BYU Radio

How to Understand the Other People

by Alyssa Banks, who helps produce 'The Matt Townsend Show."

1. Take time to listen. This is a simple concept, but many people wonder why they don’t understand other people’s viewpoints when, in fact, they aren’t actually taking the time to listen.

2. Ask questions. This is another simple and obvious gesture. However, it may eliminate some miscommunication that inevitably occurs when assuming you've understood another person’s feelings.

3. Be yourself. You can still listen to another person’s opinion that is different from your own without feeling obligated to agree with them. Give honest and meaningful feedback in response to their opinions. There’s no need to pretend you’re both on the same page when you don’t agree.

4. Put yourself in the other person’s situation. It’s easier to dismiss problems and concerns of others because we don’t take the time to put ourselves in their specific situations. Imagining how other people feel does wonders for the types of responses and overall conversations you’ll have with others.

5. Eliminate distractions. This shows the other person you have time for them, and you want to hear what they have to say.

6. Pay attention to body language. This typically gives a better idea of how people feel rather than the words that are said.

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