FranklinCovey Blog | Relationships

Empathic Listening Tips

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 | 7 Habits | 9 Comments

Being understood by others is the greatest need of all. – Stephen R. Covey

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey describes Empathic Listening as reflecting what a person feels and says in your own words to their satisfaction so they feel listened to and understood.  Empathic Listening is  not listening to advise, counsel, replay, refute, solve, fix, change, judge, agree, disagree, question, analyze, or figure out. Whether you are familiar with The 7 Habits and are looking for a refresher or new to them all together, here are a few tips to remember when using Empathic Listening.

It is best to use Empathic listening when:

  • Emotion if high.
  • The other person does not feel understood.
  • You do not understand the other person.
  • Trust is low in the relationship.

Here are a few Empathic Listening starters, these should help you get started using Empathic Listening.

  • So, if I am understanding you correctly you are saying…
  • What I’m hearing is…
  • You seem…
  • You must have felt…
  • You feel…about…

What tips have you learned as you have used Empathic Listening in your life at home or at work? We would love to hear from you.

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Creating a Win-Win With Your Child

Friday, October 2nd, 2009 | FranklinCovey News, From the Desk of Stephen R. Covey | 7 Comments

As a husband, father, grandfather and most recently a great-grandfather, I am thrilled with my growing family. They are my greatest blessing and my greatest joy.

Even still I’ve wondered over the years what mistakes I have made as a father. Of course, there are mistakes along the way. Looking back I think one of the things I would have done differently as a parent is spending more time developing informal win-win agreements with each of my children. Doing this consistently and over time, covering the different phases of their lives would have been beneficial.

Because I traveled a lot, I felt that I often indulged them and went for lose-win too often. Instead I would have liked to pay the price to take the time to build relationships through win-win agreements.

You may ask, what is a win-win agreement? › Continue reading

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Facilitator Tip: Video Set-up and Debrief

Monday, June 8th, 2009 | Client Facilitation | No Comments

As a facilitator, you probably know that the program videos play a large role in the effectiveness of many of your FranklinCovey workshops. As part of the Client Facilitator Academy, we worked with our delivery consultants to come up with more ways to set-up and debrief of the videos used in your workshops.

 Here is a sample of one from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Signature Program. Mike Bechtel, one of FranklinCovey’s senior delivery consultants, has provided some great ways to use the video Circle of Influence.

Best Practice: Set-up

Before showing this video, ask participants to take notes as they watch. They’ll learn the difference between the Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence. Then, they’ll hear the story of Ben, a worker at a university who worked his way up through the ranks simply by putting his energy into the things he could influence. Ask them to list the things that were in each of Ben’s circles.

Best Practice: Debrief

Use two flip charts to gather conclusions from the group. “What was in Ben’s Circle of Concern? What was in his Circle of Influence? How did those choices impact those around him?” Ask for volunteers to share a situation that causes concern that most of the group could identify with-traffic, financial issues, relationships, etc. Then draw two circles on a flip chart, and have the group decide what things are in each circle.

Additional Thoughts

How do we use these two circles to become more proactive? Once we’ve decided what items are in each circle, we have to make two choices:

 1. Put energy into the things that are in the Circle of Influence.

2. Don’t put energy into the things that are in the Circle of Concern.

The result? Whichever circle you put your energy in will grow. It’s that simple! Some people might feel that their Circle of Influence is just a tiny speck in the center of a huge Circle of Concern. But the principles still hold: no matter how small the circle is, that’s where we want to focus our energy. When we do, growth is inevitable and the Circle of Concern will shrink.

Click Here to access the 232 other video tip sheets.

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Five tips to reduce your stress: TIP #4

Monday, May 18th, 2009 | FranklinCovey News | No Comments

Like most people, you probably like to help people out if they’re in a bind, especially if it’s your boss or your bosses boss. So, telling people “no” is a really hard thing to do. We all suffer from it.

Tip #4: “No” is not a four-letter word

When times are tough, people will ask you to do more. In fact if you haven’t had someone come into your office today and ask for help with a project completely unrelated to your week’s priorities, you probably will. So here’s the rub. Unless you’re in a sole-proprietorship, you’re probably working with other people. And those other people will need your help, just like you will need theirs.

In most cases I believe it’s important to help people when they ask for it, especially if you have some expertise they could benefit from. It’s good karma and they’ll be more willing to help you in the future. However, there are times when you just can’t do it all. You’ll know when these times are. And if you can sense that the request isn’t “mission critical” just say no. The other person will survive and, if they have any sort of morals, they won’t be offended. Plus it will keep you from getting distracted on your week’s plan. 

If you have to say no, you should provide the requestor with some ideas of how they could accomplish their task. Refer them to someone who might have more time and the skills needed. You may also try and schedule their task later in your week when you have more time to spend on it. But don’t make “no” a regular part of your vocabulary. It could damage relationships over time and damage your reputation in the organization. 

Saying no is a very liberating feeling. Try it today and you’ll find out what I mean.

Next time we’ll cover the final tip: Find Time for Yourself Each Day

Author: Matt Murdoch, FranklinCovey

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