7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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

Referred to as the single most important principle in the field of interpersonal relations, habit five is essential to changes in personal success. Stephen Covey recognizes this habit as one in which everyone can benefit from as it is easily relatable to the most individuals. Most of our lives we’ve been taught how to interact with others through speaking, reading and writing but the most important tool, the ability to listen, is often forgotten. This habit focuses mainly on that single ability, the power of listening. Empathic listening, described as “listening with the intent to understand” (Pg. 240) is a crucial tool in learning not to simply listen with the intent to reply but to actually listen with the intent to hear what they’re trying to say. In using empathic listening, perspective then automatically changes from revolving around your own personal biography, to revolving around what they’re trying to convey. Once this perception changes you can easily recognize the difference in communicating, from fighting to get a word in about your own story, to listening and seeking to understand. Four applications of this habit

Business transactions- When Mark Zuckerberg first created the website “FaceMash” he created something that the students of Harvard University liked. The idea ultimately resulted in the creation of “The Facebook,” which now has approximately 1 billion (wiki) users. All this success couldn't have possibly happened if he designed the website based solely on the design he liked. A smart business owner must first understand what their client wants, and then tailor their project, their design, to fit those needs. Sibling relationships- Younger sister used to never listen to me, being the older of the two of us I automatically assumed the “mom” role and would often criticise her choices and decisions. It wasn’t until reading this habit that I realized I wasn’t really listening at all,...
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