Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now? How About Now?

Just like the Verizon wireless TV commercials, it is often hard for us to hear what others are trying to tell us. In Sean Covey's book, The 7 Habits for Highly Effective Teens, Habit 5, entitled "Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood", made me evaluate my own listening skills. Hanging my head in shame, I must admit that I am often guilty of turning half an ear to those trying to talk to me.

My listening deficiencies often leave assignments as knotty as many of Einstein's formulas. As I read this chapter, I realized just how often I found myself using the poor listening skills noted by Covey. 

For example:

Spacing Out: I often find myself daydreaming in class, as many of us do. When I emerge from Dreamland, I often realize I have missed key points of a class lecture.

Pretend Listening: When I mumble "uh-huhs" and "sures" on the phone, I am pretend listening when really homework or the addictive Facebook has stolen my eye.

Advising: My sister, one I care so deeply for, often comes to me with her toils and troubles of the eighth grade. But rather than sympathize and try to remember where she is coming from, I force my own ideas and advice down her throat. I forget that she really needs me to just listen. She will figure out what is the best course for herself.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Relationship Bank Account

Recently in my English class, I began the assigned book, The 7 Habits for Highly Effective Teens. One chapter in particular, "The Relationship Bank Account", truly hit close to my heart.

This chapter details the importance your relationships have on your life-and how you can improve them. Sean Covey, author of The 7 Habits for Highly Effective Teens, compares your relationship to a-you guessed it- bank account. Each kind gesture you make toward someone is equivalent to a deposit while a spiteful doing is equal to a withdrawal.

This passage really struck me as my family is trying to nurture our relationships toward each other too. My siblings, Hannah and Hunt, and I are always very angry toward one another. The story Sean Covey told about losing trust with his father alerted me that I immediately needed to put more effort into being kind and loving to two of my dearest loved ones before I too go nearly bankrupt in my relationship bank account.