An Essential – But Neglected – Skill that Fuels Success

It’s natural to consider your own concerns. It’s leadership to reflect on the concerns of others.

The dripping faucet of others is opportunity for perspective taking.

Perspective taking – an essential but neglected skill – enables success.


Deadlines, personnel issues, and pressing problems are dripping faucets for leaders. It’s short-sighted and self-defeating to think you don’t get paid to share those concerns.

Usually the boss brings up pressing problems and deadlines, for example. But perspective takers bring up dripping faucets first.

Refresh your boss by respecting their dripping faucets. The corporate team doesn’t want sympathy.

Their dripping faucet is your opportunity.

(If you can’t share the concerns of your boss, you’re in the wrong organization.)

“An essential component of communicative competence in a pluralistic social world…is our capacity to adopt the perspectives of different others” Rommetevit


Take the perspective of the boss, even if you aren’t the boss.

  1. Practice curiosity. Learn to see how others see by using gentle inquiry.
  2. Listen a bit longer. Answer a bit slower. Quick answers may feel more like disrespect than concern.
  3. Say, “I’ve got that.” Who experiences more fulfillment? The tight fist or the open hand?
  4. Inquire about personal concerns. “How’s your mom doing?”

Dedicate yourself to see life as others see it. You don’t have to agree. You just have to acknowledge.

Taking perspective enables you to contribute more and take less.

A narrow lens leads to a small room.

The ability to take the perspective of others multiplies opportunity.


You’re too busy to practice perspective taking. But lack of perspective taking might create unnecessary busyness.

Perspective taking questions:

  1. What’s on your mind?
  2. What’s important to you about this?
  3. What important issues are you facing?

Be the person people love to see come and hate to see go.

What hinders perspective taking?

How might you practice perspective taking today?

Bonus material:

Perspective Taking (Lifehack)

The Power of Perspective Taking (PT)