Tips, Videos, Handouts

Understanding first

Good Group Tips

In principle, understanding is that upon which we stand. It is the basis for all our beliefs and actions, like a foundation.

All that we do and say is based upon our understanding of the situation. We do best to make sure we fully understand before judging and before acting.

Practical Tip: Be aware about crossing the line between understanding the situation and solving the problem. In a conversation, ask questions before offering advice. In a meeting, be sure you fully understand the proposal before giving your opinions about it.

Ninety percent of all disagreements are the result of misunderstanding. Disagreements often disappear when we take the time to understand where each other are coming from, how things look from other points of view.

Misunderstandings, presumptions, and premature judgments almost always result in bad decisions. Shared understanding is the basis for creative, peaceful, enduring decisions.

– Craig Freshley

Click here for one-page PDF of this Tip, a great way to print or share.

7 thoughts on “Understanding first

  1. Listening is a skill that is often paid too little attention to. It is critical to building relationships which are critical to everything.

  2. I am also reminded of Steven Covey’s Habit of Seek first to understand, then to be understood. I might have even made a similar comment 8 years ago. Imagine all the tips over these many years!

  3. I first wrote and published this Tip in 2004. I continue to believe that this is a fundamental principle for peace and prosperity. I see so much conflict result from mis-understanding.

  4. I liked all of your tips but “Act as if” seemed like a foundation on which the others are built. It also implies that as an attitude or mindset, it requires effort, practice and resolve to implement – features of good leadership. “Understand first” is very similar – one of Steven Covey’s 7 habits which I carry with me as a frequent reminder. Thanks for sharing these and a peaceful new year to you!

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