Design by James Jones
I SEE a musical instrument . My son is a lifelong guitarist . Here ’ s what he sees :
• Acoustic guitar
• Mahogany body
• Rosewood fretboard
• Steel strings
• Dot inlays .
The image evokes very different feelings in us . I really enjoy acoustic guitar music . All I feel is a vague sense of pleasure when I see this picture . Here ’ s what he feels : How does it sound ? How does it play ? Is it mechanically sound ? Will it tune up easily and consistently ? Does it have high-quality hardware ? Does it have a bolt-on or a glue-in neck joint ?
Is it a one piece top and back or multiple ? Does it look like it was manufactured mostly by machine or by hand ? Where was it made – in the US or overseas ? What is the quality of the inlay work ?
Is the rosette a printed image around the sound hole or was it done in some other way ? What is the material used for the dot inlays ? Was it mother of pearl , abalone or plastic ?
We ’ re both looking at the same picture , but we see and feel something entirely different . THE GUITAR LESSON
We look at situations through a lens of our own biases and experience . We aren ’ t starting from the same perspective . That ’ s why we perceive the same image or situation differently . It ’ s called naïve realism . Understanding it is critical to effectively communicating with others . Here are additional examples , pulled from today ’ s polarized reality . What do you think of when you hear these phrases ? Keep America Great . Black Lives Matter . Depending on your political affiliation , your background and your personal experiences , there ’ s going to be a huge disparity in responses .
When you understand the ramifications of naïve realism , the first lesson you learn is that it ’ s highly unlikely using logic will change the mind of people who see things different from you .
The reason is simple : You aren ’ t seeing the same thing . Your perception may be totally different depending on factors unique to you .
There ’ s another , compelling reason why attempting to change the mind of others is often fruitless .
Do you ever wonder why Apple users are so loyal to that brand ? Many would argue newer Android devices are less expensive and have superior features , yet Apple users refuse to make the switch . Why ? Because of the “ rule of consistency ,” which holds that once you make up your mind about something , it ’ s very difficult to change it .
The combination of naïve realism and the rule of consistency is a formidable barrier to persuading others you are “ right ” and they are “ wrong .” A BETTER WAY
If you want to deepen your relationship with those who hold different views , stop trying to persuade them . Instead , ask them questions geared to help you understand their point of view better . Then ask follow-up questions showing you heard them and demonstrating an interest in learning more about the basis for their opinion .
You won ’ t change their mind , but you will be perceived by them very differently . They ’ ll consider you a person who is empathetic and caring . One who is genuinely interested in them and who takes the time to explore their feelings .
My son and I will still see and feel images of musical instruments differently . We view it as an opportunity to learn from each other and deepen our relationship .
Dan Solin is The New York Times bestselling author of the Smartest series of investing books and The Smartest Sales Book You ’ ll Ever Read . Dan ’ s books have been widely praised by The New York Times , The Wall Street Journal , The Library Journal , Vanguard cofounder John Bogle and many financial columnists , authors and others . He has appeared on The Early Show , The O ’ Reilly Factor , MSNBC ’ s Week-end Economic Review , Fox Business and CNN ’ s Money , and has been interviewed on many radio programs , including USA , CBS , ABC and a number of regional NPR stations .
He has shared the research in Ask with thousands of people in North America , Europe and Australia .
AskDanSolin . com .
U . S . A $ 27.95