Having an open mind, ‘world view’ of people is more important today than perhaps at any other time in history.
And yet, it seems there is less understanding (empathy) and more global conflict that at any other time in the immediate past (50 years). People don’t care about you. That’s because they are mostly focused on themselves. Understanding this and how people view the world, their lifestyles and experiences can help you be more successful in business and in life. But don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself.
Here are 6 ways to become more people-centric:
You won’t be able to understand people if you don’t listen to them. There’s a difference between listening and hearing. You can hear anyone speak but to listen is to pay attention to what they are saying. Try not to let your mind wander when they are speaking and don’t think about what you are going to say until they are finished.
2. Take Their Point of View
There’s an old saying to walk a mile in another person’s shoes. This is fitting when trying to understand someone else’s point of view. It’s not an easy task but if you can pull it off, you may just find where they are coming from isn’t so out of the ordinary as you first thought.
3. View Videos of Counter Opinions
People make videos about everything these days. You will likely find opinions on videos. This can be a great way to try to see why others feel the way they do. Just search YouTube to see differing opinions on any topic.
4. Join Forums on the Web
If you don’t agree with a certain political party, join a group catering to that party. The idea is not to make yourself a convert but to learn more about why these people belong to the party and what kinds of issues they feel need to be addressed. Try always to be respectful when responding on the forums. Remember, you are the guest.
5. View Programs Geared to Your Opposing Viewpoints
When a program on television comes on that offers a different position than one you would usually take, watch that program. Try to keep an open mind and don’t automatically dismiss what is being presented.
6. Become Friends with People Having Differing Viewpoints
It’s amazing how people refuse to become friends with others who don’t share the same opinions. There are even people that will stop being friends when they find out the other person believes differently. However, if we all thought the same way, we’d be robots, and we would not likely generate new ideas. We won’t agree on everything but open discussions can lead us to solutions that may be satisfactory.