Ask Alignor

How can I know someone else’s needs or interests?

The key to understanding the interests or needs of others is to try to put yourself in that person’s place and think of what your needs would be if you were they. Most of the time, if you know something about the situation, you can anticipate pretty accurately the needs of others. When you are not sure, consider asking them directly what their needs are. Most people will tell you. If you do not have an opportunity to talk directly to the person whose needs you are trying to understand, consider talking to other people who may know the person. You can also look that person up on the internet. Finally, if that person has taken public positions on issues you are dealing with, those positions may give you insights into that person’s underlying needs.