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Ellis Academy of Self Defence

Covey's 7 habits - Seek first to be understand and then to be understood

Posted: March 06, 2018

In simplest terms, seeking First to Understand and Then to Be Understood means, listen first, talk second. The key here is to really listen and work hard to see things from the other person’s point of view before sharing your own. Developing this skill opens up a whole new dimension of understanding.

This is very powerful and creates very positive outcomes because it taps into one of the deepest needs of any human being… the need to be understood. When people feel that you understand them, they are much more likely to genuinely consider what you have to say.

Don’t ever underestimate the transformational power that comes when someone believes you understand them. This is most obvious in close personal relationships, but also applies at work and in every type of human interaction. Seeking First to Understand is one of the most highly empowering communication techniques.

Often conflict situations can be avoided using this, as martial artist it is better to defer from conflict and just talk. It takes courage to walk away from a potential fight.