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Monday 25 October 2010

Seek first to understand and then be understood

Essentially, “seek first to understand” implies that you become more interested in understanding others and less in having other people understand you. It means mastering the idea that if you want quality, fulfilling communication that is nourishing to you and others; understanding others must come first. When you understand where people are coming from, what they are trying to say, what’s important to them, and so forth, being understood flows naturally; it falls into place with virtually no effort. When you reverse this process, however (which is what most of us do most of the time), you are putting the cart before the horse. When you try to be understood before you understand, the effort you exert will be felt by you and the person or people you are trying to reach. Communication will break down, and you may end up with a battle of two egos. Seeking first to understand isn’t about who’s right or wrong. It is a philosophy of effective communication. When you practice this method you’ll notice that the people you communicate with will feel listened to, heard, and understood. This will translate into better and more loving relationships.

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