Interpersonal Empathy

Q: What communication skills can help avoid misunderstandings with others?

A: Always keep in mind: What is in the other person’s interest? Appeal to that when you talk. This will help in communicating effectively. In short, people listen when they perceive you understand their context, or perspective. Don’t be presumptuous–that is, don’t presume to know another’s interest when you might be wrong. However, keep in mind what you believe his/her interest MAY be, probably is, and act accordingly. Don’t sacrifice your own interests, and don’t pretend you don’t have any. This is disingenuous and people will be right to suspect it. But letting the other person know you’re keeping his or her interests/perspective in mind, and being careful to communicate/convey this, can help a great deal with benevolent and effective communication. You don’t have to sacrifice your own concerns by acknowledging that another has concerns as well. Like I have said before, we are all the center of our own universes, and it’s fine to be that way. But you have to recognize and acknowledge it’s the same for another, just as for yourself. I call this: Interpersonal empathy.