Understanding Others

When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two thirds of the time thinking about what they want to hear and one third thinking about what I want to say.

— Abraham Lincoln

Understanding Others means being curious about and understanding the motivations, feelings and moods that underlie behavior – both yours and others.

Understanding Others is not the same thing as empathy, nor are the two mutually exclusive. Understanding others is a thinking process; it is driven by curiosity and a basic interest in human nature, and it develops over time. Empathy is a feeling process, tapping into the emotions that you think others are experiencing. Observations accumulated over many and varied experiences with people lead to speculations about people, then rules of thumb and, eventually, finely honed instincts. In a dynamic workplace, people come and go ever more rapidly.

If you or any of your work associates exhibit the following, you’ll find remedies at EQDashboard.com are a real benefit:

  • Self-consciousness
  • Apathy
  • Being oblivious
  • Being overly task-focused
  • Lack of curiosity about or interest in people
  • Being a concrete or literal thinker
  • Self-focused, more concerned with own point of view

  • You might also consider (a sampling of suggestions from EQDashboard.com):

    Hertzberg, Frederick. “One more time: How do you Motivate Employees?” Harvard Business Review 46(1), 1968.

    Keirsey, David. Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence. Del Mar, CA: Prometheus Nemesis, 1st edition, 1998.

    Pink, Daniel H. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. New York: Riverhead (Penguin Group), First edition, 2009.

    Renwick, Patricia and Edward E. Lawler. “What You Really Want from Your Job.” Psychology Today, May 1978.

    Tieger, Paul D. The Art of SpeedReading People: How to Size People Up and Speak Their Language. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1999.

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