Maxwell’s first principle in his book “Winning With People,” the Lens Principle emphasizes that one of the first things we need to know is ourselves. We are a composite of our genetics and our experiences. We don’t have a great deal of control over our genetics and we don’t have total control over our environment, but they contribute to what makes us who we are. Yet one of the things we do have total control over is our attitude.
Now our attitude towards life will color how we interpret what happens to us and how we react. This is how our perceptions create who we will be. Our reactions in the world will affect what is going on around us and how people will react to us. And part of relationship building is controlling how people react to us. We want good things to happen in our relationships and we want to avoid negative experiences.
So the first point is that we have to understand that we interpret our world based on the colored glasses we are wearing that were created by everything that we have experienced. But it is also important to know that people will interpret what we say and do from their point of view. This is called projection. Ever notice when someone says you lie, yet you know you don’t lie. You wonder why they think that. Perhaps it’s because they know they lie and expect you do the same. So projection on our part and others means we are seeing the world through the lens of our experience.
This principle touches on what is called Emotional Intelligence. The idea is that it is important to know ourselves so that we can better understand other people. We feel better when we can describe our world, explain our world, predict our world and control our world. Understanding the dynamics of relationships goes a long way toward being able to predict and control what is going on in our world.
Hope this gives you some insight to begin on a journey of better relationships in your life.