Principle Three – Step One:
Understanding your reality will always come down to understanding what you want, and how you want to get it. It is these views and biases that determine how we see the world, how we interpret events. While these views aren’t the truth for everyone, they become the truth for you. The important part of the three realities that exist is to not get caught in any one, but to understand that all three exist simultaneously. This type of reality perspective is based on your rationalization of events.
When you catch yourself saying “ya but” or “if only” followed by an explanation, you are living in your reality. If you find yourself using an excuse to justify an action you’ve undertaken, then chances are you’ve become trapped in a very deep seated rationalization.
As you try to rationalize your thoughts and actions you blind yourself to the realities of others. Allowing yourself to sink into your own reality creates a rift between you and your team members which can be difficult to rectify if left unchecked.
Understanding the bias and views that exist within your reality allows you to take a step back, understand your rationalizations and in turn more clearly view the realities of others.
While there is no proven method for instantly resolving the problems that arise from being in one’s realities there are some questions to ask yourself that do help the process.
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.