From Dependency to Interdependency
           in 24 pages
        A Summary of the seven (+ 1)
       habits of highly eff...


        POWERFUL LE...

Habits can be learned and unlearned. “Lift off” takes a tremendous effort. But once we break out of the
gravity pu...

                                          Effectiveness is a f...
To love is a verb. It’s what you do: empathize,
                                                   appreciate, affirm, sti...
Developing a personal mission statement or philosophy or creed
A personal mission statement helps us to focus on
Typical centres are:          Decision-making based on:

Spouse centeredness           What is good for … ?
As a principle centred person

   You try to stand apart from the emotion of the situation and from other factors that wou...
How to go about writing your creed:
The core of your mission statement is what is changeless, what is always going to be t...
3. Put first things first

Q1 : reactive
                                                                                      Consumes people
Important criteria a Q2 organizer will need to meet:
1.   Coherence
In your planner, there should be a place for your pers...
Evolution of time management
1st generation: based on notes, check-lists, to-do lists: Reactive
2nd generation: based on c...

Unless we f...
4. Think Win - Win
1.Win-win is a frame of mind that constantly seeks mutual benefits in all human interaction. It sees li...
1. Character: This is the foundation of Win-Win, upon which everything else builds.

In order to achieve win-win ends, we must use win-win means embedded in a character of integrity,
maturity and ...
5. Seek first to understand, Then to be understood
                                              This principle is the key...
To achieve this, you must listen with your ears, but also with your eyes and heart. You don’t project
your own autobiograp...
6. Synergize
Synergy means that differences are the source of creating new things. When two parties co-operate in a

7. Sharpen the saw
We are the instruments of our own...
                 ONE IS ROOTS, THE OTHER WINGS
8. Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs
The 8th Habit is about moving from being effective to being great... ...
From Dependency To Interdependency
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From Dependency To Interdependency


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A 25 pages summary of Mr. Stephen R. Covey's "7 Habits of Highly Efficient People" and of his "8th Habit", teaching you about being proactive, win-win attitude, handling conflicts, solving problems and advancing in your life in a principle based manner.

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From Dependency To Interdependency

  1. 1. From Dependency to Interdependency in 24 pages A Summary of the seven (+ 1) habits of highly effective people, such as described by Stephen R. Covey
  2. 2. STEPHEN R. COVEY (1989) THE SEVEN (+1) HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE POWERFUL LESSONS IN PERSONAL CHANGE ===================================== What we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do. PARADIGMS = ‘THINKFRAMES’ Each of us has many maps in our head: maps of the way things are (realities) and maps of the way things should be (values). We interpret everything we experience through these mental maps. Yet, the map is not the territory. A map is simply an explanation, or model of something else. We seldom question the accuracy of our maps; we’re usually even unaware that we have them. We simply assume that the way we see things, is the way they really are and that everybody should see them that way. We think we are objective, and our attitudes and behaviours grow out of those assumptions. But in reality, we see the world, not as it is, bus as we are – or, as we are conditioned to see it, each of us looking through the unique lens of personal experience. The way we see things is the source of the way we think and the way we act. Yet two people can see the same thing and interpret it in a totally different way. Hence, two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. Like with the picture of the woman, who according to some is about 25 years old, and according to others is about 70. It’s not logical – it’s psychological PRINCIPLES Principles are deep, fundamental truths that have universal application. Fairness, integrity, honesty, human dignity, service (making a contribution), quality of excellence, potential (the ability to grow and develop talents), patience, nurturance, encouragement, … exist in all human beings, in all cultures, religions, philosophies and ethical systems. The degree to which people recognize them and live in harmony with them, move them toward either survival and stability, or disintegration and destruction. People that are faced with the prospect of early death tend to discover that the dominant, central theme of their life, the underlying basic principle, is LOVE. VALUES Principles are no values. A gang of thieves can share values, but they are in violation of the fundamental principles. Principles are the territory. Values are the maps. When we value correct principles, we have TRUTH: knowledge of things as they are.
  3. 3. HABITS Habits can be learned and unlearned. “Lift off” takes a tremendous effort. But once we break out of the gravity pull, our freedom takes on a whole new dimension. By working on knowledge, skill and desire, we can break through to new levels of personal and interpersonal effectiveness and break with old paradigms that have been a source of pseudo-security for years. It’s sometimes a painful process. It’s a change that has to be motivated by a higher purpose, by the willingness to subordinate what you want now to what you want later. INTERDEPENDENCE THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE move us progressively on a maturity continuum from dependence to interdependence. DEPENDENCE -> = Paradigm of ME = Paradigm of WE = Paradigm of YOU I can do it We can do it better You take care of me I am responsible We can cooperate You make me happy I am self – reliant We can combine our talents If you didn’t come through, I have the right to choose and abilities and create Then I blame you for the something greater together results. I CAN GET WHAT I WANT I COMBINE MY EFFORTS I NEED YOU TO GET THROUGH MY OWN WITH YOURS TO WHAT I WANT EFFORT ACHIEVE A GREATER SUCCESS INDEPENDENCE -> INTERDEPENDENCE Interdependency is a choice only independent people can make. Habits 1 – 3 Move a person from dependency to independency and lead to increased self-confidence 1 : Be proactive 2 : Begin with the end in mind 3 : Put first things first Habits 4 – 6 Build on this independency to create effective interdependency and lead to better relationships 4 : Think win – win 5 : Seek first to understand, then to be understood 6 : Synergize Habit 7 This is the habit of maintenance and renewal: Sharpen the saw Habit 8 Represents another level of effectiveness, which will enhance the performance of each of the other seven habits: Find your voice and inspire others to follow.
  4. 4. THE PRODUCT / PRODUCTION CAPICITY BALANCE ( P/PC BALANCE) Effectiveness is a function of the balance between 2 things: P: what is produced (the golden eggs) and PC: the producing asset or capacity to produce (the goose) If P is all you are interested in and you neglect to maintain the PC, that is: to communicate, train, relate, listen, affirm, motivate, stimulate, show interest, show respect… Then the goose will get sick; and get sicker day by day and soon will start producing less golden eggs until she eventually will stop producing any golden eggs at all. I. FROM DEPENDENCE TO INDEPENCE ===================================== 1. Be proactive We are NOT conditioned to respond in a particular way to a particular stimulus. Our environment is NOT responsible for our situation, neither is the upbringing we got from our parents, neither even our DNA or genes, because between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose. Proactive people doe not blame circumstances, conditions or conditioning for their behaviour. Their behaviour is a product of their own conscious, value-based choice. Until a person can say: “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday”, that person cannot say: “I choose otherwise”. Our basic nature is to act, not to be acted upon. However, if we wait to act, then we will be acted upon. If we don’t use our resourcefulness and initiative to create solutions, then others will decide for us. PROACTIVE LANGUAGE: I can create, I will choose, I decide, I do, I make, I prefer, I suggest, I want, I plan to, I can change, I can be more …. REACTIVE LANGUAGE: There’s nothing I can do, that’s the way I am, they won’t allow, I have to, I must, if only …, he makes me mad, I am not responsible, if I had …, if only I could … The language of reactive people absolves them of responsibility and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Any time we think the problem is “out there” , then that thought is the problem: we empower what is out there to control us.
  5. 5. To love is a verb. It’s what you do: empathize, appreciate, affirm, stimulate, sacrifice, listen, and giving of self. “Love”, the feeling, is a fruit of “love”, the verb. Happiness, like unhappiness, is a choice: we can be happy if we accept those things, which at present we cannot control, while we focus our efforts on the things we can. Proactive people concentrate on their circle of influence, which is: the things they can do something about. They thus cause their circle of influence to increase. Reactive people focus a lot of time and energy to their much wider circle of concerns: the things they have little or no impact on, such as the weakness of other people or the problems in the environment. This leads to feelings of victimization and causes their circle of influence to shrink. The commitments we make to ourselves and to others, and our integrity to those commitments, is the essence and the clearest manifestation of our proactivity and of our personal growth. 2. Begin with the end in mind If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster. All things are created twice: there’s a first or mental creation, and a second or physical creation. But not all first creations are by our own conscious design: if we do not become responsible for first creation, we empower people and circumstances outside our circle of influence to shape much of our lives by default. We then reactively live the scripts handed to us by family, associates, … other people’s agendas. Leadership, the 1st creation, is determining what is right for us and which things we want to accomplish. It is based on imagination (vision) and conscience (principles and values). Management, the 2nd creation, is determining how to do things right. It is based on technical skills.
  6. 6. Developing a personal mission statement or philosophy or creed A personal mission statement helps us to focus on what and how we want to be (character), what we want to accomplish (contributions and achievements) and on the values and principles upon which our being and doing are based Once you have that sense of mission, you have the essence of your own proactivity, the vision and the values which direct your life. In order to write a personal mission statement, we must begin at the very centre of our circle of influence; for it is there that our focussed efforts achieve the greatest results. Whatever is at the centre of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom and power. 1. Security: Represents Our sense of worth, our self esteem Our identity, our basic personal strength Our emotional anchorage 2. Guidance: The source of our direction in life Encompassed by our map, our internal frame of reference that interprets for you what is happening out there, are the standards or principles or implicit criteria that govern moment- by-moment decision-making and doing. Ranges on the continuum from dependence to strong inner direction. 3. Wisdom: 1 + 2 determine 3: Our perspective on life, Our sense of balance, Our understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate together Embraces judgment, discernment and comprehension Falls between a totally inaccurate map and a complete and accurate map of life, wherein all the parts and principles are properly related to each other. 4. Power: is the faculty or capacity to act It is sparked and directed by our wisdom. It includes the strength and potency to accomplish something Also includes the capacity to overcome deeply embedded habits and to cultivate higher, more effective ones. It lies between immobilization or being a puppet pulled by someone else’s strings and high proactivity, the power to act according to your own values. Often, we recognize a person’s centre by the way he presents himself: I am X, married, father… I am X, profession …
  7. 7. Typical centres are: Decision-making based on: Spouse centeredness What is good for … ? What does … want ? Family centeredness Money centeredness Profit Possession centeredness Protect, increase & better display possession Work centeredness Work related needs & expectations Pleasure centeredness Friend / enemy centeredness What will … think ? How will it affect … ? Church centeredness Self centeredness I need, I want, I like, …. Principle centeredness
  8. 8. As a principle centred person You try to stand apart from the emotion of the situation and from other factors that would act on you, and evaluate your opinion. Looking at the balanced whole - the work-needs, family-needs and other needs that may be involved and the possible implications of the various alternative decisions, - and you try to come up with the best solution, taking all factors into consideration. You might make the same choice with a number of other centres, but there are several important differences: 1. You are not being acted upon by other people or circumstances, but you are proactively choosing what you determine to be the best alternative. You make your decisions consciously and knowledgeably. 2. You know your decision is most effective because it is based on principles with predictable long- term results. 3. What you choose to do contributes to your ultimate values in life. 4. You can communicate to your wife and boss within strong networks you’ve created in your interdependent relationships. 5. You’ll feel comfortable about your decision. Whatever you choose to do, you can focus on it and enjoy it. In order to become principle-centred, you must: First be aware of, and develop, your own proactive nature (habit one) Be aware of your paradigms and understand how to shift them and align them with your principles Have a vision of and a focus on the unique contribution that is yours to make (habit two) This foundation then allows you to practice effective self-management and become principle-centred, day in and day out (habit three). In addition to self-awareness, imagination and conscience, independent Will is what really makes self- management possible. The ability to make decisions and choices and to act in accordance with them. The degree to which we are successful is measured by our personal integrity: our ability to make and keep commitments, the value we place on ourselves, the honour with self, the discipline to act in accordance with our principles, values and purpose in life : our mission.
  9. 9. How to go about writing your creed: The core of your mission statement is what is changeless, what is always going to be there: your guiding principles, vision and values. Through the powers of imagination, you can visualize Where you want to be 5 years from now Your 25th and/or 50th anniversary Your retirement from your present occupation Your own funeral And ask yourself: What contributions and achievements will you want to have made What further plans will you have What kind of relationships do you want to have created How you would live if you had only 6 more months to live It is important to write down positive, personal, visual and emotional present-time affirmations. E.G.: It is deeply satisfying (emo) that I (personal) respond (present time) with love, wisdom, firmness and self-control (positive) when XXXX want me to / misbehave / gossip / …. This allows you to visualize the situations described in rich detail see yourself handle these situations and thus be well prepared to face them next time they happen. E.G.: a sales presentation: by the time you get into the situation, it isn’t foreign anymore: you experienced it before you actually did it, it does not scare you anymore -> you began with the end in mind. How to give structure and organized direction to your personal mission IDENTIFY YOUR ROLE AREAS AND ROLES You may find that your creed or mission statement will be much more balanced and much easier to work with if you break it down into the specific role areas of your life and the goals you want to accomplish in each area. Think: What am I about in this area? Which values should guide me? What is important to me? After you identify your various roles, then you can think about the Long Term Goals and plans you make, that support the principles in your mission statement. Think: What areas do you want to focus on in the (near) future? Focus primarily on results rather than activities. Results identify where you want to be and, in the process, help you determine where you are. They give you important information on how to get there and tell you when you have arrived. Translate results into daily activities so that you are proactive and in charge of your life. Remember: Without Involvement, There Is No Commitment!
  10. 10. 3. Put first things first THINGS THAT MATTER MOST MUST NEVER BE AT THE MERCY OF THINGS WHICH MATTER LESS. (Goethe) Putting first things first is the one denominator ALL successful people share. Question: What one thing – that you are not doing now – could you do on a regular basis, and would then make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life? HABIT 1 SAYS: be proactive. Be the creator. Feel empowered to create. Change what is ineffective. HABIT 2 SAYS: begin with the end in mind. Imagine. First create things with your mind. LEAD. HABIT 3 SAYS: realize the physical creation. MANAGE.
  11. 11. Q1 : reactive Consumes people Crises & problems dominate Focussed on time and methods Q2: proactive Networking Planning Focussed on relationships and results Q3: reactive Priorities determined by others Irresponsible Q4: escapism ORGANIZE AND EXECUTE AROUND PRIORITIES ! QUADRANT 1 AND 3 WORK ON YOU - YOU HAVE TO BE PRO- ACTIVE TO WORK ON Q 2. Often, the enemy of “the best” is “the good”. You need to have a bigger YES burning inside, in order to be able to say “no” to good things. Bear in mind that, with every choice you make, you are saying “no” to something! Where to get the necessary time to work on Q2 ? You cannot ignore the urgent and important activities of Q1. You will have to learn to say “no” to - sometimes apparently urgent - activities in Q3 and Q4
  12. 12. Important criteria a Q2 organizer will need to meet: 1. Coherence In your planner, there should be a place for your personal mission statement, your roles and short & long term goals. Coherence suggests: harmony, unity and integrity between vision and mission, roles and goals, priorities and plans, desires and discipline. 2. Balance Success in one area never really compensates for failures in other areas. Your tool should help to keep balance in your life, so that you don’t neglect important areas, such as your health, family, personal development. 3. Quadrant II-focus Organizing THE WEEK will help you spend the time you need in Q2. The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. 4. People are more important than schedules Your tool needs to reflect that value. 5. Flexibility Your planning should be your servant, never your master 6. Portability Your organizer should be portable so that you can carry it with you Quadrant II-organizing involves four key activities: 1. Identifying roles: write down your key roles: e.g.: individual, husband, father, son-in law, brother, friend, colleague, company staff member … 2. Selecting goals: 2 or 3 results you feel you should accomplish in each role during the next seven days. 3. Scheduling: Translate each goal to a specific day of the week 4. Daily adapting: Take a few minutes each morning to review your schedule
  13. 13. Evolution of time management 1st generation: based on notes, check-lists, to-do lists: Reactive 2nd generation: based on calendars, appointment books, planning: Pro-active – looking ahead! 3rd generation: adds prioritization + setting short-term, intermediate and long-term targets in harmony with values, goals and targets, but too much emphasis on daily planning 4th generation: time management is in fact a misnomer. We cannot manage time, but must manage ourselves! Expectations and satisfaction lie in our circle of influence; hence we must focus on preserving and enhancing relationships and on accomplishing results. Habit one says: you are the programmer Habit two says: write the program Habit three says: run the program Delegation We accomplish all we do through delegation: either to personal time, or to people. If we delegate to time, we think efficiency. If we delegate to other people, we think effectiveness. Effectively delegating to others is perhaps the single most powerful high-leverage activity there is. It is the key to effective management. Two kinds of delegation A/ GOFER DELEGATION: “go for this, go for that, do this, do that, … and tell me when it’s done” Does not make other persons committed to achieve results Limits the number of people one can supervise B/ STEWARDSHIP DELEGATION: Is focussed on results instead of methods. Gives people a choice of method and makes them responsible for results. Takes more time in the beginning, but it’s time well invested. Stewardship Delegation involves understanding and commitment regarding expectations in 5 areas: 1. Desired results: Have them see it, describe it and make a quality statement 2. Guidelines: Point out potential failure paths. Tell what NOT to do. 3. Resources: Identify the human, technical, financial and organizational resources that can be drawn on to accomplish the job 4. Accountability: Set up the standards of performance that will be used for evaluation and the specific times when reporting and evaluation will take place. 5. Consequences: Specify what will happen, both good and bad, as a result of the evaluation. Trust is the highest form of human motivation, but it takes time and patience and does not preclude the necessity of training and development.
  14. 14. 2. FROM INDEPENDENCE TO INTERDEPENDENCE ============================================================== Unless we first achieve real independence, it’s foolish to try to develop human-relations skills: interdepence is a choice only independent people can make. As we become independent, that is: proactive, centred in correct principles, value-driven and able to organize and execute with integrity around the priorities of our life, we then can choose to become interdependent: capable of building rich, enduring, highly productive relationships with other people. In a relationship, in order to feel safe with each other, we need to build a reserve of TRUST and to sustain it by continuing deposits through positive attention, respect, courtesy, kindness and keeping our commitments. When the Emotional Deposit Account, or Trust Account, is high, one can call upon it whenever necessary. It compensates for errors and makes communication easy and effective. Our most constant relationships require our most constant deposits. You need a positive balance to communicate on tender issues. If you have a habit of showing discourtesy, disrespect, cutting the other off, overreacting, ignoring, being arbitrary, threatening or playing little tin god, very soon your Trust Account will be overdrawn and you’ll be walking on minefields. Building and repairing relationships take time. There is no such thing as a Quick Fix. Here are six major deposits that build a Trust Account: 1. What is important to the other person must be as important to you as the other person is to you. This paves the way to bonding experiences in which you invest time, interest and energy in subjects and activities that matter to the other. 2. In relationships, the little things are big things: little kindnesses and courtesies are so important. Small discourtesies, little unkindnesses and little forms of disrespect on the other hand, make large withdrawals. 3. Keeping commitments and promises are major deposits, but there’s probably not a more massive withdrawal than to make a promise and then not come through. 4. Clarifying Expectations is very important. Assuming that our expectations are self-evident, understood and shared by other people will lead to misunderstanding, disappointment and withdrawals of trust. 5. Integrity: be loyal to your principles, treat everyone by the same set of principles, avoid deceptive communication and people will come to trust you. 6. Apologize sincerely when you make a mistake.
  15. 15. 4. Think Win - Win 1.Win-win is a frame of mind that constantly seeks mutual benefits in all human interaction. It sees life as a cooperative, not a competitive area. It is not about “your way or my way” but about finding a better way. 2. Win-win or no deal is an even higher expression of win-win: “if we can’t find a solution that would benefit us both, then we agree to disagree.” This attitude allows you to feel liberated. There’s no need to drive for what you want. You can be open and honestly say: “I want you to win and I want to win also. I only want to go for win-win. 2. Sometimes “no deal” is not viable. In such cases, if necessary, you can go for compromise, a low form of win-win. ALTERNATIVE MINDFRAMES ARE: WIN-LOSE: “I get my way <-> You don’t get yours”. Children often get moulded in the win-lose mentality. When they feel their parents’ love is conditional, they learn to compete to earn love: “If I’m better than my brother, my parents will love me more”, “If I get an A, …” In leadership style, win-lose is the authoritarian approach: Win-Lose people are prone to use position, power, credentials, possessions or personality to get their way. LOSE-WIN: “I’m a peacemaker; I’ll do anything to keep peace”. Lose-Win has no demands, no expectation, no standards, and no vision. They seek strength from pleasing, appeasing, and accepting and have little courage to express their own feelings and convictions. They are easily intimidated by the Ego-strength of others. They are being taken advantage of by win-lose people, who feed on them and exploit their weaknesses. They also burry a lot of feelings. But unexpressed feelings don’t just die: they’re buried alive and come forth later on in uglier ways: psychosomatic illnesses, disproportionate rage or anger, overreaction, cynicism, are only some embodiments of suppressed emotion. LOSE-LOSE: When two Win-Lose people get together, eventually both will lose, because their desire for the other to lose is so big that they’d rather also lose themselves, than allow the other to win. WIN: This is a common approach when there is no sense of contest or competition: a person with this mentality wants to secure his own ends and leaves it to others to secure theirs. WHICH OPTION IS BEST? In interdependent realities, Win-Win is the only real alternative: if it is not a win-win for both of us, we both lose. Lose-Lose obviously isn’t viable in any context. Sometimes you may want to go for a Lose-Win: When the relationship is more important than the issue, or if what you want is just not worth the expense of time and effort. And in some circumstances you will want to win, without being highly concerned with the relationship of that win to others: When the issue is very important to you. Imagine your child’s life is in danger ….
  16. 16. THE FIVE DIMENSIONS OF WIN-WIN 1. Character: This is the foundation of Win-Win, upon which everything else builds. Three character traits are essential to the win-win paradigm. Integrity: There is no way to go for a win if we don’t even know what constitutes a win, - what is, in fact harmonious with our innermost values. If we can’t make and keep commitments to ourselves as well as to others, our commitments become meaningless. Maturity: This is the ability to express your feelings and convictions with courage, balanced with consideration for he feelings and convictions of another person. Abundance Mentality: The paradigm that there is plenty out there for everybody. 2. Relationships: Building a high Trust Account by making regular deposits to it, creates trust, respect and credibility and allows us to focus on the issues, not on personalities or positions. Because we trust each other, we are open and committed to try to understand each other’s point of view, and to work together to find an alternative, synergistic solution. 3. Agreements: Agreements create an effective way to clarify and manage expectations between people: Desired Results Identify what is to be done, and when Guidelines Specify the parameters (principles, policies, …) within which results are to be accomplished. Resources Identify the support available to help accomplish the results. (Human, financial, technical, organizational...) Accountability Sets up the standards of performance and the time of evaluation. Consequences Says what will happen as a result of the evaluation (natural and logical consequences which can be good and/or bad) 4. Win-Win Management Training 5. Win-Win performance Agreements The focus must be on results, not methods, and the consequences (rewards and penalties) should be known up front and should be the natural and logical results of the performance. There are basically 4 kinds of possible consequences: A/ FINANCIAL: income, bonuses, stock options, allowances, penalties, B/ PSYCHOLOGICAL: recognition, approval, credibility, respect, - or the loss of them C/ OPPORTUNITY: training, development, perks and other benefits D/ RESPONSIBILITY: enlarged or diminished scope and authority Competition has its place, but it’s outside the circle of interdependent relations: in the marketplace, against last year’s performance, perhaps even against another office or individual where there is no need to cooperate.
  17. 17. PROCESSES In order to achieve win-win ends, we must use win-win means embedded in a character of integrity, maturity and the abundance mentality. They grow out of high-trust relationships and agreements that effectively clarify and manage expectations, accomplishments and consequences. FIRST: See the problem from the other point of view: what are the needs and concerns of the other party? Why – or what for? SECOND: Identify the key issues and concerns involved. (Not the positions) THIRD: Constitute what results would constitute a fully acceptable solution. FOURTH: Identify possible new options to achieve these results.
  18. 18. 5. Seek first to understand, Then to be understood This principle is the key to effective personal communication. Communication is the most important skill in life. The ability to communicate well is absolutely critical to your effectiveness. The key to influence people is not in using some technique to listen and understand them, but is your actual conduct, your example. These flow naturally out of your character and show me the person you truly are, not what others say you are or what you may want me to think you are. Unless I’m influenced by your uniqueness, I’m not going to be influenced by your advice. The moment you start using techniques, I sense duplicity, manipulation, I will start wondering what your real motives are and won’t feel safe enough to open myself up to you. EMPATHIC LISTENING Most people do not listen with the intend 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: “Ohh, I know exactly how you feel! I went through the same thing. Let me tell you about MY experience!” All too often we look into our own head and think we see the world. Our conversations become alternating collective monologues, and we never really understand what’s going on inside another human being. When another person speaks, we’re usually “listening” at one of four levels: 1. We may be ignoring what’s being said : not really listening at all 2. We may pretend we’re listening: “yeah, uh-huh, right …” 3. We may practice selective listening, hearing only certain parts of what is being said 4. We may listen attentively, paying attention to the words that are being said. DIAGNOSE BEFORE YOU PRESCRIBE But very few ever reach the fifth and highest level of listening: empathic listening. Empathic listening has little to do with sympathizing, it does not require that we agree with what is being said, but it does require that we put ourselves in the other person’s place, look at things the way they see them, understand their paradigm, deeply and fully understand how they feel, both emotionally and intellectually.
  19. 19. To achieve this, you must listen with your ears, but also with your eyes and heart. You don’t project your own autobiography and assuming thoughts, feelings, motives and interpretations, but you deal with the reality inside another person’s head and heart. Empathic listening is – in and on itself - tremendous deposit in the Emotional Bank Account because it gives a person “psychological air”. Remember: satisfied needs don’t motivate. Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival: to be understood, affirmed, validated and appreciated. Never try to sell a product. Instead, sell solutions to needs and problems. In order to have influence, you must first allow yourself to be influenced. You have to really understand. Tell people: “Let me see if I really understand what your position is. When You feel I understand them, then we can search for a solution together.” Then, don’t reflect their position, but try to verbalize their needs and concerns. When we listen autobiographically, what we do is: 1. Evaluate and judge: We either agree or disagree 2. Probe: We try to understand, asking questions from our own frame of reference. (What’s the matter? What’s been happening lately? What are your plans? …) 3. Advise: We give counsel based on our own experience (Have you tried X? Maybe if you give it some time? …) 4. Interpret: We try to figure people out to explain their motives and behaviour, based on our own motives and behaviour. Instead, what we should do first is: 1. Repeat back the content of what was said: This is the least effective sage of empathic listening, but at least you have not evaluated, probed, advised or interpreted … 2. Rephrase the content: Put their meaning into your own words: A little bit more effective already, because you show understanding. 3. Reflect their feeling 4. (= 2 + 3): Rephrase the content AND reflect the feeling: Repeat the idea, subject or conclusion and confirm the feeling. E.G.: You’re really frustrated about …. You feel like Y is not doing you any good You think he really has the right idea The key is to genuinely seek the welfare of the individual, to listen with empathy, to let the person get to the problem and the solution at his own pace and time. Affirming your motive is a huge deposit. You can say things like: “I realize I haven’t listened to you like I should. But I want to. I really care about you and I want to understand. I hope you’ll help me.” But when you speak like this, you’d better be sincere. Otherwise your words are going to backfire. Listen, Invest one-to-one time, Do things together, Build the Emotional Bank Account. Give Air.
  20. 20. 6. Synergize Synergy means that differences are the source of creating new things. When two parties co-operate in a creative way, the form a whole together which is greater than the sum of its parts. In fact, their rela- tionship is a part in and of itself. Not only a part, but the most catalytic, the most empowering, unifying and exciting part. Compromise means 1 + 1 = 1, because both parties give up something in order to reach an agreement. To the individual party, compromise even means 1 + 1 = ½, because they end up with less than they started with. Synergy means 1 + 1 may equal 3, 8, … or even 2.425 because it produces solutions which are better than any originally proposed outcome, and all parties know it. Synergy however requires trust, a high emotional bank account, thinking win-win and seeking first to understand. People genuinely enjoy the creative enterprise. They feel freed from all kinds of fears and restrictions. Instead of communicating in respectful, careful and predictable ways, they become open and authentic and communicate in creative, synergistic, open ways, valuing and transcending differences. The attitude is: “If a person of your intelligence, competence and commitment disagrees with me, then there must be something one of us does not see or understand and we have to find out what.” Oneness, or unity, is complementariness, not sameness. A lot of people think that all reality is amenable to their paradigms. They don’t realize that the very strength of a relationship is in having other points of view. Sameness is not oneness, uniformity not unity. Sameness is uncreative and boring. Valuing the differences is the essence of synergy. And the key to value the mental, emotional, psychological … differences between people is to realize that all people see the world, not as it is, but as they are. Life is not about either / or Almost always there are Third Alternatives; but unless we value the differences in perception, we will never be able to transcend the limits of our conditioning. Synergy is particularly powerful in dealing with negative forces that work against growth and change. Driving forces generally are positive, reasonable, logical, conscious and economic. In juxtaposition, restraining forces are often negative, emotional, illogical, unconscious and social/psychological. Both sets of forces must be taken into account: increasing the driving forces alone is not enough. The restraining forces need to be unfrozen and loosened up. New insights must be created, that actually transform those restraining forces into driving ones.
  21. 21. III. RENEWAL =============== 7. Sharpen the saw We are the instruments of our own performance. To be effective, we need to recognize the importance of taking time regularly to preserve, renew and enhance the greatest assets we have and which are: The four dimensions of our nature PHYSICAL: “being a good animal”: healthy food, exercise, sleep, economic (make good living), … SPIRITUAL: “being a saint”, perspective, service, contribution, meditation, … MENTAL: “being a good craftsman”: recognise, develop and use talents. Autonomy, education, study, reading, writing, organizing, planning, … SOCIAL / EMOTIONAL: “being a good friend”: connectedness, how we treat people, human relations, Finding meaning through purpose or contribution and through organizational integrity. Although renewal in each dimension is important, it only becomes optimally effective as we deal with all four dimensions in a wise and balanced way. E.G.: the economic and the social/emotional dimension are both important to a company. If the two are not balanced well, the company will suffer. Spending one hour a day in renewal of the four dimensions is the key to the development of the seven habits and it’s completely within our circle of influence. MIND THE GAP There is a gap between stimulus and response. The key to both our growth and happiness is how we use that space. When we stand in that gap and look at the stimuli, we experience the freedom to choose our response. We have the power to stop negative scripting that has been passed down to us. Instead of transferring bad habits to the next generation, we can change them.
  23. 23. 8. Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs The 8th Habit is about moving from being effective to being great... The essence of this habit is that you will find your voice when you can say that you are 100% involved in what you are doing with your life with body, mind, heart and spirit. The idea is very simple. Whatever you are doing right now with your life, ask yourself these questions. Is it serving my body, mind heart and spirit? Firstly, is it serving my body, mind heart and spirit? In other words, is it serving your bodily needs: does it allow you to make a good living; does it more-than pay the bills; does it feed and clothe you and your family and provide you with a lovely home? Secondly, is it serving your need for mental stimulation: do you find it truly stimulating, engaging and challenging? Thirdly, is it serving your emotional needs: do you just love it and are you passionate about it? Finally, does it serve your spiritual needs: do you believe it is the right thing for you to be doing with your life? If you can answer those four questions with a resounding 'yes', then you have 'found your voice'. The reality is that very many people have not found their voices or perhaps have lost their voices. The result of this cane be seen everywhere. People may go to work just to earn money only, i.e. to serve their bodily needs but do not really put their creativity, talent and intelligence into the job. Perhaps the job is serving more than your bodily needs: perhaps it is also mentally stimulating you but, if you won the lottery, you might immediately resign because it is not really what you want to be spending your time doing if monetary considerations were not present. Perhaps, most difficult to imagine is having a job that provides the money, is indeed stimulating and you love doing it, but it is still not the right thing for you to be doing. The cost to business of employing people who don't really understand or even care about the Vision and Mission of the company is a loss of the 'voice' of the organization. To find your voice, you need to examine your natural talent - you are good at something! Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. You have a unique talent. You must find out what that is. Isn't it interesting that you may actually be carrying a talent that is presently unknown to you! You must find out what you absolutely love to do. You must find out what really interests you. And you must listen to the confirming inner voice of your conscience that tells you what is the right thing for you. When you have found your voice, you can begin inspiring others to do the same thing: really go for what excites them in life - that is the second part of the habit. Great leaders have always inspired us to 'find' ourselves - to find our own 'voices' and to find the 'voice' of the organisation - that is the essence of greatness. People and organizations who have truly found their 'voices' go on to become great. I hope that you will invest the time to discover your own greatness.