“Seek first to understand, then to be understood” – Stephen Covey

Hi there,

This post is more like a reminder to myself than anything else. Habit 5 of the 7 habits by Stephen Covey “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” is a habit that I am trying to live everyday and struggling with it a lot.

Like the time when a thought appears in my head in a meeting and i stop listening, just waiting for my turn to speak. Or when I am in a conversation/debate with someone, instead of listening with the intention to understand, I just try to be polite and insist on my way of thinking and they know it. It is when my daughter does something that I don’t understand, yet jump straight to the conclusion that it is not the right thing to do. It is an crucial ingredient if you want to assume positive intent though.

As my time at work is more and more about working with others, influencing internal and external stakeholders, this habit is becoming more and more important to me. I wish I would develop it further, be more patient and don’t jump into conclusion too quickly. I wish that my eyes and my ears would always remain open 5-10 minutes into a presentation even though the start of it is not something that I find useful (to say the least).

I wish I could pause 1-2 seconds before speaking my mind so that I could listen more.

It is definitely not easy and I am making good progress. It helps me to force myself to pause, to try to understand the other person point of view, no matter how much I don’t like it. It also stops me from judging people in my mind 🙂 We are created equal and we all have our reasons on why we behave in a certain way so let’s seek first to understand, then to be understood.



P.S: to my colleagues, my friends, family members, people that I work with, please remind me whenever you find me not adhering to this habit 🙂



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