I have had the privileged of meeting some amazing people in my travels. Brilliant men and women who all have unique views, experiences and incredible levels of intelligence. I have also had the pleasure of meeting some... less than intelligent and decidedly less than "average" folks... while on my journey as well. Regardless stature, intelligence, or financial status I have come to the realization all people desire four things.
1) Being treated with dignity
2) Options, not commands
3) People want to understand why they are doing something
4) They want to be understood
Being Treated With Dignity
This is rather straight forward - Don't be an asshole to others. You wouldn't be an asshole towards yourself, so why act that way towards another? It seems that people have forgotten this truth. You can witness it in the anonymous interactions of people online or the commentary of political pundits. In a number of places, you can see this in how people interact with each other out in society. Decorum is slowly fading away. Don't lose this, especially in interactions with others. Always treat others with respect and allow them to keep their dignity.
Options, Not Commands
Being told what, when and how to do something is often seen as a sign of disrespect. It also makes people feel they are lacking control, which is a motivation killer and breeds animosity. If you need something accomplished by an individual, asking and providing multiple options for them to choose shows respect and affords the person the ability to maintain control of their sense of freedom.
People Want To Understand Why They Are Doing Something
Much like the lack of options leads to the feeling of a lack of control, the lack of understanding of why someone must do something can also lead to a feeling of lacking control and animosity. People want to understand how they fit into the world and how their actions impact the world. They want to understand that they matter and are not simply doing a task.
They Want To Be Understood
By and large, people are expressive beings. Be it art, poetry, music, affection, or anger, people have the need to express themselves. Hell, that is the very basis for everyday communication - convening a message intended to be consumed (and hopefully) understood by another party. Simply remember when you are talking with someone, especially when the subject could be considered high priority, they really just want to be understood.
Always take a moment to remember these four universal truths when dealing with others, you'll be surprised at how your interactions change just by taking this step.