The late Stephen Covey authored a book named “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. One of the quotes in the book stated: “Seek first to understand and then to be understood”. We have seen derivatives of this quote such as “Listen more than you speak” but his statement brings to mind a couple of things worth mentioning.
- We love to convince people we are right. Persuasion is an art, albeit an often misused art. Take any conversation or post on social media and you will find people trying to persuade others. This blog is a perfect example of trying to inform and persuade at the same time. The problem that exists in persuasion is closing off our minds to new ideas. An ancillary problem is we might be wrong on the things we are debating. If we try to understand a person we often gain insight to talking points not previously considered. Are you willing to risk being partly wrong?
- We view items through the lens of bias, misunderstanding and ignorance of a subject. Seeking to understand involves vulnerability. Trying to see a subject through the eyes of another. I was driving the other day and almost ran into a motorcycle that was in my blindspot. To prevent this from happening we must turn our head momentarily from what we are viewing. Embrace the friends and people that see these blind spots; it is a view not often seen by a busy person.
The purpose of this blog is not to answer questions but to encourage a person to listen, think and then act. Do you want to see more of the world? Are you willing to humble yourself and be wrong for the sake of learning? Seek first to understand and then be understood. The world is much different then it first appears.