The second half of Habit 5, then seek to be understood, is as important as the first half but requires something different from us. Seeking first to be understood requires consideration but seeking to be understood requires courage.
Practicing only the first half, “seek first to understand”, is weak. It’s lose-win. It’s the doormat syndrome. It’s like never expressing your feelings when someone gives us their opinion. So, then we bottle up our feelings and then those feelings lie dormant until we react in inappropriate ways when those feelings pop up by being hurtful. It’s like withdrawing from our relationship bank account (RBA).
Sitting in a large circle or in groups of 4 to 6, get kids to take turns talking. The next person has to paraphrase the speaker’s story accurately before he/she can tell her/his story. If necessary, give the class a topic such as “My scariest or funniest experience.”