7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers (Part 3)
Understand first, then seek to be understood
We all have the need to be understood. But we don't realise that there is another part to the transaction. That is the importance of understanding others. It shows your acceptance and love for others. So before you expect people to understand you, make it a habit to understand first. This will improve your relationships with people.
To understand someone, we must first learn to listen. It sounds simple but most of us don't do it the right way.
“ True love is born from understanding. ”— Buddha
5 Mistakes We All Make While Listening
This can also be referred to as zoning out. We are listening to the words and even nodding subconsciously. But nothing registers in our brains. This is mainly because we are not interested in listening. As students, we do this a lot in class. We listen to the teacher for an hour but have no idea what he/she was talking about. When you do this in personal conversations, people often recognise that you're not interested. This affects your relationships.
As the name suggests, we don't listen actively. We just nod our heads or keep saying words like correct or you're right or exactly. Even in this case, the speaker often recognizes that you're not actually listening.
This is when you're not invested in the full conversation. You only listen when something interesting comes up. You also try to steer the conversation towards that interesting sub topic. This defeats the purpose of the conversation because the main issue is not discussed.
Communication can be broken down into 3 components as follows
- 53% - Body language
- 40% - Emotion
- 7% - Words
Often we only listen to the words that are spoken. It is important to pay attention to these non-verbal cues. This will help you fully understand what the other person is trying to say.
Self centered listening
This is one of the most common mistakes. We tend to look at everything from our point of view. We don't let the other person finish talking. We assume that we know exactly how we're feeling. We cut them off and start telling a story of our own. All this makes the speaker feel frustrated.
You must avoid all the above mentioned mistakes. Pay complete attention to the entire conversation. Not just to the words but also to the emotions and body language. This will make you a better listener. People will love to talk to you.
Synergy is nothing but collaboration. It is when people come together and propose a solution. This is something any one of them could not have individually come up with. It is not your way or my way. It is a new higher way that serves all of us.
Birds flying in a V formation is an example of synergy. Each bird's individual efforts are minimized. They are able to gain an extra lift by flying in the updraft that is created by the flyer in front. The leader's position is the most tiring. So the birds take turns to be the leader.
The best of all perspectives
We have to remember that synergy is not compromise. It is not about adjustment. It is about finding a new creative way through which everyone is happy. We all have different intellectual capabilities. Some have high IQ while others are more creative. Some are knowledgeable while others are street smart. Synergy helps in combining the best of these to come up with solutions.
5 steps to achieve synergy
Identify the problem/ assess the situation
It is important to understand the situation properly before trying to come up with solutions.
Listen to their way
You might have the best solution but it is important to first listen. Hear out their proposal. Understand what they're looking to achieve through this. Ask them why they feel things should be done this way. This will help in seeing things from their perspective
It is equally important to ensure that your perspective is heard. It is important to listen. But you shouldn't be the person who always listens and complies. You should put your expectations, ideas and solutions forward as well.
Here is where you need to get really creative. It is important to avoid criticism at this point. Criticism kills creativity. Let the ideas flow regardless of how crazy they sound. Think outside the box. List out all the possible solutions.
The higher way
Choosing the right solution or the higher way is the last step. This might take a while and might cause a little frustration. But if you keep at it for long enough you will definitely find the right one.
When you adopt synergy, everyone leaves the table happy. This will definitely improve your relationships.
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