The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - [5] SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD

In our daily life happens very often that we speak with people that find in us a point of reference, but is very important first to deeply understand this people and then to give any sort of advice. We’d have to use our empathy to identify oneself in their position, know also their past and previous experiences and why they’re thinking in the way they are thinking.
Unfortunately it’s very usual for us to prescribe solutions before we diagnose the problem, we tend not to deeply understand the problem first.
In order to seek to deeply understand the other person, we must learn to listen.
You have to build the skills of empathic listening on a base of character that inspired openness and trust” -Covey suggests.
But most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. When someone is still speaking, we tend to speak or thinking about how to reply.
When we reply according to our own perspective we tend to respond in one of four ways:
  • Evaluate: Agree or disagree with what is said.
  • Probe: Ask questions from our own frame of reference.
  • Advise: Give counsel based on our own experience.
  • Interpret: Try to figure out the person’s reasons and behavior based on our own motives and behavior.

But if we replace these types of response with empathic listening we’ll see dramatic results in improved communication.‎
The second part of habit #5 is “then to be understood.” And is creating the same condition like achieving a Win-Win solution. When we’re fully understood we also increase significantly the credibility of our ideas and plans.

Taken in reference from the book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" written by Stephen Covey.

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