Other people have some goals. Their goals may be congruent with yours, or they may not. Also other people may declare some goals that are congruent with yours, but these people may also have other goals that are not congruent. I don’t want to state “everybody lies” or something like that, but people may not truthfully speak about their goals and needs.
Why does it matter? Our goals dictate our actions. It means if people declare some goals you can observe their actions and check how these actions fit their goals. Also if you don’t know about their goals, you can create several hypotheses and look for theirs actions to prove or disprove these hypotheses. Thus you can conclude the most likely goals.
This approach can be useful because use can always check how people’s goals fit their actions and vice versa. You can check the truthfulness of public people, like politicians. You can observe your co-workers and your superiors to better understand what they are doing.
There are a number of reasons why people’s actions don’t support their declared goals. Sometimes people lie to themselves, they may do that intentionally or not intentionally. Of course they may only want to create a good public image and declare goals that most people would support. They may have more complicated reasons to declare one set of goals, but act on another set of goals. You can, for example, imagine yourself in place of the person to understand his or her motivations and goals. Thus you can get a better understanding of the situation.
Using this kind of approach you would focus more on people’s actions to understand them, rather than on their words. But words are also actions, even if some people may not understand what kind of reaction their words can lead to. So you may need to consider public speeches not only as information sources but also as acts to reach some goals.