It's amazing that we accomplish most of our goals each day. The fact that we all come from such variegated environments, backgrounds, and educations should surely, on the surface develop more unproductive conflict. What pushes us past our difference and allows us to get things done? Is it raw tolerance? Maybe at times. How about empathy for the person that you are interacting with? That would be nice, but aside from Mother Theresa, most people don't consistently think of others first when they communicate. Perspective though, along with personal goals typically force you unwillingly to shape your conversations on a slant.

In our personal lives (away from work) we tend to strive for easy interaction. If we don't like someone, we don't talk to them. If we don't like a store, we don't shop there. Avoidance is easy if you don't have a required line to walk on. The balance or more appropriately, variation between our tolerance and goals will ultimately determine where we go and what we do. If we know we have to go to the doctor, we might go but if we just got free tickets to our favorite football team's game, you can bet you'll do whatever it takes to go. Whatever it takes could mean sitting next to someone we don't like on the bus trip to the stadium... even though the option to not go is always there. With less drive, you may prefer to live alone, away from others. With more, you might thrive on living in a crowded city. Perspective pushes you along your path.

At work, we are sometimes left powerless and need to "take the high road" in order to get through the day. If you have an IT perspective, you may be less concerned about organization and deadlines but can focus on code and highly technical functions. Designers like to think about bigger-picture concepts that involve emotions and leave the details for others to figure out. Combine any of these personalities - such as Engineers and Accountants and the clash of vantage points continues on. It truly is an art to communicate across these barriers by seeing someone else's side of the story.

I think that the shortcut to achieving this shared view though could be as easy as setting your ego aside... what's your perspective?