Whether due to biology or upbringing, research indicates that women tend to have a broader view of situations than men. We tend to see the big picture naturally and quickly and notice how circumstances and people interrelate. This strategic viewpoint can help stave off redundancies, misunderstandings, and disasters. It can also help identify ways to achieve positive result more quickly.
How can this be bad?
Just because you can see the bigger picture doesn’t mean everyone else will automatically see and accept your point of view. You still have to get buy-in for your ideas. If you don’t, the people you judge as short-sighted will be just as reluctant and frustrated as you when working toward a solution.
Here are four tips to help you convince people to see things from your point of view:
- Listen for individual needs and perspective. Before anyone will agree with you, they need to be able to express what they need, especially if they feel their needs must be met soon. If you are working with a group, it’s likely that there will be some interdependencies. You can these use your broad-based perspective to string these needs together into a common ground where people see the value of helping each other.
- Get agreement on the ultimate goal. If there are no immediate connections that tie together everyone’s needs, then the best thing to do is to facilitate a dialogue to define the ultimate goal that you are trying to meet. The goal then becomes the anchor for prioritizing needs and exploring consequences when choosing to focus on action plans.
- Create a compelling vision. Once the ultimate goal is defined, share the picture you see of what is possible when the goal is met. Paint the picture that demonstrates how everyone’s needs will be met or minimized. Entice people to set aside their personal attachments by asking them to commit to the shared vision.
- Refrain from pushing. When we see the bigger picture, we often see the dangers in how other people view the problem. Yet making them wrong without getting their buy-in creates stronger resistance to your ideas. You may tend to steamroll your own ideas as the right thing to do. If you do this, you will be judged as bossy instead of passionate and insensitive instead of committed to the results. This will hurt your relationships and possibly hinder your career path. Be patient. As they say, good things come to those who wait.
If you follow these tips, it won’t be long before you are seen as a visionary. People will seek your perspective instead of being irritated by it. Wouldn’t that be nice?