March 15, 2011
Step Two: Your Reality
“There are no facts, only interpretations.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
The idea behind understand Your Reality (as in someone else’s reality) is to take a personal responsibility in finding their truth. Where Step One focuses on discovering your own truth and reality, Step Two is about discovering where the reality of others begins.
This is often done and best accomplished by placing yourself in a position of vulnerability and trust. Having already understood where and why your reality exists, placing yourself this position helps to understand the reasoning and dissatisfaction of others.
To help others, pass along your answers to the Five Questions in Step One and ask the other members of the team to answer the same Five Questions below. Sharing your answers to the Five Questions will help to share your level of commitment to solving the problems at hand.
While the questions are being answered by other team members, it’s important to remember that realities, no matter how aligned, will always be different. Any of the realities presented will not be real, but interpretations of events.
1) How do I see the current situation?
Ask yourself this question first and allow all your biases to bleed through. While the question may not be answerable immediately, you will be able to see where you believe the problems or conflicts are coming from.
2) What part of the situation frustrates me?
By answering this question you are able to examine not only what it is that frustrates you, but how it frustrates you as well. Recognizing where the distress is located in the conflict means you can identify where your biases are strongest.
3) What were my expectations of myself and how did I meet them?
In every situation we encountered every day of our lives we place expectations on ourselves and others. These expectations in turn shape our view of a situation. By enabling yourself to see your successes and failures in a situation, or even how the expectations you placed on yourself were unreasonable, you are beginning to take yourself out of your reality.
4) What were my expectations of others and how did they meet them?
Seeing your own biases in a situation means examining the expectations you placed on others and what you expected them to deliver. By giving yourself the ability to see where expectations were in the situation and what the reality of the situation allowed you are once again giving yourself the ability to see and understand your biases.
5) How do I see the current situation?
Now that you have delved deeper into your understanding of the conflict and given yourself the ability to see where your biases were and how they affected your expectations ask yourself this question again. This time use some of the realizations you’ve experienced throughout the previous questions to shape your understanding of the situations, free from your original rationalizations.