Albert Einstein said "Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
There is a performance improvement discipline called Six Sigma Lean, which uses a thought process of DMAIC. The acronym stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.
It is a complex class and I won't bore you with most of the gory details or formulas. Instead I want to concentrate on is the first term which is define, which lies at the heart of my post.
Identification of any challenge requires you to take the time and effort to understand it.
Time and Effort.
This applies to everything. Relationship with self, relationship with others. Every interaction and endeavor. And with that understanding we can use our acquired knowledge to create opportunities for growth and evolution of not only who we are, but the relationships we share with others.
Use what ya got to get what you need.
Why is this important and how does it apply to understanding the avenues of opportunity that grace our lives?
Understanding, discernment, assessment, empathy and emotional intelligence are all traits required to allow each and every one of us the opportunity to make beneficial choices and actions to evolve our lives and those in it.
It is one of fundamental components or pillars of creating or maintaining meaningful interactions and relationships. If you do not invest in this skill, more often than not you will find that you have made a wrong turn at the corner of "Misunderstanding Street".
I promise you this is a neighborhood that is best avoided if at all possible. The roads are all bumpy, the houses don't have numbers on them and it is full of dead ends.
Giving attention to paying attention will never steer you wrong and learning to read the whole book not just between the lines will always gain you more than reading the cliffs notes.
Time and Effort.
So define. Take the time to understand. Not just the problem, but the person. Seek to use empathy to gain a better understanding of where they are coming from. This does not mean you agree, but that you are willing to understand even if you don't agree.
That is where humanity comes in.
That term can mean many things, but for me it means that I took the time to define what I was looking at or the person I was talking to.
It means that I took the time to really see the whole picture not just my brush strokes in it. I looked for every color, nuance, shape and shade.
Too often many Look, but do not See. Hear, but do not Listen, Eat, but do not Taste, and Do, but do not Experience.
There is more to the picture than meets the eye, but only if you are willing to do more than just look.
It is there that you will find value. It is there that you can provide value.