“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” – Stephen R. Covey
We had a work meeting this week and this quote came up from the start. I think you have to read it a few times over to really comprehend what it is saying, ‘Seek first to understand, then to be understood.’ It’s about the importance of listening in being an effective communicator. So many fights and arguments could be avoided if we all did this.
This is something I know I struggle with, being such a talker. I pride myself in being a good listener to my friends but am I always REALLY listening? Or am I hearing what I want to hear and formulating my response in my head, missing some of what people are REALLY trying to tell me? It takes practice and patience to really understand what someone is saying. A lot of times we all hear just what we can relate to and block out the rest, and important feelings and thoughts get lost in translation. We have to change our perception of things and also our interpretation of events and emotions to be able to relate to others effectively. Truly understand first then it will be your turn to be understood as well.
I would explain this some more but I think Stephen R. Covey says it best in his great book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. (If you click on the picture below it will take you to the book.) Take a peak, you will learn something new and applicable in your own lives…I PROMISE!