The 101% Principle – a Key to Connected Influence


I once worked with a woman who rubbed just about everyone in the office the wrong way.  She was really good at her job, as she and I had some shared interests, but we never bonded.  By the end of my time with that employer, I found it very difficult to socialize with her, though I still managed to work with her on professional matters.


August 2015. Photo by Tasha M. Troy

I tell my students that any time you have two or more people in the same room, you’ll have disagreement and possibly conflict.  No one agrees 100% on everything.

However, it seems some people thrive on focusing on areas of disagreement while others seem able to get along with everyone.  What could their secret be?

John Maxwell, the most prolific leadership writer, talks about the “101% Principle,” which states that when you are interacting with anyone, you should look for the 1% you agree on, then give it 100% of your effort.  I believe this is the secret great connectors understand.


A special moment with my mentor John Maxwell. Photo by Christian Del Rosario.

In order to give that 1% agreement your full effort, you have to take your attention completely off of yourself.  This is exactly what not only John Maxwell says but also Mark Goulston and John Ullmen in their book Real Influence.

While I sincerely believe any two people can not agree on all points, I equally believe the inverse is true – you’ll never find someone with whom you have nothing in common.  I challenge you to become a “common ground detective” with everyone you meet.  You will be surprised by what you discover!















The Heart of the Matter – Adding Value


Have you experienced a time when someone went above and beyond the “call of duty”?  Perhaps it was a parent, a teacher, a mentor, or a friend.

Photo by Tasha M. Troy

Photo by Tasha M. Troy

When I first starting writing this blog last year, it took me a while to find my voice and my style.  At that time, a friend of mine agreed to help me by previewing my articles.  What I didn’t know was that this friend has a background in publishing.  He didn’t just preview, but he gave detailed feedback, pointing out gaps in the flow of information and providing valuable suggestions.  His input helped establish a firm foundation for everything that has followed.  He genuinely did so much more for me than I had anticipated.

My friend demonstrated the final step in the connected influence model, which is “when you’ve done enough … do more.”  If you want to have principled, integrity-based influence in people’s lives, you have to go above and beyond what’s expected; you have to go the “extra mile.”

John Maxwell says that “leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.”  That being the case, his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership provides 21 strategies for increasing your influence.  Law #5, the Law of Addition, states that “leaders add value by serving others.”  He says, “I believe the bottom line in leadership isn’t how far we advance ourselves but how far we advance others.  That is achieved by serving others and adding value to their lives” (p. 51).  This is the essence of connected influence.

Connected listening is the starting point of connected influence (or connected leadership).  Once you truly understand another’s point of view, hopes, goals, and challenges, you may be able to move forward together.  Mark Goulston and John Ullmen, in their book Real Influence, draw a connection between “the 3 gets” of step 3 with “the 3 value channels” of step 4:

  • You get “it” –> you can add insight
  • You get “them” –> you can add emotional value
  • You get their path to progress –> you can add practical value

No matter how much you understand, until you help the other person by adding value to them, you are no more than a sympathetic ear.  Don’t get me wrong – one of our greatest needs as humans is to feel heard and understood, so being a sympathetic ear is adding value to someone.  However, in order to take your influence to the next level, you will have to invest in people by pointing them towards solutions.

My challenge to you for this week is to identify one person in your life who you would like to develop greater influence with.  Make a point of asking about that person’s situation and look for opportunities to provide support and creative suggestions.  If you have never done something like this before, you will be amazed by the results.


Links and Resources:

Previous posts on this topic

Previous Posts on the Connected Influence Model

The Journey from “Their There”


Have you ever felt like you just haven’t connected with someone and wondered why?  I recently experienced a serious disconnect with a friend.

Photo by Tasha M. Troy

Photo by Tasha M. Troy

She was explaining something that she was very interested in, going into great detail about how her solution would benefit me, too.  However, while her solution is perfect for her and her season of life, it is totally unsuitable for my situation.  I chose to let her talk instead of cutting her short, primarily because I wanted to let her express her enthusiasm.  The sad result, though, was feeling a major disconnect from my friend, which is likely to damage my willingness to be open with her unless I take some deliberate steps to change the situation.

She did not meet me in “my here” when she was trying to influence me.

The third step in the connected influence model is to meet the other person in “their there.”  This step must come after connected listening; because you now understand the other person’s perspective, you can start there and take them on a journey to help them see your perspective.

To define “their there,” Mark Goulston and John Ullmen talk about the “three gets of engage”:

  1. You get “it” – you have taken the time to truly understand their perspective and their unique situation.
  2. You get “them” – you see them for who they are, with all their strengths and weaknesses, hopes and struggles.
  3. You get their path to progress – you understand the steps they can take to move in the direction of their goals, taking into consideration their values and concerns.

To go back to my situation with my friend, it was clear after just a few minutes that she didn’t get “it” – she did not understand my situation and my priorities.  Even though she gets “me,” without “it” she can’t get my path to progress.

In order for our friendship to move forward, I will have to have a conversation with her when we are not rushed for time.  I will have to meet her in “her there” by digging deeper into her situation, then step-by-step I may be able to help her see my perspective more clearly.  If she is ready for that small journey, then perhaps we will still be able to have an open friendship.


Links and Resources:

Previous posts on this topic

Watch Your Blind Spot!

Photo by Tasha M. Troy

Photo by Tasha M. Troy

Several years ago while I was living in South Korea, I met my parents in Hawaii for a short vacation.  Since I was scheduled to arrive considerably earlier than my family coming from the mainland, my father suggested I pick up the rental car and check out Honolulu, which I thought was an excellent idea.

As I was driving around, I made a last-minute decision to get into a left-turn lane.  When I checked, the lane appeared to be clear.  Suddenly, I heard a “thump!” and realized that there was a motorcyclist there!  Clearly I had failed to check my blind spot.  Fortunately, I didn’t injure the driver, but I was quite shaken by the experience.

We are all familiar with the concept of a blind spot while driving, but very few are familiar with mental blind spots.

Step 2 in Mark Goulston and John Ullmen’s connected influence model is listening past your blind spot.  They define your “blind spot” as the condition of being immersed in your own perspective:

Your brain doesn’t merely have a blind spot when it comes to driving; it also has a blind spot when it comes to influencing.  And like a driver who changes lanes without checking to see what’s in the blind spot, you’re dangerous when you’re blinded by your own point of view. (p. 11)

The primary skill needed is “level 4 listening,” but because I have already written a bit about the importance of connective listening, I will focus here on another necessary, yet often overlooked element: “to influence, be influenceable.”

IMG_5249When I talk to clients and friends about being open-minded and influenceable, I tend to get a bit of push-back.  They say they don’t want to be “so opened minded their brain falls out,” and they express concern that being open to others’ ideas means they will have to compromise their values and principles.

However, I have found Goulston and Ullmen’s explanation to be an excellent way of looking at this so-important element of developing influence with another:

Being influenceable isn’t about giving in, giving up, being weak or soft, being scared, or being any less committed to your principles and to achieving excellent results.  And being influenceable doesn’t mean that you’re not going to disagree.

What being influenceable does mean is that you go into every conversation being willing to believe that you may be partially or totally wrong; that the other person may be partially or completely right; and that even if the other person isn’t right, you will learn something valuable from your interaction.

Being influenceable means being both open-minded and open-hearted.  People tend to open their minds to people who’ve opened their own minds, and to open their hearts to people who permit themselves to be touched.  When you want to strengthen your influence with others who see things differently, being vulnerable is more potent than being impervious.  (p. 108)

If we truly value people in general, we need to first look for the value they bring to any relationship without imposing our own expectations or perspectives on them.  To me, this is the essence of being open-minded.  Even someone I disagree with violently on most things will have something of value to add to my life.  This doesn’t relieve me of responsibility; being influenceable  means we have greater responsibility to evaluate new ideas as they are presented, but it doesn’t mean we dismiss the people who share those ideas.

This week I dare you to open your mind and your heart to truly hear someone else, especially if that someone has dramatically different views than you do.


Links and Resources:

Previous posts on this topic


Great Outcomes and Shared Interests


In 2004, I was living and working in S. Korea.  It was the first time I experienced a US presidential election while living overseas, and I was truly surprised by the interest my Korean friends and connections showed in the election.  In retrospect, it made sense; the policy decisions in the US have wide-sweeping impacts around the globe.  It was at that point that I started paying even more attention to US foreign policy.


Photo by Tasha M. Troy

In their book Real Influence, Mark Goulston and John Ullmen describe four steps in their “connected influence” model.  The first step is “go for great outcomes,” which they define as “standing for something noble and worthwhile, … about going beyond where people want to be and showing them where they could be” (p. 39).  This is what I hope to accomplish in this post.

Standing for Something Noble:  America was once considered a world leader, promoting democracy and human rights, resisting totalitarianism, fighting for freedom and liberty.  There is something inspiring in the images of Captain American and Superman, however unrealistic they may be.

However, that image was not entirely accurate.  We have not always used our power and influence wisely or ethically.  I was first made aware of the “dark side” of American exceptionalism when I was in high school and I learned about US intervention in other nations having catastrophic impacts on those nations.

As an example, I wrote a report for my history class my senior year in high school on the effects of US intervention in Nicaragua.  I discovered that by supporting a “right-wing dictator” in the first half of the 20th century, the US actually set the stage for the communist regime to gain power in the 1970s.

Strangely enough, we still haven’t learned our lesson; we are still supporting repressive regimes in other countries, leading to the loss of civil liberties and human rights in places such as Iraq and Ethiopia.

Closer to home, we hear in the news everyday of injustices being perpetrated on the disadvantaged, the underprivileged, the different.  We tried to tell ourselves that prejudice was dead, but we see across the country that it is alive and well.  I know I am not exempt, though I strive to identify and eliminate judgmental attitudes in myself.

Where People Want to Be:  Clearly, these injustices can not be allowed to continue, either at home or abroad.  I believe people want to see economic inequality and racial prejudices not merely reduced but completely eliminated, personal freedoms ensured.  What I envision is a world where every person is enabled to reach their God-given potential.

Where I think we have trouble is that we disagree on precisely how to accomplish this.  Some may think it is impossible and have given up, but I still have hope.  A first step is “healing the timeline.”

Dutch Sheets, in his book An Appeal to Heaven, talks about “healing the timeline.”  By this, he means that we as a nation need to recognize the injustices in our own history (and present), not deny or ignore them, and actively and humbly seek reconciliation.

We humans engage in denial at times, because it seems to alleviate the pain, but God doesn’t.  His plan, as Isaiah said, is always to “rebuild … raise up … repair … restore” the broken timelines.  The mending of these breaks allows the pain of the past to heal, not be buried.  … Without true healing, this cycle of pain repeats itself generation after generation. …

Through humility, repentance, God’s love, and forgiveness, we can heal history’s timeline. (p. 22-24)

Showing Them Where They Could Be:  After World War 2, we were the thought leaders of the world.  We were respected even by those who disliked us.  Still today, for good or ill, the US holds great influence on nations and individuals near and far.  To deny that influence is to perpetuate injustice.  We have to get our own house in order so that we can once again be an influence for human rights, justice, and liberty.


Links and Resources:

An Invitation – Join me for a live Q&A call, Thursday, July 16, at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

Real Influence: Persuade without Pushing and Gain without Giving by Mark Goulston and John Ullmen

An Appeal to Heaven by Dutch Sheets

  • A short, quick, easy read, full of hope for the future of America.

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler.

  • A systematic approach to difficult conversations that can make or break a relationship; more focused on specific types of conversations than Real Influence.



Where do we go from here?


I have been watching current events closely.  It appears that the divisions in the US between different groups are only continuing to widen, and a resolution to our issues seems more and more unlikely.


US Supreme Court, April 28, 2015; photo by Tasha M. Troy

In just the past few weeks, we’ve seen clear evidence that the racial, social, and ideological divide (which I am trying to bridge) continues to widen.

  • The June 17 shooting at a historic Black church, killing 9 and setting off a series of church burnings.
  • The June 26 Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, causing great rejoicing at the affirmation of civil rights for some and deep mourning at the loss of civil liberties for others.


At this point, it seems the only voices I clearly hear are from either extreme end of the spectrum, spewing fear and hate; only those who are deeply entrenched in their positions are heard.  Under these conditions, the situation will only continue to get worse.  Some have voiced concerns of a coming race war; others fear the further loss of first amendment rights.  The future, indeed, looks bleak.

However, I believe that as long as there is life, there is hope.

Yes, I still hope that things can and will get better.  I believe communication is the root of all relationship, and if we are going to truly bridge the divides we see here in the US (and in other countries as well), we have to stop broadcasting our entrenched opinions and start listening.

In the coming weeks, I will write more about what I believe we as a nation need to start doing in order to begin healing the divisions and schisms among us.  I truly believe it begins with what Mark Goulston and John Ullmen call “connected influence.”  If you’ve been reading Bridging the Divide for very long, you probably know I think very highly of their book Real Influence.

I believe their four-stage model is the key to turning things around in our country.

  1. Go for great outcomes: the US was once considered the greatest nation in the world, but not today.  I believe the US can be great once more – if certain criteria are met.  (Clarification – I am not talking about “American Exceptionalism” here; I will write more of my thoughts about this next week.)
  2. Listen past your blind spot: we do too much talking and not enough listening.
  3. Engage them in their there: we have to meet others where they are, not expecting them to come to us first.
  4. When you’ve done enough … do more: there is no short-term fix; we have to take the long view and invest for the future.

In the weeks ahead, I will lay out my thoughts on how we, as a nation, can walk in connected influence in such a way as to bring healing to our society.  Yes, I know I am a bit idealistic, but I am still hopeful that we can find common ground and move forward as a nation.


Links and Resources:

Read my review of Real Influence

Website for Real Influence: Persuade without Pushing and Gain without Giving In

Series of blog posts by Mark Goulston and John Ullmen based on the concepts in Real Influence: Persuade without Pushing and Gain without Giving In

YouTube Playlist of interview with Dr. Mark Goulston

Communication Fundamentals course on, taught by John Ullmen


The Four Barriers to Connection – The Double Curse of Knowledge


By Tasha M. Troy

John Maxwell says that “connecting is the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them.”IMG_7296

If this is the case, it really makes sense for us to learn how to connect better in order to have greater influence with the people around us. Today I’m wrapping up a short series on the four barriers to connection.


The Barrier:

The fourth and final barrier is called the double curse of knowledge. Barrier number three was about when you are wrong; barrier number four is about when you are right.

Many times we are so familiar with our topic that everything seems obvious to us, but to people less familiar, there might be large gaps of understanding when we try to explain our ideas or our position.

In the book Real Influence, authors Mark Goulston and John Ullmen describe this barrier as “it isn’t just about them not getting you. It’s also about you not getting them” (p. 31).

They say “the best influencers… understand that the double curse of knowledge is in play in all of their interactions. These people realize that it’s all too easy to overestimate their own clarity when they’re communicating, and they are aware that they’re not always getting the full message when other people are trying to get through. It’s this knowledge that saves them from appearing arrogant and condescending when people just don’t get it.”

A Personal Story:

A few years ago, had a student who was extremely resistant to feedback, or even doing the assignments as they were assigned. For six months, the faculty struggled to connect with the student and to convince him to cooperate by doing the assignments as required.

Finally, during the last couple months of the program, I had him as my student in a writing class. Each week he was required to submit a short assignment on a specific topic, but week after week he submitted something completely different.

Finally it got to the point where he was in danger of failing not only my class but the entire eight month program.  I sat down with him to convince him to complete his assignments so that he could pass the class.  During our conversation, it came out that he was trying to prepare an article for publication, and he would really rather have feedback and editing on that particular article rather than on the assignments that he was required to complete.

Once I understood his perspective, what his priorities were, I was able to propose a solution that he found acceptable. After our meeting, he completed all of his assignments as expected and was able to complete the program successfully.

The Solution:

The solution to the double curse of knowledge is to keep aware of your audience, to do comprehension checks regularly, and to not make assumptions about their background knowledge.

In his book Everyone Communicates Few Connect, John Maxwell describes five connecting principles and five connecting practices.   One of the connecting practices is that connectors do the difficult work of keeping it simple. John Maxwell gives five ways connectors can do this:

  • Talk to people, not above them
  • Get to the point
  • Say it over and over and over and over again
  • Say it clearLy
  • Say less

By using these five strategies, you can be more certain that your audience, whether it’s one person or many, is getting the message you intend to convey. In fact, I would venture that the larger your audience, the more important each of the strategies becomes.


Take It Deeper

If you would like to go deeper on this topic, I hold free exploratory coaching sessions on Fridays.  You can register online at Troy Communications or email me to schedule an appointment at TMTroy@TroyCommunications.Net



“The Four Traps that Disconnect You” from Real Influence: Persuade without Pushing and Gain without Giving In by Mark Goulston and John Ullmen.  Read my review of Real Influence

The first barrier: The Fight or Flight Response

The second barrier: The Habit Handicap

The third barrier: Error Blindness



The Four Barriers to Connection – The Fight or Flight Response


By Tasha M. Troy

John Maxwell says that “connecting is the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them.”

IMG_6651If this is the case, it really makes sense for us to learn how to connect better in order to have greater influence with the people around us. Today I’m starting a short series on the four barriers to connection.

The Barrier:

The first barrier is the fight or flight response. Most of us are aware that when we are under stress our body reacts in very primitive ways. This is the fight or flight response: “you want to either escape from the people who are upsetting you or hurt them” (Real Influence p. 20).

When you’re under stress and you fall into the fight or flight, it becomes impossible to connect with the people you’re interacting with. As Dr. Goulston and Dr. Ullmen say, your nervous system “doesn’t know the difference between a tyrannosaurus and a tyrannical boss.”

A Personal Story:

I experienced this recently when I asked a friend for some feedback on a project that didn’t turn out as I had intended. This particular friend had watched me go through the process, and I thought he would have some great insights that would help me to do better on similar projects in the future.

When I got his feedback, however, I did not react so well. His initial observation wasn’t anything I was expecting, and I definitely went into the flight or fight response. As a result, I did great damage to our friendship, and even today it is still in the recovery phase.

As I have reflected on this particular situation, I have come to realize that I frequently respond to this particular friend in a fight or flight response, especially when we communicate by email. As a result, I have set myself a requirement that anytime he says or does something that upsets me, I will wait 48 hours before I respond. This way I give myself time to get out of the fight or flight mode and time to respond in a more rational, calm, and connective way.

The Solution:

The solution to breaking the fight or flight response is to focus on the other person’s feelings.

In his book Everyone Communicates Few Connect, John Maxwell describes five connecting principles and five connecting practices.  One of the five connecting principles is that “connecting is all about others.”  He lists three questions that people are always asking when they’re interacting with you:

  1. Do you care for me?
  2. Can you help me?
  3. Can I trust you?

Stepping back and taking a moment to identify these three questions and how the other person might be trying to answer them can help you break out of the fight or flight cycle.


Take It Deeper

If you would like to go deeper on this topic, I hold free exploratory coaching sessions on Fridays.  You can register online at Troy Communications or email me to schedule an appointment at TMTroy@TroyCommunications.Net




“The Four Traps that Disconnect You” from Real Influence: Persuade without Pushing and Gain without Giving In by Mark Goulston and John Ullmen.  Read my review of Real Influence

The second barrier: The Habit Handicap

The third barrier: Error Blindness

The fourth barrier: The Double Curse of Knowledge

Book Review: Real Influence


I find that I am frequently referring to the book Real Influence: Persuade without Pushing and Gain without Giving In by Dr. Mark Goulston and Dr. John Ullmen.  I thought it might be of value to you to provide a review of the book since it has had such a strong positive impact on me.

In an age when persuasion techniques are often spotted a mile away, we find that traditional forms of influence are no longer effective; the authors call this “disconnected influence.”  They present a contrasting model they term “connected influence,” a method of building relationships that can lead to long lasting influence.

Dr. Goulston is a business psychiatrist and consultant who specializes in communication skills, while Dr. Ullmen is an executive coach and business professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.  Together, they bring considerable expertise and experience to their topic.


The book is divided into seven sections:

  • Section 1 – The Problem: Why Are You Struggling to Influence People? – covers the problems associated with disconnected influence, addresses the elements of human nature that keep us using a method of influence that is often counterproductive, and introduces the concept of connected influence.
  • Sections 2-5 explain and illustrate each of the four steps of connected influence in detail – Go for Great Outcomes, Listen Past Your Blind Spot, Engage Them in “Their There,” and When You’ve Done Enough … Do More.
  • Section 6 – Taking Real Influence to the Next Level – explores the role of connected influence in difficult circumstances.
  • Section 7 – Putting It All Together – provides four in-depth case studies of connected influence in action.

Each chapter is full of real-life examples from the extensive interviews Drs. Goulston and Ullmen conducted as well as illustrations from their own lives.  They do an excellent job of making a very abstract topic concrete and relatable.  Additionally, each chapter, with the exception of those in Section 1, ends with useable insights and actions steps, empowering the reader to immediately begin implementing the principle in that chapter.


In the last year, I have read all or part of several books on leadership, communication, negotiations, and influence.  This has been one of the easiest to read and apply to both my personal and professional life.

The principles described are found in many other places – Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life by Stuart Diamond; Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton; The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell – but I greatly appreciated the structure and organization of the book as well as the myriad of examples and illustrations.  I also enjoyed the writing style used, which came across as friendly and helpful.  The authors are both knowledgeable experts, but they never come across as talking down to their readers.

Two of the most useful discoveries I’ve made in this book were the “power thank-you” and “power apology.”  Described in “Chapter 13: Do More Before, During, and After,” the power thank-you is more than simply showing gratitude; it is a 3-part communication that also shows an understanding of the recipient’s perspective and the possible motivations behind the person’s kind acts.  Similarly, a power apology, explained in “Chapter 18: Influence Positively After You’ve Made Big Mistakes,” takes an apology deeper by explicitly owning our own bad behavior and offering to take steps to rectify the situation.  I believe these two communication structures alone, used sincerely, could save any rocky relationship.

I have found the concepts to be so highly applicable that I have referenced this book in six different articles on this blog:

In conclusion, in both Matthew 20 and Luke 22, Jesus describes the “upside down kingdom” – The greatest among you shall be your servant.  This is the approach to influence described by Drs. Goulston and Ullmen.  While there is not one single reference to Biblical passages or examples in the entire book, the principles described and demonstrated clearly are.  If you are looking for a book on professional communication and influence that embraces Biblical principles, I highly recommend Real Influence.

Links and Resources:

Website for Real Influence: Persuade without Pushing and Gain without Giving In

Series of blog posts by Mark Goulston and John Ullmen based on the concepts in Real Influence: Persuade without Pushing and Gain without Giving In

YouTube Playlist of interview with Dr. Mark Goulston

Communication Fundamentals course on, taught by John Ullmen

Building Trust: “Your Here” and “Their There”


In my last post I mentioned a time that I lost my students’ trust.

Air Force Memorial

Air Force Memorial

There were several poor decisions on my part that led to this situation, but the clincher came when my students were presenting their research to the program administration.

I teach in a very intensive program, for both the students and the teachers, and the students end up presenting their research two different times. The first time, they present a research update to their classmates and the program administration, and I know that the stakes are relatively low. The second time, they present the results of their research to a much larger audience, and the stakes are much higher.

The Air Force Memorial

The Air Force Memorial

One year, thinking that my responsibility during the event was merely to manage the technology, I wasn’t at my best the day of the presentations; after all, I wasn’t presenting. I would never do this when I have to teach, but I didn’t think that I would need to be at the top of my game during the presentations.

The technology was managed without a hitch; however, I dropped the ball in a big way in an other area. 

From the perspective of my students, this was the largest audience some of them had presented to, and while compared to the second presentation this was a low-stakes event, in their eyes it was a high-stakes event.  Because I was focused on only my role, I was not emotionally available for them during the event.  Afterwards, at least two students (out of 12) stated that they had felt abandoned by me.

When I was not able to provide the emotional support my students needed, I lost their trust.

In their book Real Influence, Mark Goulston and John Ullmen talk about being stuck in your here without considering their there.  What they mean is that most people tend to be so entrenched in their own perspective that they aren’t able to connect with others, they aren’t able to understand someone else’s perspective.  This was the root of my mistake – I was so focused on my own perspective that I didn’t take into consideration the perspective of my students, and this cost me dearly.  Just like the two pictures featured on this page reflect different perspectives of the same memorial, we have to be aware of the different perspectives the people around us bring to any given situation.

Once my eyes were opened to my “blind spot” – how entrenched in my own perspective I was – I set to work on repairing the lost trust.  This wasn’t easy; it required me to apologize to certain individuals, and it was necessary for me to go the extra mile in showing personal concern for the success of each student in my class.  By the time the second presentation arrived, I had gained enough trust that I was able to coach them to successfully present to the larger audience.

However, the entire situation could have been avoided if I had only taken my students’ perspective into consideration from the start.

In what areas are you stuck in your here?

If you need help identifying their there, I recommend starting to practice connective listening.