Books That Alter Destinies

How do you rate yourself as a listener? Before reading the great book of the 7 habits of highly effective families I thought that listening was only different than hearing. While we hear all the time noises and sounds unintentionally, listening is an intentional action. This was my superficial understanding of listening before reading habit number five of Stephen R. Covey.
Seek first to understand then to be understood was a heart opener. In it Covey suggested the technique of the Indian stick which simply consists of giving a stick to the other person and just listen without any interruptions till he ends. Then he would pass us the stick, we on our turn summarise what he said to ensure that we got the meaning right.
To be honest, I tried this technique few times till I grasped its essence, the rest was work I had to do in my mind and on my thoughts. Dealing with my husband while he’s angry or with my children while they were out of the mood, I tried to remind myself to understand, to get the meaning behind their words and their actions, to decode their attitudes and to be the tap on their shoulders in their tough moments instead of being the judge. 
Seeking first to understand is about listening to the meaning behind the words and looking at the person in the context, considering his background, his circumstances, his frame of reference, looking at the big picture and then trying to explain oneself clearly and specifically but after listening first. Listening empathetically. 

  

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