Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

December 11, 2017
Aug 11, 2022
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Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Sean Walsh, the Co-Founder of 1904labs, explains that everyone deserves to be respected and understood. Understanding does not mean agreement. You can understand a perspective and still disagree.


I'll just speak for myself, you're honest with yourself, you want to be, everybody wants to be heard, I want to be heard. And you're concerned that if somebody gets to go first, that they won't, you won't get a chance to go and be heard.

And they'll set the agenda, but really by virtue of truly understanding the other first and letting them make sure that you understand them, it opens the dialogue, it opens up the environment for real communication, because there's nothing like talking to somebody that takes the time to understand what you're, what you're thinking.

You know, I tell some of the folks in the company understanding does not mean agreement. To understand you I don't have to agree with you. But how the heck will I ever to get to agreement with you if I don't understand the way you think about it?

And so it it, it's a difficult principle across the board, but as I told everybody when we were starting the Covey lunches, I said, "This is the most important principle." They all work together, all seven, but let's start with the idea in the team environment, we build software, we build data solutions, we build decision science solutions, all agile, all human-centered, all teams. Well then let's make sure that we give the other people on our team a chance to be understood and heard.

And then if we don't agree then we can use some of the other principles to figure out how we reach agreement in a way that honors both parties, the win-win.

And so once again it's it's the foundational habit in my mind to an effective team based company.

All excerpts are from: https://www.stephencovey.com/7habits/7habits.php and the book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®.