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"Seek to Understand, Then to Be Understood"

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about communicating in a way that creates a mutual understanding. So it was Stephen Covey, who I first heard say, "Seek first to understand then to be understood." That was in his popular book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Now, the reason that this is such valuable advice, is it's actually counter-intuitive and most people don't naturally do this. Seeking to understand first is harder than it sounds.

Many of us listen to others with the intent of replying, rather than trying to fully understand what the other person is saying. We often actually just have this sense of wanting other people to see things from our point of view. We don't really want to hear theirs. You know, even, we might even interrupt, get defensive, become disengaged. You know, maybe reaching for our phone or becoming fidgety and distracted without realizing how that's actually coming across to the other person speaking.

But we can be actually pretty sure that the other person has noticed that we're not truly taking in what they're saying or how they're feeling. We might be opposed to an opinion or an idea being expressed at times. So in those moments, we also become really actually defensive or kind of cold towards the other person. And so they're left with this feeling of being unheard or even uncared for as though what they have to say matters less than what we have to say, or maybe even it doesn't matter to us at all. So when we don't truly listen, it creates a defensive environment that's really ripe for misunderstandings, distrust, and really.

But we can learn to listen more mindfully and create more connection, more harmony and understanding. And we can start with this simple practice of seeking to understand before being understood. So the next time a colleague is sharing an idea a friend or a partner is sharing their view on things, see if you can really be present and listen without judgment, just with curiosity and openness. Give the person speaking an unhurried and relaxed space to express themselves fully. If anything's unclear to you ask clarifying questions and see if you can leave a little pause before you respond.

By taking the time to truly understand the other person, we set up the conditions for mutual trust, care, and respect. And we make it much more likely that when it's our turn to speak, we will also be fully heard. So that's the invitation for practice today. Seek to understand, and then to be understood. I wish you well with this.

And as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. Let's now settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

"Seek to Understand, Then to Be Understood"

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about communicating in a way that creates a mutual understanding. So it was Stephen Covey, who I first heard say, "Seek first to understand then to be understood." That was in his popular book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Now, the reason that this is such valuable advice, is it's actually counter-intuitive and most people don't naturally do this. Seeking to understand first is harder than it sounds.

Many of us listen to others with the intent of replying, rather than trying to fully understand what the other person is saying. We often actually just have this sense of wanting other people to see things from our point of view. We don't really want to hear theirs. You know, even, we might even interrupt, get defensive, become disengaged. You know, maybe reaching for our phone or becoming fidgety and distracted without realizing how that's actually coming across to the other person speaking.

But we can be actually pretty sure that the other person has noticed that we're not truly taking in what they're saying or how they're feeling. We might be opposed to an opinion or an idea being expressed at times. So in those moments, we also become really actually defensive or kind of cold towards the other person. And so they're left with this feeling of being unheard or even uncared for as though what they have to say matters less than what we have to say, or maybe even it doesn't matter to us at all. So when we don't truly listen, it creates a defensive environment that's really ripe for misunderstandings, distrust, and really.

But we can learn to listen more mindfully and create more connection, more harmony and understanding. And we can start with this simple practice of seeking to understand before being understood. So the next time a colleague is sharing an idea a friend or a partner is sharing their view on things, see if you can really be present and listen without judgment, just with curiosity and openness. Give the person speaking an unhurried and relaxed space to express themselves fully. If anything's unclear to you ask clarifying questions and see if you can leave a little pause before you respond.

By taking the time to truly understand the other person, we set up the conditions for mutual trust, care, and respect. And we make it much more likely that when it's our turn to speak, we will also be fully heard. So that's the invitation for practice today. Seek to understand, and then to be understood. I wish you well with this.

And as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. Let's now settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Duration

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