When I teach this section, I sometimes ask, "how many of you have ever taken some sort of a class on speaking?" Typically, many people raise their hands, they've taken a speech class, debate class, etc. or had some sort of training in giving a presentation or speaking. Then, I ask how many have ever taken a class in listening. Very few people raise there hand.
As it turns out, it seems to be human nature to spend a great deal or our energy trying to get others to understand us - often at the expense of listening to really understand another. Dr. Covey often said, "One of the deepest needs of the human soul is to be understood." Little wonder then, that we generally aren't as good at listening to understand as we are at listening to respond. Nor is it any wonder that we typically do habit five in the wrong order - insisting on working from our point of view first, and perhaps secondarily seeking the other's perspective.
So, I found this article from the Harvard Business Review, What To Do When You've Made Someone Angry, to be very instructive. This brief, easy-reading article provides some simple examples to which all can relate. So, to you I extend a challenge - read the article, then apply it. In other words, give it a try. (Just for clarification - I mean try it if you ever have occasion to find that you've upset someone else... don't go out and tick someone off, just to try this.) When you do so, you will be experiencing the essence of habit five because you'll be - first and foremost - acknowledging things from the other person's perspective.
I have found this practical application in empathizing exceptionally effective. Share your experiences - I'd love to hear about them.