What does it mean to know someone? To truly see someone beneath the surface and know them fully?
David Brooks, founder of the Weavers recently spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival on how to build trust in this age of distrust. He explored what it takes to see someone fully and offered three qualities we can cultivate to help us get to know others deeply:
- Illuminationism — This is the quality of beaming full and loving attention to someone. If we consider everyone we meet as a soul with infinite value and dignity, we move from egotistical attention, thinking mainly of ourselves, to offering someone attention that’s full of care and respect.
- Accompaniment — This is about how we walk with others through life. Like with accompanying someone in music, our aim should be how we can make the singer sound more beautiful.
- Conversation — Research shows trying to know someone by “walking a mile in their shoes” doesn’t work. We must ask open-ended questions, listen with full attention, engage, and offer affirmation.