Leader in Me: Heritage Elementary

January 2023

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Habit 5 is all about communication.

When we Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood, we have a mindset of win-win. We act with consideration as we seek to understand the other person’s point of view. We act with courage as we express our own views with clarity and respect. To Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood: 1. Practice Empathic Listening. 2. Respectfully seek to be understood,

Listen Before You Talk!

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.’” —Stephen R. Covey

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Empowering with Empathy


You know how it feels when you’re not being heard? Today, let’s pause and reflect on what gets in the way of our ability to be present and hear others well.

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Lily's Missing Red Paint

When Lily Skunk can't find her red paint, she accuses her friends of borrowing it without her permission. Watch as Lily learns a lesson in Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.

Leader in Me Blog

Habit 5: Practicing and Teaching the Principle at Home

Counselor Corner

    Habit 5, seek first to understand, then to be understood, is all about building relationships by being a good listener. When we listen to one another, we show that person that we value and respect them, and this helps strengthen the relationship. Listening is a skill that is hard to develop, though, and can be a challenge for even the most courteous of people. Here are some tips you can practice with both yourself and your student to show that you are listening when someone is speaking:

    1) Look at the person talking to you to show them you are focusing your attention on them.

    2) Wait your turn to speak in a conversation – interrupting someone who is talking is a poor sign of listening.

    3) Repeat back important items to show them you were listening to what they said.

    4) Ask pertinent questions that are on topic to show your interest and extend the conversation.

    Act school, students learn about good listening In 2 nd Steps. We practice listening to our teacher by using the acronym SLANT and this is what you can reinforce at home with your student:

    S: Sit up straight in your chair. This helps oxygen get to your brain and makes you feel awake and ready to learn.

    L: Look and listen to your teacher

    A: Ask and answer questions that are on topic to what you are learning about.

    N: Nod your head to give your teacher non-verbal feedback that you understand or are confused about a topic.

    T: Track the teacher/speaker so that your eyes follow where ever they go.

    These listening skills are critical to good learning and we appreciate when you role-model and reinforce what we are teaching at school in the home. Have a wonderful New Year practicing being a good listener in 2023!

    Emily Borrego, Counselor

    Book Recommendations

    • Alejandro’s Gift
    • The Bully of Barkham Street
    • Colder than Ice
    • Jamaica’s Find
    • The Runaway Bunny
    • Rules
    • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs