Simon Brooks Culture of Thinking Strategy No. 4 – Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

 

Simon Brooks Culture of Thinking Strategy No. 4 – Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

The third Cultures of Thinking Strategy for parents in supporting their children to become self-directed learners was sent out last Friday. We hope found it very informative and useful. If you missed this email, click here to view Strategy No. 3

Strategy No. 4 is Seek first to understand, then to be understood. This is habit 5 of Steven Covey’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. As parents, we have a common tendency to try to ‘fix’ things with good advice. However, when we seek first to understand, then to be understood, we listen empathically to other people’s ideas and feelings. We try to see things from a different viewpoint, We listen to understand, rather than listening to reply. We listen to others without interrupting, and look others in the eyes when they are talking.

When we listen to understand, it is amazing how much we support our children to do the thinking for themselves. So rather than trying to fix it for them, try reflecting back what they are saying, for example:

  • “You’re feeling confused about where to go next with this”
  • “I’m hearing that you’re excited about the possibilities here but worried about how to organise your time”
  • “Let me check I’ve heard right. You don’t understand how to even begin solving this problem. Is that right?"

To watch the video, click here.