You all have a voice and you want to be heard. Having someone listen and really hear you is a gift. You love it when someone “gets you”. It makes you feel valued and important. So how do you get more of that?
You get more of what you want by first offering it to others.
A conversation is an exchange. It’s a give and take. A listen and talk. Both people need to be fully engaged. And by engaged, I don’t mean talking. Listening is active, not passive. Listening happens with your ears, your eyes, and your heart. Active listening builds relationships and trust. A conversation becomes less about “pushing” out what’s on your mind and more about receiving what someone else is saying. When both people are engaged in this manner it creates a positive synergy. It was best said by Stephen Covey:
“Seek First to Understand”
You’re seeking to understand what the other person is really saying. You’re seeking to understand the emotion behind the words. You’re seeking to understand what they might need from you. Seeking first to understand not only opens you up, it opens up the other person and the communication becomes a true give and take. Seeking first to understand is especially helpful when frustration, disagreement, or anger exist. When you communicate by listening first, negative emotions tend to dissipate and conversations become more productive. This type of communication is a critical element in creating trusted relationships.
There is no place in life where relationships are not important to success. Parents, students, spouses, friends, business owners, corporate executives, leaders, or service providers all benefit from building strong trusting relationships.
It’s safe to say that if you’re a human being, you will benefit greatly from demonstrating “Seek First to Understand”. So, the next time you sit down with someone give it a try and just see what happens!