About Perspectives

It’s the perspective that makes the difference.

Since 2000, I have called my coaching “Perspective Coaching”. Believe it or not, I do that on purpose.

People seem to grasp immediately what I want to say although the word “perspective” covers a whole range of meanings.

First of all, a perspective refers to both a stance or a point of view and to a variety of possible perceptions one may have. Perspective is what we wish to have in our lifes—a choice of different options that take us forward. Career opportunities, personal opportunities, new territory.

From a more psychological point of view (!), to choose a perspective is to choose a value system. Coaching is all about value systems. What is right, what is wrong? Is there any such thing at all? What is happiness? And is the answer to these questions 42 after all?

Being able to see another person’s point of view or perspective is, from my point of view, essential to successful relationships. We have to be able to change perspective, to feel what it is like to be in someone else’s shoes. Psychologists refer to this skill as empathy, yet that covers only one direction from me to you.

By change of perspective, however, I also mean being able to look at oneself from outside. For instance, to ask yourself “how do my colleagues see me?” or “how do customers/superiors see me?”, or “how do I fit into this culture?”

On top of that, there is a whole range of idioms—both in English and in German— that go with “perspective” and fit well in the coaching context:

  • To get a different perspective on a problem
  • To try to keep things in perspective
  • To see things in their proper perspective

I think it was a wonderful brainwave that made me choose that name—don’t you?

P.S.: Talking about new territory: What actually did Columbus discover about himself?