40+FAB Blog

Understudy to understand

I was reading an article today in which Warren Buffet said that improving this one skill could make you 50% more productive in life.
Thankfully, it is a skill that everyone can improve regardless of their background – it’s called communication.

A shared understanding is the fruitful outcome of communication, and this does not happen by expressing your point of view only. Experts recommend that you communicate to the other persons style, and that you also listen to them. If you really want to be better at communicating you have to study the person or people you are reaching.

The closer they are to you, the more you need to understudy them. The term understudy is used in theatre to describe a person who studies another’s role in order to be able to act like them.
Kindergarten teachers use this principle to communicate with children, they always literally bend down to the child’s level to speak with them.

At home, at work, or at play, do you take time to study those you need to reach? Do you take time to understand their style, what irritates them, or what excites them? Do you take time to listen to them with an intention to see their point of view?

Taking out a bit more time to understudy your audience, putting yourself in their shoes, will produce great understanding in your communication making you more effective in relationships and in life.