Have you ever met somebody new and it felt like warning sirens went off in your head that told you they shouldn’t be trusted? It’s amazing how quickly we can pick up on a person’s character in a short amount of time. A person’s character is what inspires openness and trust. It’s no surprise we don’t truly open up to people we don’t trust. It’s natural not to want to share our experience with people you feel aren’t sincere in their motives or trying to manipulate. These people don’t care to understand you, instead they just push their own agenda.
In order to effectively influence others, you have to first be willing to understand them. Being influential is based on what kind of person you truly are and how you carry yourself on a daily basis.
What if you went to the doctor to get treatment for a sharp headache and overall tiredness. How would you react if the doctor reads your symptoms and instantly writes you a prescription for stroke meds without even talking to you? You would probably never see that doctor ever again. Failing to understand people is like offering a solution without truly understanding the problem.
Emphatic listening is trying to see the world the way the person you’re listening to sees the world. When you truly listen to understand a person you can begin to catch on how certain situations make them feel. You’re not only listening with your ears but with your eyes. You listen for feeling, meaning, and behavior to completely understand another person.
Satisfied needs do not motivate. Once you truly see the world through the eyes of others you can create an effective solution that is tailored to their needs while getting what you want as well. When you present your ideas in a way that shows you have a deep understanding of other people’s concerns you increase your credibility. Character speaks louder than words, people instinctively trust or distrust based on character. Having the needs of others in mind gives your solutions better accuracy and takes all perceptions into consideration, making it more likely the solution benefits everyone.
This is part 5 of 7 of what I learned from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People If you enjoyed this review of the book, feel free to order your copy.