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Seek First to Understand

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Communication is the most important skill in life. You spend years learning how to read and write, and years learning how to speak. But what about listening? What training have you had that enables you to listen so you really, deeply understand another human being? Probably none, right?

“If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of interpersonal relations, it would be this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
~ Dr. Stephen R. Covey

If you’re like most people, you probably seek first to be understood; you want to get your point across. And in doing so, you may ignore the other person completely, pretend that you’re listening, selectively hear only certain parts of the conversation or attentively focus on only the words being said, but miss the meaning entirely. So why does this happen? Because most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. You listen to yourself as you prepare in your mind what you are going to say, the questions you are going to ask, etc. You filter everything you hear through your life experiences, your frame of reference. You check what you hear against your autobiography and see how it measures up. And consequently, you decide prematurely what the other person means before he/she finishes communicating. Do any of the following sound familiar?

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A Note from the Editor

This website is a labor of love filled primarily with curated content from many people and places.  Any content that comes from elsewhere will be shown with quotes or links.  My desire is to create a space for others to gather who are on a spiritual journey, doing their own internal work and have a deep calling to make the world a better place.  Whenever possible (mostly timing), I will share my thoughts around the content I shared...add my perspective...but sometimes I know I won't be able to do this and still want to be able to share in the moment...when it feels relevant to me and hopefully relevant for you.  I hope you find value in the conversations at this table and will join me on a regular basis.  You can also find me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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