Show that you Care What they Say

By | September 29, 2022

[September 29, 2022]  Much of the typical poor advice we get about leadership or how to show someone that you really care (a segment of leadership) is completely unusable.  But, there is something that will make your leadership better.

The next time you find yourself in an argument or in a difficult discussion, try this.  Each person can speak up for themselves only after he has first restated the ideas and feelings of the previous speaker accurately and to that speaker’s satisfaction.

We do have a tendency under such circumstances to twist the meaning and words of someone who we argue with.  We do this mainly to weaken their argument, make them look like a fool, and then we destroy the argument.  This is called the strawman argument.  You take what they say and caricature it; to show it as absurd and the person making the argument is small minded.

This form of “communicating” with others is cowardly.  It means that you must have the weakest of opponents to win or progress with an argument.  This is a pathetic way of having an argument.

What you should do is help make the other person’s argument as strong as possible, and then deal with that argument.  This shows that you have taken them seriously and to that other person’s satisfaction.  Of course, no surprise that this runs completely counter to what we would want to do.

Such a technique forces you to listen very closely and understand what the other person has said.  Then you have to formulate their argument to the point that they have to agree you’ve put it correctly.  That is difficult.  But also, so useful.

This shows that you are not just trying to win and argument or position.  And they are less likely to get irritable with you.  You are not making them into a fool.  They begin to have some trust in you and what you say.

This does not mean you agree because you understand something.  But before you make your position clear, you’ve made sure you know what they are getting at.  Understanding the other person does not mean repeating what they said but saying what you think the main thread of their argument is; a sort of summary of key ideas.


Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

21 thoughts on “Show that you Care What they Say

  1. Dead Pool Guy

    Well written Gen. Satterfield, so thanks for that and that we should show that we care outwardly. That way, folks get the message.

  2. Liz at Home

    Bottom line up front here, we don’t communicate well. That is what Gen. Satterfield is telling us and in this case he is also giving us some sage advice on how to improve upon our poor, useless way of talking to people on important topics. Pay attention to this article folks. It means a lot.

  3. Edward G.

    Gen. Satterfield giving great advice:
    “What you should do is help make the other person’s argument as strong as possible, and then deal with that argument. This shows that you have taken them seriously and to that other person’s satisfaction. “

    1. Doug Smith

      Best quote from the article. Edward, well done picking out the key phrase here. Always look for it, read it twice, and commit it to memory. 😊

  4. Valkerie

    General Satterfield has once again nailed another topic of importance to leaders. Pay attention how you show your caring (i.e., respect) so that others can “see” that you actually do care and thus are willing to respect and follow you. On another note, I bought the General’s book “Our Longest Year in Iraq” and thought it was tremendously entertaining and a great book to pick up anytime to read what combat was like in Iraq.

    1. Pink Cloud

      Valkerie, you certainly know how to push a book, ha ha ha ha. I too enjoyed his book and I recommend it to anyone who has a few minutes to get good, wholesome entertainment and an education.

  5. Tom Bushmaster

    But most folks, especially leftists who say they care, really don’t give a hoot.

    1. Eye Cat

      Just yak yak yak… if you want to really find someone who cares what you say, then look at what they do, not what they say.

      1. Maureen S. Sullivan

        Right, how else to infer what they are thinking. Reality matters. what you say, matters a lot less if it is not connected somehow to concrete action. That is how the world works, always has, always will. The college snowflakes who want everything for free, will never see this.


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