Human beings have something that I call "The Generalization Point". It seems it only takes two or three experiences before people generalize. If we meet two or three people in a bad mood we say, "Everyone is in a bad mood today." This is what I call the generalization point. You can use the Generalization Point on purpose. Whenever you hear yourself say, “I understand.” Follow it with two to three specific statements of what you actually understand. Anyone can say they “understand” without actually understanding anything.

Let’s say a team member says they are overworked. There’s a big difference between just saying, “I understand.”

Verses saying, “I understand you are overworked because it doesn’t seem the workload was downsized along with the workforce. And the demands from our Customers are increasing. Not to mention the seemingly endless stream of meetings.”

In the second example, because of the three statements you made, you hit the other person’s generalization point and he or she will feel completely understood by you.