If you take the time to understand others by listening with your eyes, ears, heart, undivided attention and without judgement, you will already be halfway there.
I did a presentation some time back for a cancer group. I started by saying: “If I say to you I know and understand your pain, I will be lying to you. The truth is I don’t. I do not have cancer and do not know how it feels to have cancer. So help me understand how you feel and what your biggest challenges are?”
The group responded by expressing thoughts like:
“I feel a loss of control.”
These are real issues with no quick-fix solutions. I did my best to respond to them, but the fact that I took to the time to ask and be attentive to the group’s feelings was important. The participants felt their feelings were valued, so they responded well to the presentation.