Build empathy bridges for better decisions (with Peter Shepherd)

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

Having the ability to see opportunities where others don’t is a particularly freeing feeling.

The best part? Anyone can build it this ability and you can start right away. The only cost is using your willpower to change your perspective.

For example, if this podcast episode seems interesting for you but you don’t see yourself as someone who listens to podcasts (been there, done that), you can just change the story you’re telling yourself about it. Go from “I don’t listen to podcasts” to “this might be a good way to spend my time while commuting”.

Sometimes, we can really get in our own way, don’t we? This was the most interesting part of this podcast episode: Peter challenged me to explore how building empathy bridges between our current selves and our future selves changes the way we evaluate decisions and act differently as a result.

His blog post, “The power of 10,000 readers… Even when you don’t have them“, can give you a sneak peek at the difference this idea can make.

This is just one of the aspects we discussed when it comes to how our worldview influences the ways we make decisions.

Here’s another one.

peter shepherd how do you know

See things from a posture of curiosity

Peter is Head Coach at the altMBA, the online leadership and management workshop created by Seth Godin which you’ve heard me mention VERY often. I do that because it matters to me and, most importantly, because it taught me more about myself and others than any other educational experience I’ve ever had. I’ll most likely do a dedicated episode about this at some point, so I can get tell the story in more detail.

One of the most important life lessons from this experience, which Peter talks about more in-depth during our conversation, is the importance of curiosity.

Here’s one way to look at it: curious people seek to understand before formulating a judgment and expressing it.

If you’re unsure how to put this idea into practice, you can watch Peter do it in this wonderful conversation he had with Seth Godin earlier this year. It could be, as Peter phrased it, “an exercise in getting out of your own way”.

That’s a decision, like everything else in life. And just like anything that you want to master, it also requires exercise, in this case, a deliberate way of evaluating options and making choices.

This is not all Peter and I discussed.

We also enthusiastically debated the power of these 3 questions he uses in his coaching:

What is it for?
Who is it for?
Who is NOT for?

The last one is especially powerful. In the podcast, Peter articulates something we all feel at times: the fact that “we can get caught up in being something for everyone”. So if you get feedback from someone who your work was not meant for, you can change the way you look at it and what you do with that feedback, which is liberating!

I can’t wait for you to listen to this conversation that’s brimming with enthusiasm, genuine curiosity and important lessons learned while seeking change and working intently to create it.

Speaking of building meaningful relationships and the value of connection (a core human need I also explored in the 25th newsletter I sent a couple of weeks ago), Peter recently launched his own podcast: The Long and Short of It, which I really believe you’d enjoy listening to.

Now that I’ve nudged you to open more tabs in your browser that you should, pick one of these ideas to listen to and just let yourself enjoy it. My only hope is that something in it will echo in your life.

Alternatively, play it in your favorite apps:

iTunes | Overcast | Simplecast | Stitcher | Pocket Casts | Player.fm

Thank you for listening!

Where good decisions come from (with Adelina Chalmers)

Give yourself time and space (with Roy Marriott)

2 thoughts on “Build empathy bridges for better decisions (with Peter Shepherd)

    1. Andra Zaharia Post author

      Welcome, Catalina!

      So glad you’re here and can’t wait for your feedback! As you’ll see if you subscribe to the newsletter as well, The CEO Library comes up quite often in my emails as well. 🙂

      Reply

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