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Nov 24, 2006

Seek first to Understand...

29676_med_1 Habit 5 -- Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

-- from Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I include this today because I've noticed this week that I need a reminder.

On one occasion, I was meeting with several people (including me) who were all "trying to be understood" -- something  Covey calls "the dialogue of the deaf".  On another occasion, I launched into commentary and advice while the person I was with still getting started with her story.

For me, what de-rails the listening?  Many things, of course: impatience, arrogance, lack of consideration, fear, forgetfulness...  It's hard for me to be "on guard" against those at all times, but maybe it's easier instead to be focused on what I do want instead of what I'm trying to avoid.   Especially if I can say what I want in simple way: to truly be helpful (when I'm working as a consultant) or to truly hear my friend (when I'm listening to someone close).

So, in any case.  Here's the blog reminder to myself.  And happy day-after-Thanksgiving to you!

01:13 PM in Quotables | Permalink

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