A TED Talk A Day, Day 63: After so many day of TED talks, I have to admit I my focus and interest has been flagging; so this wonderful talk couldn’t have come at a better time. Brian Miller, a magician, talks about how the our differing perspectives underlie both magic and our relationships, and how we can connect with others (and perform magic) by understanding other peoples’ perspectives.

  1. “Our world is a shared experience fractured by individual perspectives.”
  2. The secret to magic is understanding and taking on different perspectives.
  3. In any magic trick, the magician is the only person who cannot see the magic because he knows how the trick works; so to do the trick well the magician has to take on the perspective of the audience.
  4. Before he does his Rubik’s Cube trick, he makes a connection first, so the audience feels understood, then he does the trick. Otherwise he would just seem like a showoff with a trick.
  5. It is not enough to care for someone or to understand them; they have to feel understood.
  6. Perspective taking — the ability to see the world from the view of another person. Easy in theory but can be difficult to do.
  7. There is visual perspective and emotional perspective.
  8. Visual perspective is more straightforward. Like magicians we can video ourselves or look at ourselves in the mirror.
  9. Emotional perspective is the crucial one in relationships. The easiest way is to ask questions, and, more importantly, listen to the answers. Listen to understand, not just to respond.

Suggested action step: I will learn to understand other people’s perspective.