To design with and not for.
Good design and architecture works with the land it shares and works with the people that interact with and inhabit it. Sometimes this thinking can become confused: "I designed this house for..." but it it is the buildings that include rather than exclude that create lasting space of joy. The difference is listening.
There are many aspects to designing and building that need to be taken into account and we can get most of the way there by previous knowledge, intuition and skill.
What makes a great building is having a process that asks questions and listens to the result.
Listening requires an open mind and to not have a preconceived idea of what the outcome will be. Often I'll see buildings that clearly the architects had an image of what they wanted to design before they understood the property or its occupants and the result looks out of place, dropped in from somewhere else.
Ask your clients what they truly want, how they want to live and what isn't working for them right now. Listen to what your clients are saying and keep asking questions. A good design relationship is built on listening and understanding.
Listen to the property, where the wind comes from, where the water flow, to all the factors that make up a unique property.
It is not hard to design a building but it requires effort to design a good building and listening is a step in the right direction.