Thursday, March 30, 2017
YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!!!!!
I learned something very interesting today from auther Stephen Covey in his popular book "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". He urged his readers to "seek first to understand then to be understood". That really stuck with me, reason being most conversations are spent diagnosing the speaker and imposing our beliefs without really thoroughly spending time to truly understand the other persons point of view.
My husband and I were recently invited to dinner at a friend's home. After dinner we got engaged in a very heated political debate, it was very emotionally charged. We heard the opposing side of my friend's brother. But seemed so engaged in our own conviction that we really didn't spend time to listen. That conversation stuck with me, because even though I did not agree with my friend's brother's point of view, I saw in that conversation the importance of truly seeking to understand the point of view of others by not just hearing, but really putting ourselves in their shoes. Really spending time to listen.
Seeking first to understand means we learn to listen before speaking. It means being open to being influenced by the other person's view point. However we enter conversations with our own convictions and preconceived notions. We are usually preoccupied with winning an argument or responding in a conversation instead of really listening and understanding.
So I urge you to truly be present and in the moment the next time you are in conversation or in a heated debate or arguement with someone. Don't say "I understand" without truly listening. Spend time to understand that persons point of view, spend time to put yourself in that persons shoe. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. The difference will be profound.
Listen with me.