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Covey - The 7 habits of highly effective people

If you have the right

If you have the right map of Chicago, then diligence becomes important, and when you encounter frustrating obstacles along the way, then attitude can make a real difference. But the first and most important requirement is the accuracy of the map. Each of us has many, many maps in our head, which can be divided into two main categories: maps of the way things are, or realities, and maps of the way things should be, or values. We interpret everything we experience through these mental maps. We seldom question their accuracy; we're usually even unaware that we have them. We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of those assumptions. The way we see things is the source of the way we think and the way we act. Before going any further, I invite you to have an intellectual and emotional experience. Take a few seconds and just look at the picture on the following page Now look at the picture below and carefully describe what you see Do you see a woman? How old would you say she is? What does she look like? What is she wearing? In what kind of roles do you see her? You probably would describe the woman in the second picture to be about 25 years old -- very lovely, rather fashionable with a petite nose and demure presence. If you were a single man you might like to take her out. If you were in retailing, you might hire her as a fashion model. But what if I were to tell you that you're wrong? What if I said this picture is of a woman in her 60s or 70s who looks sad, has a huge nose, and certainly is no model. She's someone you probably would help cross the street. Who's right? Look at the picture again. Can you see the old woman? If you can't, keep trying. Can you see her big hook nose? Her shawl? If you and I were talking face to face, we could discuss the picture. You could describe what you see to me, and I could talk to you about what I see. We could continue to communicate until you clearly showed me what you see in the picture and I clearly showed you what I see. Because we can't do that, turn to page 45 and study the picture there and then look at this picture again. Can you see the old woman now? It's important that you see her before you continue reading. I first encountered this exercise many years ago at the Harvard Business School. The instructor was using it to demonstrate clearly and eloquently that two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. It's not logical; it's psychological. He brought into the room a stack of large cards, half of which had the image of the young woman you saw on page 25, and the other half of which had the old woman on page 45. He passed them out to the class, the picture of the young woman to one side of the room and the picture of the old woman to the other. He asked us to look at the cards, concentrate on them for about 10 seconds and then pass them back in. He then projected upon the screen the picture you saw on page 26 combining both images and asked the class to describe what they saw. Almost every person in that class who had first seen the young woman's image on a card saw the young woman in the picture. And almost every person in that class who had first seen the old woman's image on a card saw an old woman in the picture. 11

The professor then asked one student to explain what he saw to a student on the opposite side of the room. As they talked back and forth, communication problems flared up. "What do you mean, 'old lady'? She couldn't be more than 20 or 22 years old! "Oh, come on. You have to be joking. She's 70 -- could be pushing 80!" "What's the matter with you? Are you blind? This lady is young, good looking. I'd like to take her out. She's lovely." "Lovely? She's an old hag. The arguments went back and forth, each person sure of, and adamant in, his or her position. All of this occurred in spite of one exceedingly important advantage the students had -- most of them knew early in the demonstration that another point of view did, in fact, exist -- something many of us would never admit. Nevertheless, at first, only a few students really tried to see this picture from another frame of reference. After a period of futile communication, one student went up to the screen and pointed to a line on the drawing. "There is the young woman's necklace." The other one said, "No, that is the old woman's mouth." Gradually, they began to calmly discuss specific points of difference, and finally one student, and then another, experienced sudden recognition when the images of both came into focus. Through continued calm, respectful, and specific communication, each of us in the room was finally able to see the other point of view. But when we looked away and then back, most of us would immediately see the image we had been conditioned to see in the 10-second period of time. I frequently use this perception demonstration in working with people and organizations because it yields so many deep insights into both personal and interpersonal effectiveness. It shows, first of all, how powerfully conditioning affects our perceptions, our paradigms. If 10 seconds can have that kind of impact on the way we see things, what about the conditioning of a lifetime? The influences in our lives -- family, school, church, work environment, friends, associates, and current social paradigms such as the personality ethic -- all have made their silent unconscious impact on us and help shape our frame of reference, our paradigms, our maps. It also shows that these paradigms are the source of our attitudes and behaviors. We cannot act with integrity outside of them. We simply cannot maintain wholeness if we talk and walk differently than we see. If you were among the 90 percent who typically see the young woman in the composite picture when conditioned to do so, you undoubtedly found it difficult to think in terms of having to help her cross the street. Both your attitude about her and your behavior toward her had to be congruent with the way you saw her. This brings into focus one of the basic flaws of the personality ethic. To try to change outward attitudes and behaviors does very little good in the long run if we fail to examine the basic paradigms from which those attitudes and behaviors flow. This perception demonstration also shows how powerfully our paradigms affect the way we interact with other people. As clearly and objectively as we think we see things, we begin to realize that others see them differently from their own apparently equally clear and objective point of view. "Where we stand depends on where we sit." 12

  • Page 1 and 2: THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIV
  • Page 3 and 4: These principles, however, are like
  • Page 5 and 6: Stephen Covey adds great value to a
  • Page 7 and 8: I have a forceful personality. I kn
  • Page 9 and 10: This personality ethic, I began to
  • Page 11: long-term relationship they have, w
  • Page 15 and 16: ingenuity, and creating a standard
  • Page 17 and 18: Shortly after dark, the lookout on
  • Page 19 and 20: The more closely our maps or paradi
  • Page 21 and 22: So I first tried a simple request.
  • Page 23 and 24: There's so much to do. And there's
  • Page 25 and 26: But from my own experience -- both
  • Page 27 and 28: interdependent, that there is an ec
  • Page 29 and 30: Understanding the sequence will hel
  • Page 31 and 32: training, the communicating, the re
  • Page 33 and 34: trust, and lost the asset of custom
  • Page 35 and 36: disappear. Those you teach will see
  • Page 37 and 38: "You're never on time." "Why can't
  • Page 39 and 40: instincts and conditioning and cond
  • Page 41 and 42: such personal freedom and the effec
  • Page 43 and 44: you to act. If you wait to be acted
  • Page 45 and 46: "Think hard. What do you think woul
  • Page 47 and 48: Because of position, wealth, role,
  • Page 49 and 50: So these executives focused on find
  • Page 51 and 52: We can decide to be dishonest in ou
  • Page 53 and 54: Knowing that we are responsible --
  • Page 55 and 56: When I look upon the tombs of the g
  • Page 57 and 58: Whether we are aware of it or not,
  • Page 59 and 60: Because we already live with many s
  • Page 61 and 62: Succeed at home first. Seek and mer
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    so-called mental and emotional illn

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    When we are dependent on the person

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    Innocent pleasures in moderation ca

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    Because the church is a formal orga

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    If you are Money Centered... SECURI

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    WISDOM You see the world through a

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    We can depend on them Principles do

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    POWER Your power is limited only by

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    Fourth, you can communicate to your

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    many different kinds of thought pro

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    We would try to get him in a very r

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    I inspire: I teach by example that

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    When we plan our family goals and a

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    "Everybody," he replied. "Everybody

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    Application Suggestions 1. Take the

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    Management, remember, is clearly di

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    with the bath water," reverting to

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    was to enforce the contract -- to c

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    There are many people who recognize

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    Coherence: Coherence suggests that

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    mission statement, you may want to

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    all day. Remember, frustration is a

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    it! -- Don't take it!" I was afraid

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    "You, Dad?" "No, not me. You're the

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    I bit my tongue and waited until af

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    Application Suggestions: 1. Identif

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    "Well, you'd like to take a screwdr

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    And this is in the most intimate, t

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    Our tendency is to project out of o

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    "I thought you meant that the quali

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    you are honest and open and kind wi

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    When we violate the primary laws of

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    deep personal affection which added

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    Habit 4: Think Win-Win TM -- Princi

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    "My parents don't love me as much a

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    I know of a divorce in which the hu

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    "In other words, you lost." "That's

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    worked to set up a Win-Win Agreemen

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    High courage and consideration are

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    communication process. You listen m

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    people be able to do when they fini

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    guidelines, and resources to make s

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    40. The spirit of win-win had signi

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    Roger Fisher and William Ury, two H

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    Habit 5: Seek First to Understand,

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    and influence, I don't feel safe en

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    You're listening to understand. You

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    Sandra described the symptoms and h

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    esults in communication. To many, s

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    "I know you've sacrificed, Dad. But

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    What a difference real understandin

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    I remember writing one time in a ro

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    trust of another person's communica

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    Habit 5 is something you can practi

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    Habit 6: Synergize TM Principles of

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    hit-or-miss, trial and error. And u

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    very open and authentic and simply

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    Synergy means that 1 + 1 may equal

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    arrange for some help at the first

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    "I know," he replied with a forced

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    He also developed charley horses fr

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    scheduled payments were met. It was

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    Application Suggestions 1. Think ab

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    "Sharpen the Saw" basically means e

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    If you haven't been exercising, you

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    This is why I believe a personal mi

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    centered on the principles of perso

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    diminishes us. It increases us beca

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    create negative force field resista

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    closer we align ourselves with corr

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    The children looked forward to the

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    Sandra and I were amazed at what we

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    Becoming a Transition Person Among

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    Again, T. S. Eliot expresses so bea

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    * * If your center is Pleasure... S

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    This is the way you may tend to per

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    Many third-generation time managers

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    Preparing the media budget. Regardi

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    produce interesting and creative wa

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