“You’ll never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb inside his skin and walk around in it.”
– Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird
One of the pioneers and leaders in the field of personal development, Stephen Covey, passed away not long ago. He was perhaps best known for his classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit 5 states, “Seek to understand and then to be understood.”
In our fast-paced world, most of us do an abridged version of this if we do it at all. Lee’s quote suggests that we go far deeper and climb under the skin of another to fully understand their perspective and point of view.
When you meet someone you don’t know, or even someone you think you know well, try the following three relationship techniques:
1. Ask lots of genuine open-ended questions to show your sincere interest.
2. Layer, by taking a piece of their answer, to go deeper and demonstrate that you are truly listening.
3. Be silent when they are speaking, so they can fully express their ideas and opinions.
Feel free to send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let me know how these techniques work for you.