01 Jan 2019

Why being understood is our greatest human need

Okay, so the title might be a tad dramatic. Surely Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs prioritises food, water and shelter? Yes, and quite rightly so! But as far as our psychological needs go, our desire for understanding is pretty key. And we’re certainly not going to argue with Oprah:

“The single most important lesson I learned in 25 years talking every single day to people, was that there’s a common denominator in our human experience. We want to be validated. We want to be understood.”
(Oprah Winfrey, Harvard University Commencement Speech, 2013)

The ability to understand someone and to make yourself understood is a fundamental human need. If we can’t do this, we won’t get very far. Whether we’re a newborn baby or a nonagenarian, we crave connection. If somebody doesn’t really “get” us, we’re not going to get along!

At Understood, our Vision is a world where employees and customers feel valued, appreciated and understood. We begin every piece of work for every organisation, with a desire to understand: to understand their leaders, their customers and those employees on – and behind – the front-line. If we really “get” them, we can make their experience better, by making sure that every single piece of content we create really speaks to them.

It’s about building human connections: employee to employee; employee to customer. In that order. For organisations to survive, every single employee (even those “behind the scenes”) needs to understand the customer – and each other.

At Understood we’re passionate about compassionate communication. Communicating compassionately is to communicate authentically, with awareness and empathy. But what does this actually mean? Talk to us, explore our website, read our blog or follow us on Instagram or LinkedIn to find out more.