You know those stories that stick with you?
Well, I am loving this one!
To hear it told better, and from the source (who it happened to), listen to this podcast with Sheila Heen of the Harvard Negotiation Project.
Sheila was teaching her son about colors and about traffic.
As they sat at an intersection, she said – okay, I’m stopped, and what color is the light.
“Green,” said her son.
She questioned him further. Then, when the light changed, he said, “okay, it’s red, you can go now.”
Huh? What is this kid thinking? Is he playing with me? Is he color blind? What part doesn’t he understand?
She kept trying and explaining. She worked on colors in different settings. Elsewhere, he could get the colors right. But at stop lights he was mixing up green and red.
Then she sat in the backseat one day.
She realized that from his vantage point in the car seat, he was looking at the side light – not the light she was looking at.
When you don’t understand where someone else is coming from, maybe they are looking at a reality that is completely different than your own.
We don’t always know or understand what others see that we are missing.