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Is Anybody Listening?

Is Anybody Listening?

“Communication is the most important skill in life. We spend most of our waking hours communicating. But consider this: You've spent years learning how to read and write, years learning how to speak. But what about listening? What training or education have you had that enables you to listen so that you really, deeply understand another human being from that individual's own frame of reference?”

—Stephen R. Covey

In Stephen Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the fifth habit is “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Empathic listening is not just a feel-good concept: it is an attempt to understand how another person views the world. It doesn't require the use of the ears as much as the use of the eyes and the heart. “Next to physical survival,” says Covey, “the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival— to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated.”


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