I have noticed that some of the strongest, most successful, and most original personalities make relatively little effort to incorporate others' point of view into their persuasion techniques. Do you think Steve Jobs really tried to understand how others saw the situation when he was screaming at them to get things right? I've dealt with multiple "screamers" and I hated their guts, but they had achieved more than me.

You certainly have to make yourself understood. If whoever you are talking to has no idea what you really want there is no point talking. Without doubt great leaders and great achievers of all stripes have to have enough situational awareness to understand whether they are getting their point of view across. But more often than not they simply get rid of people who can't understand them.

Think of some great leaders you know. Some of them have claimed to feel everybody's pain, but did they really? Was there enough detail in their description to indicate that they really knew the nuances of the pain that the multitudes of people they were addressing felt? Think of some of them with quirky personalities. Do their communications on complicated subjects often even make sense? They make sense to them, but sometimes their thinking is so far away from the pack that going down to the level of everyone they are talking to simply is not something they are willing or often capable of accomplishing. Think of some other great leaders who get others to follow them simply by displaying their leadership qualities on the most basic level but not the real goal of where they are going.

So in summary, yes there is some obvious truth to using situational awareness to convince people. But trying to get down to the level of every single person one has to deal with isn't something everyone who is successful does, nor is it strictly necessary to achieve many goals of persuasion.


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