By Nicolette Veltman
I want to share my personal TetraMap journey with you and how having a simple method to evaluate how better understanding changes lives has helped me look at things differently, step back and consider colleagues’ and peer’s points of view. I’ve learnt that diversity of people and thought has helped me find a deeper meaning and purpose in how I go about my every day and how I show up as a person.
This approach is allowing me to question long-held beliefs that have not served me well and learn new ways of approaching things. I realise every day the power of thought, my own and that of others and how to channel this in a constructive way to help me navigate and understand things in the positive!
Asking, ‘why are you like that?’, helps us realise that everyone is different, and different is good. It allows us to look at things through a different lens with a different perspective, often for a richer experience or better result. When you walk a mile in another’s shoes your eyes are opened to all kinds of new possibilities so imagine what could come from doing that.
Let’s consider the perspective of time and how we see it differently
I am high Earth – I like to move and act fast. This constant need for doing it now (often at lightning speed) regularly pushes my impatience button.
A family member is high Air. He needs time to think about things and weigh options up. Conflict arises when I believe (from my perspective) that he who hesitates is lost. Deals and opportunities go by, whilst research is ongoing.
A colleague is high Water. She appears to have all the time in the world. (she doesn’t.) She often says “Sorry to interrupt, I can see you’re busy” and I think well if you can see this – why did you interrupt!
My housemate – is high Fire. We’re both fast-paced, but she gets distracted with so many fun social events, household chores rarely get done on time. We’ve had a few çlashes on this one.
This is one simple example of how better understanding changes lives. I no longer expect others to see or do it my way, I know that I am better able to respond, adapt and accept– making my life and others lives happier, healthier and more fulfilling.
TetraMap is a framework/tool/map/method of being (pick what most resonates for you!), that has helped me look for the similarities in others, the connection points that distil ‘why we are like that’ into four easily remembered elements. In my everyday interactions I am more considerate of colleagues’/peers’ needs in terms of being firm, clear, calm and bright, or in more ‘work speak’ considering the goal, being clear on the process, being calm with an inclusive approach whilst inspiring success for all.
Through TetraMap I have discovered a global movement of like-minded people; people who are working hard to set aside their bias and are focusing on being the best they can be. I love that! Why would I not? So, if through this network and this learning I can be part of something bigger, something that can change the world one step at a time to be a better, safer, more equal world that is here for a VERY long time to come, that to me that makes perfect sense.
I find thinking ‘eco’ rather than ‘ego’ has really helped me with this focus.
We know that in nature everything has a purpose. For example, without bees humans would become extinct. We rely on bees to cross-pollinate and fertilise plants so they are an essential part of our eco-system. So yes, more and more I am interested in what makes people tick because it is the people that will make or break our planet as well as our enjoyment for the short time that we share it together.
Human nature, mother nature, your nature, my nature –seemingly independently actually work interdependently, and how they work will either add to or take away from the experiences we have. I love Bucky’s quote:
“Make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone”
Buckminster Fuller 1895-1983
How sad if we fast forward so many years and this is still a dream. Let’s join together to make it a reality one step at a time. And how will a better understanding of self and others change your life?!