10. Seek first to understand. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. When we’re communicating with another, we need to give full attention, to be completely present. Then we need to empathize—to see from the other’s point of view, to “walk in his moccasins” for a while. This takes courage, and patience, and inner sources of security. But until people feel that you understand them, they will not be open to your influence.
In 10 succinct pages, Stephen R. Covey’s “30 Methods of Influence” contains some of the greatest wisdom I’ve ever read.
The methods fall into three categories: 1. Example: Who You Are and How You Act, modeling by doing (others see), 2. Relationship: Do you Understand and Care? (others feel), and 3. Instruction: What You Tell Me (others hear).
While I’ve posted a blog on the 30 Methods in their entirety, they are so powerful and have had such a profound impact upon my life and effectiveness that I am now posting them one by one, one each week. Profound thoughts are best if savored, wisdom is gained most thoroughly if absorbed over time.