Many times when we have an issue with another person, if we decide to approach them, isn’t it natural to want to just let them know how we feel? Because there is a conflict, what we say probably will come across as a criticism or attack on the other person since it’s obvious that they see things differently, right? Then if you do that, what typically happens next? Don’t most humans get a bit defensive when they feel like they are being criticized or attacked? Your action likely prompts them to react back as a defense mechanism. The next thing you know, you’re volleying barbs back and forth in a fashion that escalates because of emotion. You end up blaming each other because ‘they just won’t listen’ and the original issue blows up, gets personal, and you may even forget what the original issue was.
It’s been said that since we all have 2 ears and one mouth, if we use them in that proportion, we’ll have much richer relationships. There is another saying that goes like this, “A person doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. Think about it for a moment. Do you think that these statements are true? Is there a connection between these two thoughts? It seems to me that the connection is that when we truly listen to others with understanding, they begin to believe that we really do care about them. And then they become interested in what we think as well. The result is trust being built and the relationship is enhanced.
Take a minute right now and think about a relationship that you have that is a bit strained. What do you think will happen if you slow down and take the time to really understand their perspective without judgment? Isn’t it likely that they will draw closer and perhaps even become interested in learning more about your perspective?
To enhance your relationships, doesn’t it make sense to “Always try to understand another person's perspective before sharing your perspective?”