Thursday, December 3, 2009

When you think someone is wrong... Think again...

The secret of one's success, lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own.

Henry Ford once said, 'The best angle from which to approach a problem is the Try-angle'.

How does that matter now? Well, read on...

Once an LKG Class Teacher was teaching counting to the little children in her class. She thought happily that all the children had now mastered the concept of counting. But then.. there was little Riya who kept answering differently than the whole class.

The dismayed teacher was expecting an effortless correct answer (three). Maybe the child did not listen properly, she thought. She repeated, 'Riya, please listen carefully." If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have? Riya had seen the disappointment on her teacher's face. She now calculated again on her little fingers. But within her she was also searching for the answer that will make the teacher happy. Her search for the answer was not for the correct one, but the one that would make her teacher happy. This time hesitatingly she replied, "Four". The disappointment stayed on the teacher's face. She remembered that Riya liked Mangoes. She thought maybe she didn't like apples and that was making her loose focus. This time with an exaggerated excitement and twinkling in her eyes she asked, "If I give you one mango and one mango and one mango, then how many you will have?"

Seeing the teacher happy, young Riya calculated on her fingers again. There was no pressure on her, but a little on the teacher. She wanted her new approach to succeed. With a hesitating smile young Riya enquired, "Three?" The teacher now had a victorious smile. Her approach had succeeded. She wanted to congratulate herself. But one last thing remained. Once again she asked her, "Now if I give you one apple and one apple and one more apple how many will you have?" Promptly Riya answered, "Four!" The teacher was aghast. "How Riya? How?", she demanded in a little stern and irritated voice. In a voice that was low and hesitating young Riya replied, "Because I already have one apple in my bag."

Cool enough?

When someone gives you an answer that is different from what you expect, dont think they are wrong. There maybe an angle that you have not understood at all. You will have to listen and understand, but never listen with a predetermined notion. When you are in doubt, just ask!


  1. - Nice one jay
    - Its so true...have to always keep in mind that there is more than one answer to any question

  2. Cool one! Different perspective analysis is important.