Listen To Understand

Listen to Understand

Hey team, here we are, another beautiful Wednesday. It is Wednesday Workshop. Stephen R. Covey. ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ or highly effective leader, I can’t remember the name of the book now. He said that the biggest communication problem is that we don’t listen to understand, we listen to reply. And I gotta be honest, it’s true. It’s true for me. I think it’s probably true for all of us. It’s something I struggle with.

In 30 years of marriage, Karen and I are coming up on, here in just literally less than 30 days, we’ll have been married 30 years. And I can honestly say that probably for both of us, we could equally chime in here and say that listening to reply has been a chief motive in many of our arguments. As a matter of fact, listening to reply is probably the reason we argue, because we spend very little time listening to understand the other’s point of view.

The reason we deal with, out there on the street, whether it be transient Tom or homeless Harry, or Bob that doesn’t want to do his job, or you get it. You’re like Chad, you’re a poet. Yeah, I know, did you know it?

Point is that we listen so often to reply to what they’re saying that we’re not hearing what they’re saying. We’re not hearing where they’re coming from, we’re not understanding their motivation. We’re not understanding their heart and what they’re trying to say. We do it to each other, we do it in our married lives. We do it to our children, we do it to our friends.

And it’s something that we really do need to work on. It’s something that we need to strive on. It’s something that we need to literally make an effort that in every conversation. That we spend time to truly listen to what they’re saying. Ask questions, clarify, get feedback, make sure you grasp and understand what is being said before you reply to what you think, or that you’re listening to them and you’re taking it in through your own filter.

You’re spinning it up. It gets you anxious. It gets you anxiety, and then you come back at them from your own hurt, your own pain, your own feelings, your own thinking. And it ends up, maybe sometimes, destroying a relationship because of things said, because of things felt. And we want to say that it’s the other person’s fault. It’s not always. Sometimes they come at it from a very honest point of view, from their own heart, and because we’re not trying to understand it, it tears us up.

So I believe that Stephen Covey is very much right. Our biggest communication problem has to do with us not listening to understand but listening to only reply. So as you go through the rest of this week, and we move through the rest of this year, as you get into your conversations, rather it be with a client, with your wife, your children, with a co-worker, focus your attention and your heart on understanding what they’re saying, not trying to just reply from your own point of view or from your own mixed-up understanding of what they’re saying, because you’re filtering it through your own thinking, as opposed to what they’re truly trying to say.

Some of us are not the greatest communicators, me being one of them. So God bless you today. Have a wonderful week, and remember, listen to understand, not to reply. I’ll see you next week.