At VantagePoint3, we have been cultivating the art of seeing others for 23 years . Close friends know that we call this “particularizing a person.” As our lives and the communities we lead continue to re-calibrate and lean into what matters most in 2024, the importance of relationships is front and center.
As a team, we have been captivated by David Brooks’ newest book, How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen.
And we want to talk about it with you!
David Brooks is an outstanding, curious journalist with a proven track record as an author and thought leader. He wrote this book out of a desire to improve his human relationship skills and out of the conviction that he wasn’t very good at seeing and noticing others. Brooks believes that one of society’s most pressing needs is to go deeper with others. He also builds the case through the book that this skill can be learned.
In a New York Times interview, Brooks says, “I’m not an exceptional person, but I am a grower. I do have the ability to look at my shortcomings and then try to prod myself into becoming a more fully developed person.”
At VantagePoint3, we are a network of “growers.” That’s what God made us to do! But we can develop this more deeply for ourselves and those we lead!
Brooks goes on to say, “Being openhearted is a prerequisite for being a full, kind and wise human being. But it is not enough. People need social skills. The real process of, say, building a friendship or creating a community involves performing a series of small, concrete actions well:
- Being curious about other people
- Disagreeing without poisoning relationships
- Revealing vulnerability at an appropriate pace
- Being a good listener
- Knowing how to ask for and offer forgiveness
- Knowing how to host a gathering where everyone feels embraced
- Knowing how to see things from another’s point of view.”
I’ve slowly inhaled Brooks’ book from cover to cover with more underlines and dog-eared pages than those that are not. He is talking about the work we do through building up mentors and our VP3 processes, but he does so with language, depth, and insights that are helping me improve my skill set and desire to hear and see others more deeply.
Are you captivated yet??
Rob Loane and I are convening a book discussion online on February 5, 12, and 19–three Mondays–to dive more intentionally into this thought-provoking read. We think it’s an excellent means to cultivate the “right things” among us. We hope to “see” you and get to know you better soon!