Treat Everyone Like You Have Something To Learn From Them
“Treat others the way you want to be treated”, but let’s take it a step further. Treat everyone like you have something to learn from them. This does two really interesting things that I want to reflect on.
First, we all want to feel heard, and like what we have to share is worth listening to. At the end of the day, we all want to be loved, heard, and understood, and authentic connection and listening is one way to facilitate that. So, from an empathetic approach, it’s important to treat someone like you have something to learn because it validates the value you see in them and your relationship with them.
The second part is more of a shift. The world is abundant with knowledge, and it is impossible for any one person to know even a fraction of it. Just because it seems like objectively you are more educated or come off as more intelligent as someone else, it doesn’t mean they don’t have something to teach you. And it actually becomes fun trying to discover exactly what that is. In Vanessa Van Edwards book Captivate, she talks about a game you can play when you first meet someone where you try to find a point of similarity with them as fast as possible. Once we’ve built that rapport, the next step is to find out what we can learn from them! When you approach relationships with that curiosity to uncover something new, you’ll find not only that your knowledge base grows and diversifies, but you’re connecting more genuinely with the people around you.