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Covey - The 7 habits of highly effective people

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Each of us tends to think we see things as they are, that we are objective. But this is not the case.We see the world, not as it is, but as we are -- or, as we are conditioned to see it. When we open our mouths to describe what we see, we in effect describe ourselves, our perceptions, our paradigms. When other people disagree with us, we immediately think something is wrong with them. But, as the demonstration shows, sincere, clearheaded people see things differently, each looking through the unique lens of experience. This does not mean that there are no facts. In the demonstration, two individuals who initially have been influenced by different conditioning pictures look at the third picture together. They are now both looking at the same identical facts -- black lines and white spaces -- and they would both acknowledge these as facts. But each person's interpretation of these facts represents prior experiences, and the facts have no meaning whatsoever apart from the interpretation. The more aware we are of our basic paradigms, maps, or assumptions, and the extent to which we have been influenced by our experience, the more we can take responsibility for those paradigms, examine them, test them against reality, listen to others and be open to their perceptions, thereby getting a larger picture and a far more objective view. The Power of a Paradigm Shift Perhaps the most important insight to be gained from the perception demonstration is in the area of paradigm shifting, what we might call the "Aha!" experience when someone finally "sees" the composite picture in another way. The more bound a person is by the initial perception, the more powerful the "Aha!" experience is. It's as though a light were suddenly turned on inside. The term Paradigm Shift was introduced by Thomas Kuhn in his highly influential landmark book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn shows how almost every significant breakthrough in the field of scientific endeavor is first a break with tradition, with old ways of thinking, with old paradigms. For Ptolemy, the great Egyptian astronomer, the earth was the center of the universe. But Copernicus created a Paradigm Shift, and a great deal of resistance and persecution as well, by placing the sun at the center. Suddenly, everything took on a different interpretation. The Newtonian model of physics was a clockwork paradigm and is still the basis of modern engineering. But it was partial, incomplete. The scientific world was revolutionized by the Einsteinian paradigm, the relativity paradigm, which had much higher predictive and explanatory value. Until the germ theory was developed, a high percentage of women and children died during childbirth, and one could understand why. In military skirmishes, more men were dying from small wounds and diseases than from the major traumas on the front lines. But as soon as the germ theory was developed, a whole new paradigm, a better, improved way of understanding what was happening made dramatic, significant medical improvement possible. The United States today is the fruit of a Paradigm Shift. The traditional concept of government for centuries had been a monarchy, the divine right of kings. Then a different paradigm was developed -government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And a constitutional democracy was born, unleashing tremendous human energy and 13

ingenuity, and creating a standard of living, of freedom and liberty, of influence and hope unequaled in the history of the world. Not all Paradigm Shifts are in positive directions. As we have observed, the shift from the character ethic to the personality ethic has drawn us away from the very roots that nourish true success and happiness. But whether they shift us in positive or negative directions, whether they are instantaneous or developmental, Paradigm Shifts move us from one way of seeing the world to another. And those shifts create powerful change. Our paradigms, correct or incorrect, are the sources of our attitudes and behaviors, and ultimately our relationships with others. I remember a mini-Paradigm Shift I experienced one Sunday morning on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly -- some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed. The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, and even grabbing people's papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing. It was difficult not to feel irritated. I could not believe that he could be so insensitive to let his children run wild like that and do nothing about it, taking no responsibility at all. It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated, too. So finally, with what I felt was unusual patience and restraint, I turned to him and said, "Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. wonder if you couldn't control them a little more?" The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly, "Oh, you're right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don't know what to think, and I guess they don't know how to handle it either." Can you imagine what I felt at that moment? My paradigm shifted. Suddenly I saw things differently, I felt differently, I behaved differently. My irritation vanished. I didn't have to worry about controlling my attitude or my behavior; my heart was filled with the man's pain. Feelings of sympathy and compassion flowed freely. "Your wife just died? Oh, I'm so sorry. Can you tell me about it? What can I do to help?" Everything changed in an instant. Many people experience a similar fundamental shift in thinking when they face a lifethreatening crisis and suddenly see their priorities in a different light, or when they suddenly step into a new role, such as that of husband or wife, parent or grandparent, manager or leader. We could spend weeks, months, even years laboring with the personality ethic trying to change our attitudes and behaviors and not even begin to approach the phenomenon of change that occurs spontaneously when we see things differently. It becomes obvious that if we want to make relatively minor changes in our lives, we can perhaps appropriately focus on our attitudes and behaviors. But if we want to make significant, quantum change, we need to work on our basic paradigms. 14

  • 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 and 12: long-term relationship they have, w
  • Page 13: The professor then asked one studen
  • 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
  • Page 63 and 64: 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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