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Viewpoints

How does looking at other viewpoints help you solve problems?

To help you be more flexible, practice considering a situation from several alternative points of view. Imagine the following scenarios, and put yourself in other people's shoes.

1. Your teenage son has just told you that he has a drug problem. Consider the situation from the viewpoint of the son. The parents. The boy's girlfriend. The younger sister. His drug supplier. His close friends.

2. A single mother who shoplifts in order to make ends meet is caught tying to steal a necklace. Consider the situation from the viewpoint of the mother. The police officer. The department store owner. The mother's grade school son.

3. A young African-male is applying for a job downtown in a predominately all white messenger service. This is the first time he has applied for a job downtown, and the company has never hired African-Americans before. Consider the situation from the viewpoint of the applicant. The customers. The employees. The owner.

4. You see an elderly person struggling to get in to a bus. Look at the situation from the view of the bus driver. The elderly person. The young person who is trying to rush on the bus to avoid his friend behind him.

5. Ann is at a reggae dance club. In the past, it used to be mostly hippies and dread-locks. Now there is a new D.J. and it's all dance hall music. Ann is a white woman and notices that a crowd of black women are staring at her and talking about her. Consider the situation from the viewpoint of Ann. The black women. The D.J.

6. Tom is on the job. He is working illegally. His supervisor keeps asking him to work overtime. He never gets paid for that time. Consider the situation from the viewpoint of Tom. The supervisor. The other workers.

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