Perspective influences how you view the world. It allows you to see things in a different light than another person, but it can also keep you from understanding their point of view. When you are gathering requirements from a client, having empathy enhances your ability to understand their needs.
Benefits of being able to view things differently:
- Allows you to be open-minded, receptive and patient.
- You learn to think like your client. In some of my engagements, I found my clients could not articulate exactly what they wanted. I needed to perform a lot of facilitation to help gather and define requirements. Being able to think like them allowed me to probe more effectively and determine the underlying objectives.
- Because you understand your client's point of view, you can anticipate their next question. This is an excellent value-add to your ability to provide service.
Changing perspective isn't a foreign concept. If you have ever created user stories, you have in essence used an approach that incorporates the different perspectives of the people involved. User stories are easy for the different parties to understand -- clear communication is always the goal.
Make understanding your client's perspective a part of every engagement.