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

Author’s quotes:

“Seek first to understand…then to be understood. Knowing how to be understood is the other half of Habit 5, and is equally critical in reaching Win/Win solutions.

Earlier we defined maturity as the balance between courage and consideration. Seeking to understand requires consideration; seeking to be understood takes courage. Win/Win requires a high degree of both. So it becomes important in interdependent situations for us to be understood.

The early Greeks had a magnificent philosophy which is embodied in three sequentially arranged words: ethos, pathos, and logos. I suggest these three words contain the essence of seeking first to understand and making effective presentations.

Ethos is your personal credibility; the faith people have in your integrity and competency. It’s the trust that you inspire, your Emotional bank Account. Pathos is the empathic side—it’s the feeling. It means that you are in alignment with the emotional thrust of another person’s communication. Logos is the logic, the reasoning part of the presentation.

Notice the sequence: ethos, pathos, logos—your character, and your relationships, and then the logic of your presentation. This represents another major paradigm shift. Most people, in making presentations, go straight to the logos, the left brain logic, of their ideas. They try to convince other people of the validity of that logic without first taking ethos and pathos into consideration.

When you can present your own ideas clearly, specifically, visually, and most important, contextually—in the context of a deep understanding of their paradigms and concerns—you significantly increase the credibility of your ideas.

You’re not wrapped up in your ‘own thing,’ delivering grandiose rhetoric from a soapbox. You really understand. What you’re presenting may even be different from what you had originally thought because in your effort to understand, you learned.

Habit 5 lifts you to greater accuracy, greater integrity, in your presentations. And people know that. They know you’re presenting the ideas which you genuinely believe, taking all known facts and perceptions into consideration, that will benefit everyone.”

Personal comments:

Social style (behavior) plays a significant role when understanding Covey’s statement that, “Most people, in making presentations, go straight to Logos (left brain logic). Since social style is very important I will divert my discussion from Habit 5 to discuss it in my next post, in order to help readers ‘put the puzzle together’.

Next:   Social Style Summary
Guidelines For Recognition

Author: maxbinkley

Creator of Leadership to the Max My experience in the military helped set the career path for me in human resources. After the military I worked for The Dow Chemical Company and left there in 1993 to venture out on my own. I purchased a small business, then a franchise then started another business in semi-retirement.

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