Friday, February 19, 2010

Respect the Other Person’s Model of the World.

People can look at the same thing and yet come to very different conclusions - everyone has a unique model of the world.

Take the example of the compass.

The traditional compass is made from a suspended magnetized iron needle. The suspended needle automatically aligns itself in a north-south direction along the earth’s axis.

The earliest Chinese compass has the pointing device in the shape of a ladle. From ancient times till today, the Chinese who invented the compass refer to the device as the “south pointing instrument”.

Years later when the compass spread to Europe, unlike the Chinese, the Europeans considered the north, the cardinal direction.

The same magnetized needle aligned along the same axis. One group sees it as pointing south, and another sees it as pointing north. Point north, or point south, the compass works equally well.

The same observation applies to individuals. Everyone lives in the same world and yet all of us have our unique model of the world. Each of us has a different map of the world based on our own beliefs, attitudes, experiences, and our interpretation of these experiences.

And, in each of our model of the world, our beliefs, our attitudes, and our perspectives are true.

Who is right? Who is wrong? Who can tell?

The good news is, we can all hold on to our own maps of the world, without having to agree! And, to communicate effectively with others, respect their model of the world for what it is, just their model of the world.

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