Of course, you can’t really walk in someone’s shoes.
But, by definition, your relationship means you have a connection with them.
So… how do you improve the relationship without actually taking their footwear?
To put it quite simply: you can pause and ponder.
Indeed … before entering a conversation: Spend a couple minutes shutting down your own recording of your own issues in your own mind and about your own self-importance and reflect on who you are speaking to.
This is Huge!
For example: My daughter returns home from high school, after passing 3,000 students in the hallways multiple times during the day. When she arrives home, she needs a little bit of space. Note to self: her lack of immediate conversation is not an affront to my parenthood … it is merely a reflection of her nature. Walking in her shoes (mentally), reminds me of the challenges she faces.
When calling a friend or family member – don’t download all of your updates without first asking about their updates.
When at work – remember what your co-workers mentioned about their life, a family member struggling with a health issue, a parent who is ill, or financial issues.
When at home – recall when you last saw your neighbor and start the conversation there. “How was your son’s game?” “Your garden looks beautiful!” “Fido sure loves going for a walk.” “How do you like your new car?”
When driving home from work – think about what kind of day everyone at home has had. Children’s day with school? Spouse’s day at work … in or outside the home? And, please pet the dog.
If you are entering a space and you have nothing to follow-up with anyone, ask questions and start the relationship! We need to know about the people around us. We live in community.
Over the next 48 hours, pause before you walk into every new space … rooms in your home, office at work, classroom at school, and even a new aisle in a grocery store.
Focus on the people with whom you are about to interact.
Think of something to ask him or her about their own life.
Then ask or comment as appropriate.
Please do let me know how is it goes!
It’s simply transformational!