Perspective: View from a High Horse

Recently I had occasion to reflect on the importance of perspective in business relationships. My reflection started with two concepts. The first? Worldview. I’ve studied worldview in the religious/spiritual context and buy into the concept. It’s easy for me to believe that a person’s worldview can color their response or reaction to statements, behaviors, and ideas. In a professional context, it is the fundamental perspective derived from an individual’s, department’s or company’s professional exposure, experience and influence. Let’s call it workview.

The second concept stirring my reflection was that of “love languages”. Gary Chapman theorizes that there are five primary universal and comprehensive ways of expressing and interpreting love. Everyone has a love language, and we each identify predominantly with one of the five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. The brunt of Chapman’s theory is that unless you are showing someone love in their primary love language, you are running the risk that your efforts are not actually interpreted as love. (If you’re not comfortable “loving” your professional contacts, feel free to substitute “respect” for “love”.)

Since the people we interact with professionally are still in fact people, it stands to reason that 1) their distinct workviews will color their responses or reactions to statements, behaviors and ideas, and 2) the language or methods we use to address them may be interpreted based on their primary love language rather than ours. It’s my theory that an understanding of and belief in these concepts can improve our communication, patience and productivity. Here are some specific tactics where this understanding may have such an effect:

1)      The Pause – If we are entrenched in these ideas of perspective and compassion, reflection should become par for the course – we might just think before we speak.

2)      The Approach – The vehicle you choose for your message may also affect its reception. If you tune into people’s responses you may learn that you communicate better with some people by written word, some by spoken word, and some with face-to-face conversations. Just as you shift your perspective to understand workview, so should you consider your audience’s preferred method of communication…not just the communication method you perceive as your strongest vehicle.

3)      The Sandwich – As one of my favorite bosses taught me, sometimes you need to go with a pro-con-pro method. A person whose love language is Words of Affirmation, for example, may buck if you give them direct criticism but drink up your words (including the criticism) if you’re affirming them in the process.

4)      The Nod – You may include someone in a conversation or ask their advice even when their input is not needed. This is a good way to reassure the insecure and/or familiarize yourself with someone’s workview.

So there it is – a blurry reflection transformed into written word. I’d like to sift through the murk and make more sense of these ideas, but I think some percolation will improve the efforts. Do you have any thoughts to contribute? Do any applicable situations come to your mind?

On a personal note: Just a few short hours after these thoughts started tumbling around in my head, my husband and I had an argument. I assumed my fighting stance and totally and utterly failed to consider his perspective or primary love language. Talk about getting knocked off your high horse!


9 responses to “Perspective: View from a High Horse

  1. The Alexander Technique People favor what they call “inhibition” – and they train that issue real hard. The idea is to not instinctivly react to an impuls but to stop for a moment, consider the options and then roll. The Alexander Technique usualy (as far as I know and I don’t know much about it!) focuses on the physical body – but I think this inhibition idea is well working in all facets of beingness. The inhibition is there to give the body system time to construct a plan for the (next) motion – I guess the same should work for the mental part, even the emotional part of man.

    I confess it takes a lot of time to work out inhibition when it comes to arguing with relatives … 🙂


    • Ray,

      How cool! This is my first introduction to the Alexander Technique and from what you’ve shared and the brief study I’ve just done online my interest is piqued. In fact, one of the only two actual practices I read about (apparently, Alexander generally intended that the technique not consist of routine exercises, but be applied in any moment when quality improvements are desired during action), the “Whispered Ah,” uses a physical practice to produce behavioral/emotional changes – much like chakra practice is thought to do. Thank you so much for sharing this…I look forward to learning more about it!

      Take care:)

  2. Ah, Ma’m

    Thanx so much – I never heard about this “Whispered Ah,” so I checked it out. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

    Oh … speaking of “ahhh” … isn’t it so that women during labor do use this outbreathing sound singing the “ahhh” to let the labor pain roll all through? At the moment I’m doing a research on OrgasmicBirth and came across this singing “ahhh” … interesting.

    To come back to your posting considering “pause” as time of reflection BEFORE we answer this “whispered ah” may also help making up our mind, before we (re)act.

    I myself learned a whole lot when once I was together with a lady who happened to have an intriguing sense of waiting! Whenever her child seemed to have done something strange she simply sat there patiently to hear the whole story and ALL the ideas of her child that caused all the mess around (meanwhile I sat there eating up myself!). Nearly everytime she was right to first wait to have the whole picture – and then instead of scolding him, she hugged him, told him a few warm and nice compliments for his creativity and then asked how to get along with the mess that was … 🙂

    This “pause” thought mentioned in your posting is a real powerful thingy …

    Thanx for your posting!


    • Ray,

      Orgasmic Birth, huh? I’d like to hear more about that! 😉 It sounds plausible…much like the erotic undertones of the “let down” in breastfeeding.

      I like your story about the mother…if only my patience pants will fit me so well one day!

      Mach’s gut!


    very interesting movie, in my point of view that is. a must see, I think. You haven’t heard of it before? It’s my latest article on my pregnancy-experience-blog ( – the first of a series of four of five articles.

    Danke 🙂


  4. I am a big fan of discussing and embracing love languages in all kinds of relationships. A few years ago I discovered my love language is absolutely positively quality time. If I don’t get good one-on-one time with someone I’m either good friends with or in a romantic relationship with, I get irritable and frustrated. Learning such a simple thing about myself and communicating it to those I care for has proved invaluable for my interpersonal relationships. But business?! I’d never thought about it that way before. It just donned on me that one of the reasons I think one of my former bosses was my favorite was because he set aside 3o minutes each week for us to sit down and catch up on the happenings of the week. Meant so much to me, I learned a lot, and I felt like he cared for me, in the way a boss should. Wow. Revelation. Thanks Potluckmama!

  5. Pingback: Pot Luck Kindness 2010: The Big 3-0 « Pot Luck Mama

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