On Seeking First to Understand

The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” wrote Leonardo Da Vinci.  John F. Kennedy said: “Too often, we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” Great leaders  recognize that, sometimes, opinions – theirs and others –  are not fact-based but simply expressions of their world-view. They realize that their ability to LISTEN and process information objectively allows them to have a greater understanding of the realities around them. It is this beautiful and robust openness to different perspectives and ideas that differentiates them and enables them to introduce and realize change.

Mother Teresa tells us: “The openness of our hearts and minds can be measured by how wide we draw the circle of what we call family.” May the circle we draw be wonderfully expansive and inclusive that our eyes, ears and heart are opened widely to possibilities and realities yet unseen. May we remember that we don’t see things as they are, but as we are. It is the responsibility of great leaders to stand in the shoes of others that, as Stephen Covey tells us, they “seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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1 Response to On Seeking First to Understand

  1. Jack Beach says:

    “Too often, we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

    There is an axiom in human development that there is no progression without disequilibrium. Disequilibrium motivates change and growth. Leaders must guard against clinging to nonproductive approaches or reflexively inserting answers from the past when confronted with ambiguity. More important, people become great leaders not merely through the acquisition of new and more sophisticated skills but through gaining deeper and often new understanding—understanding of others; the world about them; and most important ,of themselves. This understanding can only result from an honest interrogation of their frames of reference, those lenses through which we view the world. We must look at our lenses not just through them. We must willing loosen our grip on what we see as truth and common sense and endure the disequilibrium that occurs when what used to be the solid ground under our feet shifts and softens.

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