When you do not understand something, or do not see something the same way as the person you are talking to, ask the person to explain. This is probably the most effective, straightforward and direct way to understand the other person. Simply asking: “Help me understand why you see the situation like this/why do you want that” is enough. Yet this is probably the least common method and instead we try to guess what is happening as if we can earn “bonus points” by figuring it out on our own.

Being ready and able to see the world from multiple perspectives is a desirable skill and you can use it all the time, in any situation. When people feel understood, they are more inclined to want to understand you as well - and that is how you can begin to build a cooperative and collaborative environment.