We use a tool internally with the staff here at DEUCE called The Five Perceptual Positions. It’s particularly helpful when navigating difficult communication, conflict, or some kind of negotiation. Here are the perceptual positions as taught to me by one of my coaches, Nicole Schneider:
1st Perceptual Position – Self
2nd Perceptual Position – Other
3rd Perceptual Position – Observer
4th Perceptual Position – The Group
5th Perceptual Position – Source/God/The Best Version of Humanity
What’s at the heart of the drill is that we can recognize any reality with more complete truth by observing the same situation from several perspectives. Using the drill would mean to consider the nature of a disagreement as an emotionless third person observer (3rd) or in the shoes of the person you’re disagreeing with (2nd). Part of the power of the drill is recognizing, maybe for the first time, that seeing the world through your eyes (1st) all the time leaves us with remarkably limiting blind spots.
Now more than ever this mental practice is critically important. I’ll give you a hint about utilizing the 2nd Perceptual Position, however. Mastering the 2nd Perceptual Position isn’t about sensing someone’s emotions or even strong sympathy. It’s empathy on steroids. In order to really execute the 2nd Perceptual Position well, you would need to embody the perspective of others as them (not you observing them). You’d need to grow up in their home, live their values, take on their preferences and state of mind. You’d need to become the mind of the Other.
The scariest part of practicing the 2nd Perceptual Position is that you wouldn’t be you with the liberty to observe (and judge) their behavior objectively. Furthermore, you’d do and say the same exact things they do. Not only that, you’d do and say the same things as the other and you’d do so with clear, unquestionable positive intent.
It’s time to graduate our understanding of “put yourself in someone else’s shoes.” The world today needs you to get your masters degree in the 2nd Perceptual Position.
Shoulder Health Series:
Complete 3 rounds for quality of:
18 Prone I-Raises
18 Prone Y-Raises
18 Prone Windmills
18 Scap Push Ups
18 Cuban Presses
Conditioning for a score:
Complete 5 rounds for time of:
:30 Handstand Hold
25 Squats w/ Arms Held Overhead