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Perceptual Positions

Perceptual Positions is taking another position outside of the view you may normally hold.

For instance, in a conflict, you may take the position of the other person – sitting inside their mind and body to change your view of them. Or a fly on the wall and notice what would be different from over there.

Perceptual Positions

Perceptual Positions is taking another position outside of the view you may normally hold. For example, if you are having difficulties in a relationship or experiencing a conflict, you can use Perceptual Positions to step outside of your own position and explore other angles.

This technique is widely used in business, political conflict situations and transformational development. In addition to being useful for improving one to one interactions, it’s great for sales teams to consider the position of the customer. It can also be used for presenters considering the position of the audience. The process will enhance your opportunity for success and expand your thinking and awareness.

It can be used before important interactions to prepare, or after in order to learn from the experience.

A powerful tool for ultimate self-awareness.

The process of Perceptual Positions involves four positions

Before you start: Establish your intention in the relationship

  • Position one: Your position looking through your own eyes
  • Position two: The position of the other person looking back at yourself
  • Position three: Fly on the wall looking down on the scene
  • Position four: The Coach (coaching yourself back to empowerment)

At each stage of the process you consider what you see, hear and feel. The key to success is to focus on the information coming through your sensory channels rather than logical thinking. The question to ask yourself or someone you are guiding through the technique is “what do you see, hear and feel?”

The purpose of the coaching position is to identify actions and changes for ongoing improvement when communicating with the individual in future. After experiencing all the positions your internal representation of the situation will change.

Perceptual positions can also used in international conflict resolution. Scilla Elworthy used these principles when she worked for The Oxford Research group many years back.

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