“Seeking first to understand before being understood” is Habit 5 of the the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by the late Stephen Covey.
Stephen emphasized that to practice Habit 5, one must be willing to be vulnerable. What does he mean by being vulnerable?
In order to truly and sincerely seeking first to understand others, one has to let go of ego, drop one’s defense, and be open to others’ influence. Otherwise you are just waiting for your turn to speak.
Kinda like an Eastern metaphor I once heard, you can’t pour more tea into a cup that is already full. Meaning our mind is like the cup, no new ideas can go in unless we empty our mind.
By opening yourself up, you are allowing yourself to be vulnerable. You are extending your trust to others. Are you willing to do that? If not, are you really seeking first to understand?