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August 2010

 

News and Events

“SEEKING FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD”


By Sandy Plone, Ph.D

THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE:
Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

By Stephen R. Covey

Although this book was first published in 1989, it has remained on the bestseller lists all these years, attracting both business people and those seeking changes in personal beliefs, paradigms, and relationships.

Habit #5 speaks to “Seeking First to Understand, then to be Understood.” Covey observes that few people have training in listening. Most people don’t listen; they want to talk. But how can one discover “win/win” solutions, as Covey states it, if they aren’t listening to the other person? The author also suggests not putting one’s personal autobiography into the lives of other people. Listening shouldn’t be selective; nor should we only pretend to listen to others.

Covey writes: “Communication experts estimate… that only 10% of our communication is represented by the words we say. Another 30% is represented by sounds (like chortle, chortle, grunt, grunt) and 60% by our body language. In empathic listening, you listen with your ears, but you also listen with your heart. You listen for feeling, for meaning. You listen for behavior. You use your right brain as well as your left. You sense, you intuit, you feel”.

 

 

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