The ability to understand people is one of the greatest assets anyone can ever have. Understanding people certainly impacts your ability to communicate with others. David Burns, a medical doctor and a Professor of psychiatry observed,” The biggest mistakes you can make in trying to talk convincingly is to put your highest priority on expressing your ideas and feelings. What most people really want is to be listened to, respected, and understood. Knowing what people need and want is the key to understanding them. And if you understand them, you can influence them and impact their lives in a positive way. To influence, you have to love people before you try to lead them. Once you understand people and believe in them, they really can become somebody. What you give to one person overflows into the lives of all the people that person impacts. The nature of influence is to multiply.
Two brothers worked together on the family farm. One was married and had a large family. The other was single. At the day’s end, the brothers shared everything equally, produce and profit. Then one day the single brother said to himself. ‘It's not right that we should share equally. I am alone and my needs are simple.’ So each night he took a sack of grain from his bin and crept across the field between their houses, dumping it into his brother’s bin. Meanwhile the married brother said to himself, ‘It’s not right that we should share everything equally. After all, I’m married and I have my wife and my children to look after me for years to come. My brother has no one, and no one to take care of his future.’ So each night he took a sack of grain and dumped it into his single brother’s bin. Both men were puzzled for years because their supply of grain never dwindled. Then one dark night the two brothers bumped into each other. Slowly it dawned on them what was happening. They dropped their sacks and embraced one another.