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Seek First To Understand, 
Then Be Understood 
Habit 5
The deepest need of the 
human heart is to be 
understood.
Communication is… 
• Understanding between people 
• An interdependent process 
• Not necessarily agreement 
• Constant. You cannot NOT communicate. 
We constantly give and receive 
communications.
5 Poor Communication Styles 
- Most of us don’t know how to listen 
properly or effectively. 
1. Spacing Out 
2. Pretend Listening 
3. Selective Listening 
4. Word Listening 
5. Self-Centered Listening (three types)
1. Spacing Out 
• Caught up in our own thoughts so we end 
up ignoring what the other person is 
saying.
2. Pretend Listening 
• Aren’t paying much attention but we 
pretend to by making noise at key 
junctures.
3. Selective Listening 
• Paying attention to only part of the 
conversation that interests us.
4. Word Listening 
• We pay attention to what someone is 
saying but we pay attention only to the 
words and not the non-verbal 
communication.
Three Kinds of 
Self-Centered Listening
1. Advising 
• When we give unsolicited advice drawn 
from our own experience.
2. Judging 
• Instead of listening to what the other 
person is saying, we make judgments 
about them in the back of our minds.
Judging 
Friend: I met a guy last night. 
Me: That’s awesome! (Oh, brother. I bet he’s just 
like the last one. A big ol’ loser. Why does she 
do this to herself. I bet she met him at that same 
seedy bar she always goes to.) Where’d you 
meet him? 
Friend…. (I bet she was wearing something 
unflattering, too.) 
Me: What did you wear, girl! Gimme all the deets.
Probing 
• When you try to dig up emotions before 
people are ready to share them. 
• Parent/Child 
• Romantic relationships 
• Friends
Probing 
Friend: I met a guy. 
Me: What? When were you going to tell me? 
Friend: It’s new and I didn’t want to say anything yet. 
Me: So tell me about him, girl! 
Friend: He’s nice. 
Me: Where’d you meet? 
Friend: Work. 
Me: Does he treat you like the last one because, girl, I 
swear I will make him wish…. 
Friend: Just stop, all right? It’s new. We’re trying things out. 
Me: Okay (pauses a beat.) So have you kissed him yet? 
Friend: Seriously? Drop it. Please.
Seek First To Understand, 
Then Be Understood 
Habit 5
Recap… 
5 Poor Communication Styles 
1. Spacing Out 
2. Pretend Listening 
3. Selective Listening 
4. Word Listening 
5. Self-Centered Listening (three types)
THE GOAL: 
Unselfish Listening 
• Genuinely interested in what the other 
person is saying and feeling. 
• Empathy
Principles of Communication 
• People are not mind 
readers 
• People judge you by your 
behavior, not your intent 
• Successful communication 
is dependent on what is 
heard not what is said.
How We Communicate 
1. What people can see 
2. What they hear 
3. What we actually say
It’s not just about words 
• Face to face: 
– Verbal  7% 
– Body language  55% 
– Vocal (tone)  40% 
• Phone 
– Words (verbal) 12% 
– Vocal (tone)  87% 
– Body Language  1% (smile when you talk)
7% 
55% 
40% 
Communication 
Words 
Body Language 
Tone
To hear what other people 
are really saying, you 
need to listen to what they 
are not saying.
Mirroring vs. Mimicking 
Mimicking: 
- What your younger siblings do to irritate 
you. 
Mirroring: 
- Repeating back in your own words what 
the other person is saying and feeling.
Your Voice Quality (Tone) 
• Take deep, expansive breaths. Naturally, many 
of us breathe shallowly, this can cause the voice 
to sound thin and weak. 
• Deeper voices have more credibility than higher 
pitched voices; practice speaking in a slightly 
lower octave. 
• Enunciate so you are clearly understood the first 
time. 
• Smile and gesture when you talk.
Enunciation Exercises 
• Open and close mouth easily as you 
repeat: Fah Fah Fah Fah Blah Blah 
• Loosening your jaw: 
Sah Kah She Fah Rah 
Pah Kah She Fah Rah 
Wah Kah She Fah Rah 
Baj Kah She Fah Rah 
Dah Kah She Fah Rah 
• Loosening your lips: www www www bbb bbb 
bbb wbw wbw wbw
Enunciation Exercises 
Phrases for precise articulation: 
• The tip of the tongue, the teeth, and the 
lips 
• We'll weather the weather whatever the 
weather whether we like it or not 
• Red leather, yellow leather 
• Can I cook a proper cup of coffee in a 
copper coffee pot? 
• Unique New York, Unique New York
Seek First To Understand, 
Then Be Understood 
Habit 5
Non Verbal Communication 
• Eye contact 
• Facial expression 
• Tone of voice 
• Posture and gesture 
• Touch 
• Intensity 
• Timing and pace 
• Sounds
A Proper Handshake 
• Firm…. No limp fish hands. Ick. 
• …but not too hard. You’re not trying to 
crush the other person’s hand. 
• No “lady fingers”. This isn’t your cotillion. 
Grip palm to palm. 
• Look them in the eye, not at their hand. 
• Smile.
Activity 
1. Choose a partner. 
2. Look them in the eyes, without speaking, 
for thirty seconds. 
How many were uncomfortable? Why? 
Is there ever a time where prolonged eye 
contact appropriate?
Evaluating Body Language
Evaluating Body Language 
Mirroring posture
Evaluating Body Language
Evaluating Body Language
…Then seek to be understood 
• Now that you can listen, 
you need to be able to 
communicate ideas 
effectively 
• The best leaders are the 
ones who can clearly 
communicate their visions.
I-Statements vs. You-Statements 
• You statements are accusatory in nature 
and will automatically put the listening 
party on the defensive. 
– You forgot to take out the trash. 
– You didn’t text me back last night. 
– You are always interrupting me.
I-Statements vs. You-Statements 
• I-statements focus on what you feel about 
someone’s behavior and simply state a 
problem, without blaming someone for it. 
• This makes it easier for the other person 
to help solve the problem, without having 
to admit that they were wrong.
I-Statements vs. You-Statements 
• I-messages usually contain four elements: 
(1) How I feel about the behavior and 
its effects 
(2) A description of the behavior, what 
actually happened 
(3) The actual, concrete, tangible 
effects of that behavior on you 
(4) The behavior you would prefer
I-Statements vs. You-Statements 
• Another way they can be expressed is like 
this: 
I feel _________________ (express your 
feeling) when you _____________ 
(describe the action that affects you or 
relates to the feeling) because 
_______________ (explain how the action 
affects you or relates to the feeling).
Rephrase with I-Message 
• You forgot to take out the trash. 
• You didn’t text me back last night. 
• You are always interrupting me. 
I feel (express your feeling) when you (describe the action that affects 
you or relates to the feeling) because (explain how the action affects 
you or relates to the feeling).
Leadership Connection 
Why is effective 
communication (listening 
and speaking) a quality of 
a good leader?
Listening Activity 
• Get with a partner and sit with your back to each 
other. Choose who will be A and who will be B. 
• Partner A –draw simple stick figures on each piece of 
paper. They can be different. 
• Partner A –give instructions to Partner B on how to 
replicate one of your drawings. ONLY Partner A can 
speak. 
• Partner B may now ask yes-no questions. 
• Partner A and B may speak freely for the third 
drawing.
1. Describe what it was like to be partner A or partner B. When you're part of a 
different team, which person do you most frequently feel like - A or B? How 
does this role work for you? What would you change? 
2. Each time you attempted to accomplish the task, you needed to rely on 
different communication skills. Explain what you dealt with as partners 
during each of the different attempts. 
3. What happens to relationships in a group when one person has more 
information than others? How can members of a group deal with this type of 
situation? 
4. Can you think of some real-life situations where you were trying to solve a 
problem but didn't have all the information you needed? What would have 
changed in that situation if you had received more information or if others 
had communicated more clearly with you while you tried to solve the 
problem? 
5. What happens when one person in your group has a specific goal in mind 
but can't clearly communicate it to the group? How can your group improve 
the way information is communicated to everyone involved?
In Class Assignment 
• Read the two articles on listening and 
leadership. 
• Based on those two articles and our class 
discussions, write a one page response to 
the question: Why is effective 
communication (listening and 
speaking) a quality of a good leader? 
be sure to include examples from the 
articles to support your thesis.

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Seek first to understand, Then Be Understood

  • 1. Seek First To Understand, Then Be Understood Habit 5
  • 2.
  • 3. The deepest need of the human heart is to be understood.
  • 4. Communication is… • Understanding between people • An interdependent process • Not necessarily agreement • Constant. You cannot NOT communicate. We constantly give and receive communications.
  • 5. 5 Poor Communication Styles - Most of us don’t know how to listen properly or effectively. 1. Spacing Out 2. Pretend Listening 3. Selective Listening 4. Word Listening 5. Self-Centered Listening (three types)
  • 6. 1. Spacing Out • Caught up in our own thoughts so we end up ignoring what the other person is saying.
  • 7. 2. Pretend Listening • Aren’t paying much attention but we pretend to by making noise at key junctures.
  • 8. 3. Selective Listening • Paying attention to only part of the conversation that interests us.
  • 9. 4. Word Listening • We pay attention to what someone is saying but we pay attention only to the words and not the non-verbal communication.
  • 10. Three Kinds of Self-Centered Listening
  • 11. 1. Advising • When we give unsolicited advice drawn from our own experience.
  • 12. 2. Judging • Instead of listening to what the other person is saying, we make judgments about them in the back of our minds.
  • 13. Judging Friend: I met a guy last night. Me: That’s awesome! (Oh, brother. I bet he’s just like the last one. A big ol’ loser. Why does she do this to herself. I bet she met him at that same seedy bar she always goes to.) Where’d you meet him? Friend…. (I bet she was wearing something unflattering, too.) Me: What did you wear, girl! Gimme all the deets.
  • 14. Probing • When you try to dig up emotions before people are ready to share them. • Parent/Child • Romantic relationships • Friends
  • 15. Probing Friend: I met a guy. Me: What? When were you going to tell me? Friend: It’s new and I didn’t want to say anything yet. Me: So tell me about him, girl! Friend: He’s nice. Me: Where’d you meet? Friend: Work. Me: Does he treat you like the last one because, girl, I swear I will make him wish…. Friend: Just stop, all right? It’s new. We’re trying things out. Me: Okay (pauses a beat.) So have you kissed him yet? Friend: Seriously? Drop it. Please.
  • 16. Seek First To Understand, Then Be Understood Habit 5
  • 17. Recap… 5 Poor Communication Styles 1. Spacing Out 2. Pretend Listening 3. Selective Listening 4. Word Listening 5. Self-Centered Listening (three types)
  • 18. THE GOAL: Unselfish Listening • Genuinely interested in what the other person is saying and feeling. • Empathy
  • 19. Principles of Communication • People are not mind readers • People judge you by your behavior, not your intent • Successful communication is dependent on what is heard not what is said.
  • 20. How We Communicate 1. What people can see 2. What they hear 3. What we actually say
  • 21. It’s not just about words • Face to face: – Verbal  7% – Body language  55% – Vocal (tone)  40% • Phone – Words (verbal) 12% – Vocal (tone)  87% – Body Language  1% (smile when you talk)
  • 22. 7% 55% 40% Communication Words Body Language Tone
  • 23. To hear what other people are really saying, you need to listen to what they are not saying.
  • 24. Mirroring vs. Mimicking Mimicking: - What your younger siblings do to irritate you. Mirroring: - Repeating back in your own words what the other person is saying and feeling.
  • 25. Your Voice Quality (Tone) • Take deep, expansive breaths. Naturally, many of us breathe shallowly, this can cause the voice to sound thin and weak. • Deeper voices have more credibility than higher pitched voices; practice speaking in a slightly lower octave. • Enunciate so you are clearly understood the first time. • Smile and gesture when you talk.
  • 26. Enunciation Exercises • Open and close mouth easily as you repeat: Fah Fah Fah Fah Blah Blah • Loosening your jaw: Sah Kah She Fah Rah Pah Kah She Fah Rah Wah Kah She Fah Rah Baj Kah She Fah Rah Dah Kah She Fah Rah • Loosening your lips: www www www bbb bbb bbb wbw wbw wbw
  • 27. Enunciation Exercises Phrases for precise articulation: • The tip of the tongue, the teeth, and the lips • We'll weather the weather whatever the weather whether we like it or not • Red leather, yellow leather • Can I cook a proper cup of coffee in a copper coffee pot? • Unique New York, Unique New York
  • 28. Seek First To Understand, Then Be Understood Habit 5
  • 29. Non Verbal Communication • Eye contact • Facial expression • Tone of voice • Posture and gesture • Touch • Intensity • Timing and pace • Sounds
  • 30. A Proper Handshake • Firm…. No limp fish hands. Ick. • …but not too hard. You’re not trying to crush the other person’s hand. • No “lady fingers”. This isn’t your cotillion. Grip palm to palm. • Look them in the eye, not at their hand. • Smile.
  • 31. Activity 1. Choose a partner. 2. Look them in the eyes, without speaking, for thirty seconds. How many were uncomfortable? Why? Is there ever a time where prolonged eye contact appropriate?
  • 33. Evaluating Body Language Mirroring posture
  • 36. …Then seek to be understood • Now that you can listen, you need to be able to communicate ideas effectively • The best leaders are the ones who can clearly communicate their visions.
  • 37. I-Statements vs. You-Statements • You statements are accusatory in nature and will automatically put the listening party on the defensive. – You forgot to take out the trash. – You didn’t text me back last night. – You are always interrupting me.
  • 38. I-Statements vs. You-Statements • I-statements focus on what you feel about someone’s behavior and simply state a problem, without blaming someone for it. • This makes it easier for the other person to help solve the problem, without having to admit that they were wrong.
  • 39. I-Statements vs. You-Statements • I-messages usually contain four elements: (1) How I feel about the behavior and its effects (2) A description of the behavior, what actually happened (3) The actual, concrete, tangible effects of that behavior on you (4) The behavior you would prefer
  • 40. I-Statements vs. You-Statements • Another way they can be expressed is like this: I feel _________________ (express your feeling) when you _____________ (describe the action that affects you or relates to the feeling) because _______________ (explain how the action affects you or relates to the feeling).
  • 41. Rephrase with I-Message • You forgot to take out the trash. • You didn’t text me back last night. • You are always interrupting me. I feel (express your feeling) when you (describe the action that affects you or relates to the feeling) because (explain how the action affects you or relates to the feeling).
  • 42. Leadership Connection Why is effective communication (listening and speaking) a quality of a good leader?
  • 43. Listening Activity • Get with a partner and sit with your back to each other. Choose who will be A and who will be B. • Partner A –draw simple stick figures on each piece of paper. They can be different. • Partner A –give instructions to Partner B on how to replicate one of your drawings. ONLY Partner A can speak. • Partner B may now ask yes-no questions. • Partner A and B may speak freely for the third drawing.
  • 44. 1. Describe what it was like to be partner A or partner B. When you're part of a different team, which person do you most frequently feel like - A or B? How does this role work for you? What would you change? 2. Each time you attempted to accomplish the task, you needed to rely on different communication skills. Explain what you dealt with as partners during each of the different attempts. 3. What happens to relationships in a group when one person has more information than others? How can members of a group deal with this type of situation? 4. Can you think of some real-life situations where you were trying to solve a problem but didn't have all the information you needed? What would have changed in that situation if you had received more information or if others had communicated more clearly with you while you tried to solve the problem? 5. What happens when one person in your group has a specific goal in mind but can't clearly communicate it to the group? How can your group improve the way information is communicated to everyone involved?
  • 45. In Class Assignment • Read the two articles on listening and leadership. • Based on those two articles and our class discussions, write a one page response to the question: Why is effective communication (listening and speaking) a quality of a good leader? be sure to include examples from the articles to support your thesis.