In life, when there aren’t stop signs, we only continue focusing on where we are going and what our sense of direction is.
But a stop sign indicates that you should stop and see if there are others who are also trying to make their way in the world. It gives us a chance to see them and respond.
That’s what I want you to do when intersecting with others. STOP: See The Other Person.
Now I’m not going to tell you that it’s easy because it’s hard, we have culturally ingrained instincts and categories and our brains hardwire what we learn pretty quickly. By the time we can measure our categorization, it’s too late to change but we can still learn to adjust what we do with our awareness.
We can create a moment to stop, to see the other person, to see they look eager to say hello, or see something about them not in comparison to ourselves.
STOP, so you can see past your initial perception to the person actually in front of you. If everyone took five seconds to STOP, see the other person, we could go from judging to using our judgment.
If we stopped, we could realize that our first impression might be based on a categorization that packages in the other person, boxes them in. And this leads us on how we are going to respond, regard and respect them.
Think of the respect you could give first instead of an apology later. The world doesn’t need more apologies; it needs more respect.
So let’s say you leave here and you’re walking along thinking about all the amazing things you’re learning, when bang… you meet someone, here is your chance: what are you going to do? STOP. See the other person.
Well, what’s that? STOP. See the other person.
One more time… STOP: See the other person. It’s five seconds. Honestly it takes longer to say STOP: See the other person than to actually do it. Clear any notion or story that you’re creating about that person and let them show you who they are.
Seeing them as a person, that’s what I want you to focus on. That’s the most important word in this acronym I’ve given you: person. Remember that every person deserves respect.
Please STOP: see the other person. See them for who they are. You have the power to create connection and understanding. All it takes is five seconds.
Download This Transcript as PDF here: The New 5 Second Rule – Redefining the First Impression_ Quita Christison (Transcript)
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