Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood is about developing the skill of empathic listening. Dr. Stephen R. Covey teaches listeners the value of interacting “with understanding” to influence coworkers, bosses, your spouses, children, and neighbors. He shows how the real key to influence is “actual conduct based on true understanding of another point of view.
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“We have such a tendency to rush in, to fix things up with good advice. But we often fail to take the time to diagnose, to really, deeply understand the problem first.”
In this in-depth exploration of Habit 5, listeners will hear Dr. Covey teach how to identify the four autobiographical responses most people have when they listen. Since communication skills “will not be effective unless they come from a sincere desire to understand,” Habit 5 is where listeners learn how to transcend the limits of human perception so that they can deeply communicate and cooperatively deal with the issues and come up with win-win solutions. After teaching how to better listen and understand, Dr. Covey then teaches how to use those skills so that others will understand you with greater accuracy and greater integrity.
“You will never be able to truly step inside another person, to see the world as he sees it, until you develop the pure desire, the strength of personal character, and the positive Emotional Bank Account, as well as the empathetic listening skills to do it.”
This is not pop psychology or simply a trendy catch phrase. Dr. Covey helps the listener examine the character attributes that lead to behaviors. By living with honesty, integrity, kindness, and other time-tested principles, listeners find the real keys to changing unwanted behaviors.