Habit 5: Seek First to Understand

An oldie, but a GOODIE! Improve your communication skills and you’ll find a more peaceful workplace and home.

“But you just don’t understand what I’m trying to say!”
“You’re not hearing me!” 
“You just don’t get it!”

How many times have you heard or said these statements of frustration? A lot, I’m sure, as have I. It’s hard work keeping a relationship of any kind on the right side of things. Most conflicts occur out of a lack of clear, effective communication. Today’s HABIT is all about seeking to UNDERSTAND the other person and then seeking to be understood.

This is much more than letting the other person speak first. In any discussion, let’s agree that there is always ample room to misunderstand. In fact, it’s like we’re hardwired TO MISunderstand and must work very hard to find our way back to understanding. With that said, there’s a way to skip the misunderstandings altogether. This phrasing usually works for me…

“So, please correct me if I’m wrong…

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