(from the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People)
Habits ... the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Habits ... good or bad ... are so much easier to develop than they are to break. But it's not impossible. I'm living proof of that. When you make a decision to make a change ... changing habits becomes so much easier. A habit is defined in the book as the intersection of knowledge, skill and desire. Knowledge is the "what to do", skill is the "how to do" and desire is the motivation, the "want to do".
Stephen Covey talks about the Maturity Continuum which takes people from the paradigm of dependence to the paradigm of interdependence ... "dependence is the paradigm of you ... you take care of me; you come through for me; you didn't come through; I blame you for the results; independence is the paradigm of I - I can do it; I am responsible; I am self-reliant; I can choose; interdependence is the paradigm of we - we can do it, we can co-operate, we can combine our talents and abilities and create something greater together." Common sense tells us that interdependence is by far the best of the three paradigms ... and yet it seems so rare. People are either dependent or independent. Interdependence provides us with the opportunity to share ourselves deeply, meaningfully, with others ... to collaborate ... the old adage "2 minds are better than 1" comes to mind.
An example of this is my journey with Andrew. I tried for years, independently, to get into shape ... not just my body ... but my mind ... my life in general. I had some success. But once I started working with someone who understands me ... understands the challenges I face ... who gives of himself so freely ... combined with my willingness to learn ... my ability to understand what he's getting at ... by applying that knowledge ... we've achieved such great things ....
Another example is the collaboration that Barry and I did when renovating our house. Both of us had good ideas ... and as we talked them out and combined our ideas ... the results were so much better than either of us had come up with independently. In fact, most of what Barry and I do together is a collaboration. We feed off each other … push each other to think outside the box.
The book is arranged in sections ... Habits 1, 2 and 3 are private victories ...work on ourselves … habits 4, 5 and 6 are public victories … how we relate to others ... habit 7 provides for constant renewal.
Stephen also talks about the P/PC Balance. He refers to the fable of the goose that laid the golden eggs. P stands for production of desired results ... the golden eggs. PC stands for production capability ... the ability or asset that produces the golden eggs (the goose). If we fail to take care of the goose (or your relationship), we lose the ability to obtain golden eggs (co-operation, healthy relationship).
The PC principle, as applied to business, is to always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers. This applies in your personal relationships as well. We should always treat others as we wish to be treated. When you focus too much on results without balancing it with building relationships, you end up with ruined health, worn out machines, broken relationships.
Marilyn Ferguson observed "No one can persuade another to change. Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside. We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or by emotional appeal."
I challenge you to look a little deeper … think about how you can improve your relationships with others (don’t forget about yourself first though) … not what you need from others. Too often we run into the situation of “if they really want to be my friend, they’ll keep in touch with me”. But are you keeping in touch with them? I went through this with my mother … a LOT … she would say “Jane doesn’t call me”. I’d say “have you called her?” Of course the answer was no. So many people expect the other person to do the relationship work. Perhaps we all need to do our own part. And if you try … and get no response … then is that someone you really want to have in your life anyway?
Sunday is Habit 1 … Be Proactive … stay tuned J