Feb 1, 2009

Pride vs. Communication

by Shawnette Nielson

Stephen Covey said, “When we listen with the intent to understand others, rather than with the intent to reply, we begin true communication and relationship building. Opportunities to then speak openly and to be understood come much more naturally and easily. Seeking to understand takes consideration; seeking to be understood takes courage. Effectiveness lies in balancing the two.”

I think it takes a lot of courage to listen with the intent to understand because to do so requires you to possibly be wrong. One of my major faults is my pride and it is really hard for me to admit when I am wrong. Or even think of the possibility of it. Just ask my husband.

When I am discussing something that I feel passionately about, too often I am just trying to make a point, and not trying to understand because I am always so positive that I am right. BUT … I realize that true connection and understanding only comes when there is a true flow of communication between people, and not just words.

When I do actually let go of my pride and truly listen, an amazing thing happens - a relationship builds and grows. A level of openness develops and with it, trust comes also. It is a beautiful thing and something that I appreciate any time that it is achieved … it is just dang hard for me to do at times. Isn’t that funny? It is hard for me to communicate when it is super easy for me to talk.

Oh well, life is funny like that. I believe since being married I have gotten a lot better at letting go of a lot of my prideful notions and easier for me to listen. Life is great, isn’t it! Hard. Frustrating. Challenging. But wonderful.


  1. LIfe is wonderful, Shawnette. I really like that quote. I have that same challenge. It has been a wonderful experience to learn to communicate instead of needing to "be right." I get bit ny that pride bug far too often! thank you for the well said reminder.

  2. Thanks Kari for your comment! It is nice to know I'm not completely alone in this ;-) Here's to eternal growth...

  3. Timely for me Kari. The newlyweds aren't doing well at this at all. It's causing me to listen to both sides and try really hard to address both sides. Hard...very hard.

  4. Intersting ideas, Shawnette. Don't we all want connection? I think we are all wired to take different voltages, so to speak of connection. (Remember, I'm married to an electrical engineer.) Some people aren't ready for 220 yet, and others are like high voltage power lines. It's serendipity when you find a match.

  5. What a wonderful analagy, Rene! I love it. Thank you all for the comments!


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