Posted by: GPK | 16.September.2009

Understanding is Underrated

Understand first!

In his groundbreaking book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey proclaims that one critical key to success is developing the habit of “Seeking first to understand, then to be understood.”

The more I experience, the more I absolutely agree with this statement.  How many times do we have misunderstandings that could have been completely avoided if we had just adhered to this axiom?  I almost can’t think of an example where it isn’t true.

In your interactions today, ask questions.  Get to know the person you’re dealing with.  Find out how they see things and what they believe, need, desire.  Understand their point of view.  When you do, chances are very good that you’ll then be able to synch up your needs and desires much more effectively.

Look back on the past few days.  Take a look at the misunderstandings you’ve seen and experienced.  Among them, how many of them could have gone more smoothly had the parties been committed to seeking first to understand?


Think. Engage. Share!

Peace and gratitude,




  1. Funny……I was having this very epiphany earlier this morning about a situation.

  2. Two ears…one mouth. I am always reminding myself to ask and then listen, don’t talk. I have learned so much about people that way. I’m an observer, a processor – but sometimes an impatient one. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Thank YOU Jan. As a coach, you understand the importance of taking in information and being open to it. It’s not always easy though! When we are chomping at the bit to share a relevant thought, especially. Being in the moment and listening is particularly challenging at those times. Keep plugging along!

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