Seek First To Understand
When you seek first to understand, then to be understood, you will get results that you never expected in
your relationships, your sales, with your kids, your business and in all other areas in your life. This is one of the habits in Stephen R. Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
It is also the same idea as forming people – basically you need to be interested in them and ask them questions about their issue before you try to offer a solution. If you don’t and you just try to give them a solution without listening first, without “seek first to understand”, then you are basically telling them you don’t care about them.
We all want to help
I know it doesn’t feel like that to you, I was the same, because you really are wanting to help them and you feel like you are helping them faster by not waiting for them to tell you everything since you are smart and you can guess what they would say next, right? Well, put yourself in their shoes. How do you feel when someone tries to solve your problem before you feel like you completely explained it? Doesn’t matter if they actually got it without listening to it all, does it? You still feel like they didn’t listen to you.
In life, if we take the time to think how we’d feel in the place of the other person, we often can change how we behave since we’d not like others treating us the way we just caught ourselves treating someone else.
How would you feel?
After doing that, it becomes easy to understand why we need to seek first to understand, then to be understood instead of telling our story first. Take the time to think about how you’d feel and you will catch yourself.
The 7 habits:
- Be proactive.
- Begin with the end in mind.
- Put first things first.
- Think win-win.
- Seek First to understand, then to be understood.
- Sharpen the saw.
Have you caught yourself before? Tell me your stories, I’d love to hear them. Comment below.