Put Yourself In Their Shoes
Improve your decision making
Everyday we make hundreds of decisions. Many we make without even giving any thought to them. It’s the decisions that we wrestle with and think about that we remember.
The hardest decisions we make are usually those that will impact others. If you own a business or are in a career where you make decisions for others, you know what I mean.
You always question if you're making the right decisions. Second guessing is a part of the daily thought process. But it’s your decision and once you make it, you have to live with it.
So how do we become better decision makers? How do we satisfy our clients? How do we make better decisions for our businesses? How do we become better at leading our teams?
Navigate important decisions by applying the following thought process and old adage. Put yourself in their shoes.
It sounds almost entirely too simple. It really is, but it’s too often overlooked. If you’re making decisions that affect, motivate or try to satisfy others, this should be one of the first questions you should ask yourself and/or your team.
If you own a business and are trying to motivate your employees in the form of bonuses or incentives.
Put yourself in their shoes: What kind of bonus or incentive would motivate you? Maybe you would like to be asked and given the option to pick a certain bonus or incentive?
If you’re trying to determine whether you should contact your clients ahead of time about a procedure or pricing change coming at your business.
Put yourself in their shoes: Would you want to be notified about this? What type of options would you want to be offered? How would this change affect your employees? What kind of improvement or options would you like to see added as a client of your company or user of your product?
If you’re thinking of making major changes to your business.
Put yourself in their shoes? How would this change affect your clients view on your business? What impact would this have on your employees? If I’m a client of your business and this change was made, how would you react? How would you feel? Would you shop your business to a competitor?
If you want to send a thank you gift to employees, centers of influence or clients.
Put yourself in their shoes: What would you want to receive as a gift? What is a gift that would be useful or make a lasting impression on you?
Using this thought process brings empathy to the forefront. You’ll catch yourself from making costly decisions by running this through as a part of your checklist when making decisions. The more important the decision, the more important you look at the consequences and effects of your decision by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. It matters and goes a long way in building trust, establishing relationships and resolving situations.
As I look back at many the best decisions I’ve made, I had put myself in that particular team member’s or client’s shoes. How would I feel? How would I want to be thanked, incentivized, told that I need to do better etc.
Your decision affects someone’s feelings whether it be positive or negative. They’re no different than you, still another human being. They breathe the same air and put their pants on one leg at a time like you do.
How many times were you told by your parents or grandparents, to treat others how you want to be treated? You’re basically being told to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. The person’s shoes that you’re thinking about treating poorly.
In our world filled with fighting and arguing with one another, maybe this is something more people should be asking themselves, not just in relation to work but in their personal life. Before you act as a keyboard warrior think about the other person, stand in their shoes and think how would you’d feel if that was sent to you? Before hitting send, put yourself in their shoes.
If you want to make smarter decisions, better understand people, be a better leader, friend, parent and spouse, step out of your shoes once in a while and put yourself in someone else’s shoes for a moment.
Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed Spilled Coffee, please subscribe and/or give a gift subscription for others.
Spilled Coffee grows through word of mouth. Please consider sharing this post with someone who might appreciate it.