Excel by Putting Yourself in Other’s Shoes

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Cliche, right?

This cliche is still an incredibly difficult undertaking. I always tell myself how can I think how the opposing party would feel if it were me; however, I’m still influenced with my thoughts. Some people have mastered this ability. Most people make a few puny attempts. Why is it so difficult to do?

Let’s start off with a scenario:

You have just been a victim of a natural disaster (let’s say a fire). Luckily, for you, you have ample coverage from your home insurance.┬áThe adjuster has just come to your house and inspected everything. You are satisfied with what you’ll be compensated for your house. So you decide to write a letter of gratitude to your insurance company for your adjuster’s generosity and professionalism. How would you write it?

Here’s where you have to put yourself in other people’s shoes. First off, let’s count all the people that may have been involved in this scenario.

  1. You
  2. Your adjuster

Is that it? No. There are more people that you should think of, before writing your letter.

  1. You
  2. Your adjuster
  3. The public relations representative (PR rep.)
  4. The adjuster’s manager

Here’s the difficult part: putting yourself in each individual’s shoes.

  1. You. Well, this is given. You’re satisfied with what you received so you’re writing the letter.
  2. Your adjuster. How would your adjuster feel about receiving a letter detailing his/her generosity and professionalism? Pretty good. If I received a letter from one of my clients, I would feel pretty good about myself.
  3. The PR rep. The PR rep would also feel really good receiving the letter of how the incident was handled. This would give them more potential ammunition to spread in their marketing campaigns.
  4. The adjuster’s manager. This one is the tricky one. My initial thoughts were that the adjuster’s manager would feel good about it, too. But, let’s dig further. As cruel as this may sound, the adjuster’s manager is to limit the resources expended in these types of incidents. The company must survive by selling as many insurance policies as possible and limiting the spending on claims. How would you feel if you were the adjuster’s manager and you received a letter on how the adjuster was incredibly generous with the claim? It would be mixed. You’re glad the adjuster handled the situation with professionalism, but then the adjuster is supposed to reduce the compensation of lost goods.

So how would you write the letter now? Food for thought.

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