The following is an excerpt from an interview with Sherwin B. Nuland:
“When you recognize that pain — and response to pain — is a universal thing, it helps explain so many things about others, just as it explains so much about yourself. It teaches you forbearance. It teaches you a moderation in your responses to other people’s behavior. It teaches you a sort of understanding. It essentially tells you what everybody needs. You know what everybody needs?
Everybody needs to be understood.
And out of that comes every form of love. If someone truly feels that you understand them, an awful lot of neurotic behavior just disappears — disappears on your part, disappears on their part. So if you’re talking about what motivates this world to continue existing as a community, you’ve got to talk about love… And my argument is it comes out of your biology because on some level we understand all of this. We put it into religious forms. It’s almost like an excuse to deny our biology. We put it into pithy, sententious aphorisms, but it’s really coming out of our deepest physiological nature.”
So, as Covey put it, “First seek to understand.” I can’t tell you how powerful this is. In most cases, in most places (work, home, projects), we want to convince, to cajole, to overpower, to make our argument, to “win”. We are convinced we are “right” and the other person is “wrong”. But if you have the strength and compassion to first understand the other person, you will be amazed at how the situation will right itself and you will maintain harmony.
How to Create Harmony on Your Projects, in Your Workplace, and in Your Life