Part 6 of a series about Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Okay – I admit it. The fifth habit doesn’t actually say anything about being a ‘me monster’. The fifth habit is ‘Seek first to understand, then be understood’, but you can’t understand anything about anybody if you are a ‘me monster’ – take a look at the video and you will understand…
Ooooo. I was so embarrassed to recognize myself in this video – especially the part where he shows us what we look like when we are only listening to someone in order to respond. You, you, you……ME! Ouch. I can be like that sometimes and it’s really not all that funny when I think about it.
*ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR TEENS*The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
Unfortunately, many of us are like this on a regular basis. We are so busy talking (seeking to be understood) that we completely forget to understand the other person. Many of us listen with the intent to reply not to understand. However, if we want to have any influence in the lives of others then we need to be open to what they are saying and feeling. We need to understand them first so that they know we value them. We can value someone whether or not we agree with them. We can accept them just as they are and never agree.
There are a few practical ways to overcome our tendency to be ‘me monsters’. One of the best strategies involves how I interact with someone that I have just met. During the conversation I can make an effort to find out at least a few specific things about that person. When I walk away, I ask myself a simple question. Does that person know more about me than I know about them now? If I did all the talking then I consider that a fail. I want to walk away from the conversation knowing more about them because that is a tangible way that I can be sure I kept my inner monster under control.
If you are really brave then you can ask your friends or family if you have a problem with being self absorbed. But this is not for the faint of heart – because they might just tell you the ugly truth – so be prepared if you do ask…
What about you? Are you a ‘me monster’? How do you make sure that you are interested in others more than yourself?
Check out the rest of the series!
#1 Be Proactive
#5 Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood