Be the other.
I remember moving my daughter into her freshman dorm room.
Despite the fact that I’d “been there and done that,” I had a difficult time being one with her and her bundle of emotions.
Yes, my feelings of déjà vu helped.
But being one with her was damn near impossible.
The issue wasn’t one of interest or concern.
I cared about her and her experience more than my own.
It was something else.
My perspective, perhaps.
My role, my concerns, my angst.
So try as I may, I simply could not be completely one with her.
It struck me that it’s the same with most organizations.
Sure, they’re concerned about their customers and employees.
But they are not one with them.
The few that are—the ones that are intimately involved in their everyday lives—have a huge advantage.
They can feel their customers’ and employees’ pain, because it’s their pain too.
They speak the same language, because it’s their language.
They easily prioritize what’s important, because what’s important to them is what’s important to their stakeholders.
They have a sense of total focus and urgency, because there is no conflicting distinction called “us and them.”
Being one with the other is the most difficult thing for the mind to do.
So don’t even try.
Instead, step out of your hypnotic, self-concerned story.
And be the other.