We have been working all week on Habit 5 from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. So far we have focused on the understanding side of it, today we start to work on being understood. It is equally critical in reaching Win/Win agreements. Seeking to understand requires consideration; seeking to be understood requires courage. Win/Win requires a high degree of both.

Stephen writes about a fantastic early Greek philosophy that in his words contains the essence of seeking first to understand, then to be understood – ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos is your personal credibility. Pathos is your emphatic side – your relationships. Logos is the logic or reasoning part of a presentation. The order of the words is important. First your character, then your relationships, then the logic. Too many times people skip the first two parts and go right to the logic without considering the first two parts and how they are perceived by the person you are presenting to.

When you can work in order and present your ideas clearly, specifically, and in context to what the other person’s needs and concerns are you significantly increase the effectiveness of your presentation. You are no longer in your own head about the presentation or the result. You really understand what the desired outcome is for BOTH parties, and your chances of making a highly effective presentation sky rockets.

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