This third entry is my overall big picture and opinion of Stephen Covey's book.
Habit 1-Be Proactive
Habit 2-Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3-Put First Things First
Habit 4-Think Win/Win
Habit 5-Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Habit 7-Sharpen the Saw
These 7 habits form a well-rounded paradigm. It's not realistic to have all 7 in mind at once, but to at least be conscience of 2-3 each day can make a huge impact. Differentiating between leadership and management is vital with those I work with. Developing these habits and making them a part of my life, I feel certain, will build long-lasting relationships and friendships. Christ embodied all of these habits perfectly and it is His example I want to follow.
Habit 5 in Stephen Covey's book is my favorite: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Communication is the most important skill in life. It is how we relate to one another, understand or misunderstand each other, and build relationships. Covey writes, "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They're either speaking or preparing to speak. They're filtering everything through their own paradigms, reading their autobiography into other people's lives."
How often I do this! I actually just did it the other evening when talking with a friend. She was explaining a very hard situation she was going through and I replied with how I had in a similar way encountered the same situation. My reasoning for doing this was trying to relate to her, but I see how I really wasn't. Instead I need to do more empathic listening.
When someone is speaking to us, we either ignore, pretend, use selective listening, or are being attentive. Few actually practice empathic listening, the listening with the intent to understand. Seeking first to understand, to really understand. It's an entirely different paradigm. We tend to probe, evaluate, advise, and interpret, instead we really need to focus on receiving the deep communication of another human soul.
We are currently reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. At first, I thought, how in the world does this pertain to conducting, but in every way it does in some shape or form.
In the Introduction/Overview, Covey shows 3 pictures. One of a young lady, one of an old lady, and then one combining the 2.
After looking at this picture and seeing only the young lady, I continued to read the description of how to "see" the old lady and had that "aha" moment. Covey's point was that many times we have to shift our paradigm and see other's. We have to see the perspectives of the people we work with. Applying this to conducting, as a conductor I have to understand the paradigms of my audience, my choral ensemble, my instrumentalists, and myself. It is then I can become a more effective conductor, communicator, and leader. Very fascinating chapter!
So this is my first blog. I've always wanted to start one, but never really got around to it. My first conducting assignment was to start one. So, being in Dr. Copeland's conducting class has opened more doors than imagined. Why have a blog for a conducting class? Not quite sure, but I'm sure Dr. Copeland has his reasons. I'm glad to finally have one...so please enjoy the ramblings of an aspiring pianist. :)