Seek first to understand,…

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Steven Covey, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit 5

Hm… I’m pondering whether and how this applies to my work as a teacher.






2 responses to “Seek first to understand,…”

  1. Ariel Brooks Avatar
    Ariel Brooks

    I think it does apply…. When a teacher understands how a student thinks, how a student learns, what a student loves, what motivates a student – then, and only then, will a teacher be able to teach the student in a way that he can fully understand, teach so that the student has a real reason to care, and teach so that the student has a driving motivation to act for and to act on that knowledge.

    I heard a story about a teacher who was a good teacher, a dynamic teacher, who had great knowledge, great things to say, and yet the students were not learning. One day, a musician came into the class and kept time. He heard the students talk, and he kept time. He heard the teacher talk, and he kept time. He went to the teacher and explained to the teacher that his rhythm of speech was too fast. He explained that if he learned the rhythm of his student’s speech and spoke in that rhythm, the students would be able to understand him and they would learn. The story goes that the teacher followed the musician’s advice and the children finally understood him..

    We will be able to be understood best once we ourselves understand.


    1. Daniel Greene Avatar

      Thank you, Ariel!


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