Communicating effectively may be one of the most important skills. Interesting that our education system trains us in only 3 of the 4 major means of communication: reading, writing, and speaking, but not listening.
In Stephen Covey’s best-seller, Habit 5 is “seek first to understand, then to be understood”. This is the essence of effective listening.
Next time you’re in a discussion (especially a disagreement) rather than planning your next words while the other person talks, listen with the intent of repeating their message back to them in your own words. Here’s the catch: you have to choose words that are not only your own, but that the other person agrees captures their point/argument/message.
Not an easy task. Especially when there is disagreement. But the surest way to making sure your message is heard, is to make sure theirs is first.
One thought on “Seek first to understand”
Thanks Steve! have you read Radical Forgiveness? I’m trying to get through it.