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Teaching Students to Take Another’s Perspective
by Rynette R. Kjesbo, M.S., CCC-SLP
For success in school (and in life), it is important for students to be able to take another person’s perspective. Perspective refers to a person’s outlook or way of viewing something. When teaching students about perspective, provide them with a simple definition and explanation then further their learning with fun activities such as role-playing to take another’s perspective.
You can use the following simple definition/explanation with your students—
“People do not have the exact same thoughts and feelings about everything. They have different ideas and opinions based on their experiences in life. Taking another’s perspective means trying to see things from his/her point of view. When we are willing and able to see things from another’s perspective, we can learn things we didn’t know before.”
Steps to Practice for Taking Another’s Perspective
In addition to learning the definition of perspective and role-playing to practice this social skill, students can read and repeat a series of helpful statements about taking another’s perspective. Read below for these helpful tips!
  • Remember, you don’t know everything – We can all learn something from the people around us if we take the time to look at things from their perspectives.
I can learn from other people when I try to see things from their perspectives.
  • Keep in mind the other person’s background – People who grow up in different places and who are exposed to different experiences will have different perspectives on issues.
I will remember that our backgrounds and experiences affect our perspectives on issues.
  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes – Think about what you would do if you were the other person. How would you feel? What would you say?
I will think about what I would do, feel, or say if I were the other person.
  • Don’t forget the Golden Rule – The Golden Rule tells us to treat others the way we want them to treat us.
I will try to see the other person’s side because I want him/her to see my side.
  • Listen – When trying to see things from another’s perspective it’s helpful to listen to what he/she has to say.
I will listen to the other person so that I know what he/she thinks.
  • Keep an open mind – Don’t make up your mind that the other person is wrong before you hear what he/she has to say.
I will wait to make a judgment until after the other person shares his/her ideas.
  • Consider both sides – When you are able to see things from different perspectives you know more about a situation and are able to make knowledgeable decisions.
I will consider both my perspective and other people’s perspectives in order to make better decisions.
 
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