Note: This is an excerpt from the first draft of an as yet untitled book I'm writing. This is not the final product, but an insight into what I'm doing. Enjoy.
The way we view the world is skewed by or own beliefs and experiences. There’s nothing wrong with having a subjective viewpoint, but taking that too far or only looking at the world subjectively can lead to a lack of empathy and prevent us from learning something new.
I know people from all over the world. I have a friend who grew up in Alaska, and I also knew someone who grew up in Hawaii. If you put them both in a room that was 72 degrees fahrenheit the guy from Alaska would say the room was warm and the guy from Hawaii would say it’s a bit chilly and I would say the room is a comfortable temperature. Those are all subjective viewpoints determined by personal experiences. Because the two guys spent time in very different climates, they were used to very different average temperatures. The objective perspective is that the room is 72 degrees.
Being able to be objective can allow us to tailor our responses to the needs and experiences of others. If I have my friend from Alaska over, I know that he might be uncomfortable at a temperature I find pleasant. Knowing this allows me to set my thermostat slightly lower and put on a sweater or a hoodie.
Without objectivity I can become blind to the needs and views of others, which means I could be close minded when it comes to an intellectual conversation, eliminating my ability to learn.
Put simply, objectivity is the ability to look at a situation through multiple perspectives to determine what’s actually true. This requires setting our own emotions aside and see how the objective truth exists in the world. It is a bird’s eye view of a situation. It’s evaluating the big picture and finding the truth of the whole.
Objectivity has given me the ability to expand and adjust my subjective views, given me empathy for others and taught me how to adjust my behaviour to be able to treat people better. It’s allowed me to keep calm and explain a situation to clients who are upset. It’s allowed me to understand why those customers are angry and know they’re upset at a situation, not directly at me. Staying objective has also allowed me to prevent a situation (such as losing my temper) that would direct that anger at me instead of the situation.
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