Seek to understand.
Put yourself in their shoes.
These are two things I learned that significantly helped me in relationships, in storytelling and in business.
The truth of the matter is, no one has to be in a relationship with you and no one has to follow you or love what you do in life or in business. They are not obligated to buy what you sell or believe in your “greatness” and all of your ideas. If someone doesn’t believe that what you are communicating is to make their life better than you probably have very little power with them.
If you are trying to communicate, influence or even negotiate with someone, empathy will take you far. Empathy is what helps you understand why people react the way they do. Empathy creates trust. It ultimately gives you the ability to recognize the concerns other people have. How does their mind work? What is their emotional state? How do they view a situation or challenge? What are their motives?
It might sound like a lot of work, but really it’s not that hard. Just throw the inner brain noise the hand and say, “Shut up!” In other words, stop all the chatter and actually listen to the other person. Suddenly, you understand even if you don’t agree and your communication comes from a more meaningful place, a bigger place. You actually connect with the other person. You influence each other and ultimately you both grow.
It works in relationships and it works in business.
Empathy is certainly a powerful tool.