A roadside artist who draws portraits of people charges a small fee. When he sits you down and positions you in front of him, you give him the best angle and your widest smile. But it is impossible to hold that position without squirming or adjusting for a bit. Yet the artist keeps his composure and continues his drawing. In his head, the only thing he is concerned about is to finish the portrait and to go onto the next customer. He has little concern for your fidgeting, much less the vegetable stuck in your teeth, or the hair protruding out from your nostrils.
In the real world, we look at how the people around us do certain things and we form a certain impression about their actions. We think to ourselves about how smart or how ridiculously dumb they are apropos of their actions. More so in the latter, we try to rationalise and find a reason for their actions. We consider our perspective and sometimes try to shift to see things from their angle. But more often than not, we find ourselves coming up short with a reason - their reason.
A simple example is of the financial divide. The most common thought of people who are not entrenched in the poverty cycle is Why do poor people not use their money wisely, knowing that they are already poor. For the common man, that is an idea that is widely accepted. Except, it is not that simple. People trapped in the poverty cycle are inclined to buy more “useless” items because it gives them a sense of normalcy and control. Likewise, they are more incentivised to buy lottery tickets (or gamble in general) because it offers a glimmer of hope. Elaborating on this is a whole different conversation, but the main point I am trying to make is how people react differently because of different circumstances that preside over them. It is near impossible to understand their thoughts ALL the time, but you can understand them.
Let’s put it into perspective. You do not need to know WHY they are doing it but HOW to work with it. To put it simply, it is similar to HOW to pay off the loans of gamblers, not knowing WHY they gambled in the first place. Of course, I am not saying this happens to you but you can use this skill contextually. For instance, in the workplace you will be bound to meet people who you naturally think are slave-drivers, workaholics, slackers and people you just do not want to mix with. But in the workplace, you do not exactly have a choice (Unless you quit, but let’s avoid that) but to work with these people. There is no practicality in knowing why they behave in a certain way because it just is not worth the time and effort to change them. Rather, you can simply find out HOW to work with these people. Thankfully, there are coaches like us for that. Naturally, these things take time but the success you will get with dealing with all sorts of people will skyrocket. Think of all the time and emotion you can save - not to forget a surge in productivity.
There is an importance in people who can behave like the roadside artist. There is a certain level of objectivity, and one that has warranted him to steer clear from disputes or unnecessary questions. In fact, this level of nirvana is one that has borne out of an understanding between people and to craft a roadmap to ultimately get the job done. Working adults, professionals, students and even non-working adults should aspire to be like the roadside artist. Thankfully, we got you covered.
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