Keep Trying

Thursday, March 06, 2003

7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers - Habit 5 - Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood (continued)

Well, we're up to the second half of Habit 5. I've been on the 7HOHEB for almost 2 weeks, which is about 2 years in blog-buzz-time. Hopefully we will complete the series next week. I haven't been linking much, so here's a thanks to Doc, whose goodness of heart is continually reflected in his blogging, and a hello to Dave Rogers of California who has an interesting post on "Why We Blog".

The second half of Habit 5 is to seek to be understood. Covey suggests that to be understood, it is critical that we understand first. He refers to the Greek philosophy embodied in the words ethos, pathos, logos.

Ethos is establishing your personal credibility, the trust you inspire, your Emotional Bank Account.
Pathos is the empathic side, aligning yourself with the other person's frame of reference.
Logos is the logic, the reasoning part of your presentation.

Covey points out that most people go to straight to the logic of their presentation, which makes perfect sense to them. But if we really want to communicate, we have to gain the trust and speak to the other person's point of view.

In blogging, the difficulty is that we are conversing, and I use the term loosely, with many people. Most bloggers speak to the paradigm of a particular audience whether it be techies, warbloggers, anti-warbloggers, cluetrainers, etc. This makes sense if we have defined our goal in blogging as communicating with those who share our basic viewpoints. It also explains why the cross-group discussions tend to have a lot of talking, with very little communicating. If we try using habit 5, we might find that we are actually communicating, instead of broadcasting. I think we will then find that our differences are much smaller than we thought.

I can't do a mea-culpa for every effective-blogging mistake I have made, although that might be entertaining. But I can keep trying to improve my communications and become a more effective blogger.