Humans have a hard time understanding that others don’t see the world the way we do. This naive realism causes us to make assumptions that create distance between us and the people we want to serve.
Tamsen Webster is a TEDx speaker, communications expert, and author of the book Find Your Red Thread , which helps people communicate big ideas through cognitive empathy.
Things to consider
- Communication has to be sent and received in order for it to be successful. We tend to spend too much time sending messages, and not focusing on how they’re received.
- Rather than fit our worldview into someone else’s, we need to understand how their worldview informs their decisions.
- As great as our ideas might be, our audiences don’t know that yet. And simply repeating how great it is over and over again isn’t going to convince them.
- Write more pitches in a TL;DR fashion. Make them skimmable.
- Our ideas are almost never for “everyone”, only for those that share the same worldview as us.
- Find the world beliefs that support your success at an endeavour, rather than focusing on the limiting beliefs that hold you back.
Questions to ask to help establish cognitive empathy
- How is our audience thinking about the problem we’re posing?
- How do they see the world?
- What are the beliefs that are leading them to the behaviour, feeling, or action that’s relevant to our message?