Habit #5 Seek First To Understand Then To Be Understood – 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teh Tarik Kakis

This is the fifh blog of the seven-part series of “7 habits of highly effec­tive teh tarik kakis”.

[To have a bet­ter under­stand­ing of what is “teh tarik”, “teh tarik kaki” or “teh tarik ses­sion’, please go to the About page. You may also read the previous habits in the following links:

Habit #4 http://tehtarikkaki.com/all/habit-4-think-win-win-win-7-habits-of-highly-effective-teh-tarik-kakis/

Habit #3 http://tehtarikkaki.com/all/7-habits-all/habit-3-first-things-first-7-habits-of-highly-effective-teh-tarik-kakis/

Habit #2 http://tehtarikkaki.com/all/7-habits-all/habit-2-begin-with-the-end-in-mind-7-habits-of-highly-effective-teh-tarik-kakis/

Habit #1 http://tehtarikkaki.com/all/7-habits-all/habit-1-be-pro-active-7-habits-of-highly-effective-teh-tarik-kakis/

Introduction http://tehtarikkaki.com/all/7-habits-all/7-habits-of-hihghly-effective-teh-tarik-people-kakis/]

Com­ing back to the 5th habit of highly effec­tive Ah Bengs, it is “cho lang ai eh beng pek (you must be understanding)”. How­ever for Teh Tarik Kakis, it should be like this:

“Fully Understand The Other Party First”

In any teh tarik session or any kind of relationship, most of the times we take things for granted by NOT listening to the other party first. We hear BUT not listen, we listen BUT not with our heart, not with our ears, not with our eyes and not with our feelings.

Do you notice that in a yum cha session many a times you are the only one who is dominating the whole conversation and you want to be understood by the other party BUT not wanting to understand the other party! This is indeed a selfish move.

7-habits guru Stephen Covey has coined the word “emphatic listening” in which the purpose is to genuinely seek the welfare of the individual to whom you are listening. Easy right?

When your teh tarik kaki speaks, we are usually ‘listening’ at one of four levels:

  • ignoring
  • pretending
  • selective listening
  • attentive listening (paying attention to the words of the conversation)

which are in contrary to emphatic listening.

Therefore it is extremely important to invest the time, money and effort to really understand the other person’s position; and seek to listen with all your ears, eyes, heart, feeling and both sides of your brain. Then people become more open and more interested in what you have to say later.

One on one

In my humble opinion, the best setting for a teh tarik session is one on one rather than involving more than two partners because it is time saving and both parties could be more open in Seek First To Understand and Then To Be Understood. Unless you are doing a brainstorming session to come out with certain solutions to a common problem, a one on one is a better choice.

So teh tarik kakis, “cho lang ai eh beng pek (you must be understanding)” is in Ah Beng’s terms. In teh tarik kaki terms, Fully Understand The Other Party First!

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