“Seek First To Understand; Then To Be Understood” Steven Covey’s – 5th Habit of Highly Effective People
As I reflect on the first year of my principalship, the words from Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People run through my mind. When I entered the field of education in 1995, my mom recommended that I read Covey’s book. During the early years in my career, I read and listened to his book several times. Since that time I have relied on these habits to help me to be a better person and educator.
Habit 1: Be proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind
Habit 3: Put first things first
Habit 4: Think win-win
Habit 5: Seek first to understand, and then to be understood
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the saw
Although all of these habits were important during this school year, I believe #5 was the foundation for my leadership. I realized early on that it was essential to, first, be a listener and, second, share my thoughts and ideas. Authentic understanding, listening, and communication were critical to developing and maintaining meaningful relationships and a healthy school culture. I am grateful for my mom’s recommendation and for a great school year!
*To prepare for the next school year, I just downloaded the audible book so I can listen to it again (along with the #8: Habit From effectiveness to greatness), the book on tape won’t play in my car. 🙂