To Win People Over, Speak to Their Wants and Needs

By Nancy Duarte

Practicing empathy can be difficult, because you have to step outside your comfort zone to understand someone else’s point of view. But it’s essential to exercising influence.

It’s how method actors move us to feel, think, or act differently—they deeply immerse themselves in their characters, trying on new ways of being and behaving. Sometimes their identity experiments are even part of the story line, as in Being John Malkovich, Avatar, and Tootsie.

During Tootsie, walking in the shoes of a woman had such a profound impact on Dustin Hoffman that, 30 years later, recalling his decision to make the film brought tears to his eyes in an interview with the American Film Institute. ...

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