 1952. After that service, he had a short stint at a University but moved on to 35 years associated with the engineering and technical sciences in Aero-Space, retiring from two Aerospace giants in senior positions and a small business. Until retirement, his writing experience was limited to technical occupational reports. His wife is a German immigrant, now a proud American and together they enjoy gardening. Les takes breaks from gardening to express himself to the politicians by phone, email and now thru ClashDaily/DougGiles.