Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood

Principles of Empathic Communication

Character and Communication

Communication is the most important skill in life.
The other party has to open to you first before you understand. You must understand before you can advise or counsel.

Empathic Listening

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
Empathy is about understanding
  • Understanding someone gives them psychological air — they do not feel like they have to fight for survival
  • It is risky because you open yourself to be influences

Diagnose Before You Prescribe

If you don't have confidence in the diagnosis, you won't have confidence in the prescription.

Four Autobiographical Responses

  1. Evaluate
  1. Probe
  1. Advise
  1. Interpret
We are deeply scripted in these. no good 😕
Four stages in Empathic listening:
  1. Mimic content
  1. Rephrase the content
  1. Reflect feeling
  1. Rephrase the content and reflect feeling
You can only ask questions and give counsel if the response is logical. If the response is emotional, go back to empathic listening
  • Need to identify what type the response is

Then Seek to be Understood

It takes courage to be understood. Make it clear via ethos, pathos, and logos.
When you can present your own idea clearly, specifically, visually, and most important, contextually — in the context of a deep understanding of the other people's paradigms and concerns — you significantly increase the credibility of your ideas

One on One

You can always take time to understand — it is always in your Circle of Influence