I often ask groups I am working with what’s it like putting yourself in 2nd position? Unsurprisingly, I get all sorts of strange looks and usually have to explain what I mean:
Putting yourself in 2nd position is putting yourself into someone else’s shoes e.g. a project stakeholder –looking at the project from their point of view
During a case study we use on courses I get groups to act as stakeholders and look at the project and the implications for them as they see them – looking through other people’s eyes and ‘position’.
I get some interesting the comments (based on the specific case study we use – an office move)
• will I have a job – this is just another way to make staff reductions?
• what are the facilities like?
• I don’t trust you (the project team/manager)
• you have not made out a convincing case for us to move
The list is endless….far too long to replicate here but what it does is to point to different thinking – brought about by putting yourself in 2nd position.
Putting yourself in 2nd position identifies learning
I always ensure all project management training activities are thoroughly debriefed. I want people who come along to our project management courses to learn from activities and here are a few comments from people about their personal learning:
• I can see why I got the reaction I did as I did not even think about things from the stakeholders point of view
• I am surprised that I did not think about this before
• putting myself into 2nd position tells me that I have not communicated enough
• In their shoes I would feel angry; very angry. Looks like I have some backtracking to do
It’s not easy putting yourself in 2nd position. For many people they see things so differently from 2nd position. Do you?