Loading cover... Drag cover to reposition
4 minutes reading time (708 words)

Saturday Musings - Seek First to Understand

20190323_wine Looking at a bottle of wine from a different perspective.

Understanding another person, whether they are a family member, work colleague or even a close friend is the first stage in developing the relationship further. It’s easy to gloss over issues when everything is going well but much harder when the rubber really hits the road.

Escrow.com

I’ve found that in a tense situation the first stage in trying to understand someone is to really listen. Don’t just hear the words a person is conveying but try and listen to their intent. Is it to build up or to tear down? Even if the other person is yelling at you, they may be doing so because they really care.

The main reason why people try and engage in any sort of discussion is because they care enough about the situation or person and are willing to put themselves on the line. If you’re having a clash over an issue with someone at work then ask yourself the simple question, “Why?” It’s the rare individual that is just destructive and more often than not the other person just perceives the issues from a different angle.

For example, if you put a bottle of wine in the middle of the table and ask two people on opposite sides to describe what they are seeing you will get completely different answers. While both may agree on the shape of the bottle one will describe the beautiful artistic front label and the other the detailed legal notes on the back label.

This is a good illustration, as in most situations there is something to agree upon (ie. the bottle shape) and that both parties are just viewing things differently. Understanding comes when you can suspend your own perceptions in order to put yourself in the shoes of the other person.

To be fair, not many people do this…..they mainly just argue their own entrenched position more ardently. This is quite a naïve and immature position because more often than not, when you really understand the other side of the label it alters your own perceptions. Not only that, you get to appreciate the other person even more.

Suspending your own beliefs about a situation can be very, very hard. Many years ago, I was conducting a seminar and at the end of the two-day course about 30% of the attendees didn’t like how I had presented. I’d put everything into the seminar, and I found these comments to be very hurtful.

I was faced with a decision, seek to understand what they were saying or have a pity party. Over the next 24-hours I considered all the feedback and rewrote the seminar so that it appealed to all the attendees. The following day I presented again to a different group of people and 100% of the feedback was positive.

I found the whole seminar experience a big lesson for me. I had to put aside my emotions and view any sort of criticism as a positive opportunity to learn and understand what had transpired.

So often we can view negative comments as attacks rather than as opportunities to learn, understand and potentially adapt our own thinking. There are the rare times where people are just mean….in these cases my advice is to leave the problem with them and move on.

Last year I was in a meeting where I found myself being unfairly criticized. Rather than fight back I decided to listen closely and seek first to understand what the other party was saying. Like in most circumstances, they had a number of fair points mixed up with a lot of complete misunderstanding on their part.

In the days that followed, I calmed down, sifted through the valid and invalid points and then began to work on my own behaviour. I find that changing your own behaviour is one of the most difficult things you can do and it’s likely it will take more than a life-time to master. Like they say, “Old habits die hard.”

What was most important in all of these stories is a desire to seek first to understand. I would encourage you in your next confrontation to stop, take a deep breath and ask yourself the question, “I am seeking first to understand?”

Have a great weekend!
Michael

Making the BIG Money!
The Challenge of Development
 

Comments

Rawgi on 12 April 2019
Seek first to understand

I swear you should be a philosopher. It is rare indeed to take the time to see what the other party is really trying to convey. Is it constructive or just negative? Are they understanding your intent, do they have something to add? Like you said, there are 2 sides to every story or rather two different ways to view something. Being able to stop and consider both is hard to do. Thank you again, I always learn something when I come here.

Hope you are doing well

I swear you should be a philosopher. It is rare indeed to take the time to see what the other party is really trying to convey. Is it constructive or just negative? Are they understanding your intent, do they have something to add? Like you said, there are 2 sides to every story or rather two different ways to view something. Being able to stop and consider both is hard to do. Thank you again, I always learn something when I come here. Hope you are doing well
mgilmour on 15 April 2019

Thank you Rawgi for your kind comment.
BTW - have you seen em8er? Mark Kern from FF is developing it and it looks almost identical to FF....including gliding. Check it out at https://www.em8er.com/ It's not playable yet but is coming along.

Thank you Rawgi for your kind comment. BTW - have you seen em8er? Mark Kern from FF is developing it and it looks almost identical to FF....including gliding. Check it out at https://www.em8er.com/ It's not playable yet but is coming along.
Rawgi on 15 April 2019

Yes I have seen and have been a backer for Em8er for some time. I registered there right before FireFall took it's last dive. It does look quite like FF, but more thumper based I guess. Hopefully will be fun and maybe see you there, just look for me Rawgi. Talk soon.

Cheers

Yes I have seen and have been a backer for Em8er for some time. I registered there right before FireFall took it's last dive. It does look quite like FF, but more thumper based I guess. Hopefully will be fun and maybe see you there, just look for me Rawgi. Talk soon. Cheers
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Thursday, 18 April 2019
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image