As usual, Mondays here at Phenomenal Magazine are reserved for super motivational content to help you begin and end the week with the ‘winning attitude’ that gets short-term and long-term goals met.
So as promised in last week’s #MotivationMonday post, here are more habits of highly successful people, sourced from the original book by Stephen Covey. We’ll discuss the last two habits next Monday. Till then, let’s look at habits 4 and 5, and how to apply them in our daily routines in a way that allows for us to live our best lives everyday.
4. Think Win-Win
If I win, you lose!
The fourth habit of highly effective people in Stephen Covey’s best-seller, ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, emphasizes that in order to establish effective interdependent relationships, we must commit to creating win-win situations [that are mutually beneficial and satisfying to each party].
Covey explains that there are six paradigms of human interaction:
The best option is to create Win-Win situations. With Win-Lose, or Lose-Win, one person appears to get what he wants for the moment, but the results will negatively impact the relationship between those two people going forward.
The Win-Win or No Deal option is important to use as a backup. When we have No Deal as an option in our mind, it liberates us from needing to manipulate people and push our own agenda. We can be open and really try to understand the underlying issues.
In solving for Win-Win, we must consider two factors: consideration and courage. Take a look at the following chart:
To go for Win-Win, you not only have to be nice, you have to be courageous – STEPHEN COVEY
Most people, on the other hand, think with the Scarcity Mentality – a.k.a operating as if everything is zero-sum (in other words, if you get it, I don’t). People with the Scarcity Mentality have a very hard time sharing recognition or credit and find it difficult to be genuinely happy about other people’s successes.
When it comes to interpersonal leadership, the more genuine our character is, the higher our level of pro-activity; the more committed we are to Win-Win, the more powerful our influence will be.
To achieve Win-Win, keep the focus on results, not methods; on problems, not people.
Lastly, the spirit of Win-Win can’t survive in an environment of competition. As an organization, we need to align our reward system with our goals and values and have the systems in place to support Win-Win.
Practice Success Habit 4:
Get yourself to start thinking Win-Win with these challenges:
1. Think about an upcoming interaction where you’ll be attempting to reach an agreement or solution. Write down a list of what the other person is looking for. Next, write a list next to that of how you can make an offer to meet those needs.
2. Identify three important relationships in your life. Think about what you feel the balance is in each of those relationships. Do you give more than you take? Take more than you give? Write down 10 ways to always give more than you take with each one.
You’ve spent years of your life learning how to read and write, years learning how to speak. But what about listening? – STEPHEN COVEY
Pro Tip: Here’s how one top tier networker builds successful relationships by giving more than he takes.
3. Deeply consider your own interaction tendencies. Are they Win-Lose? How does that affect your interactions with others? Can you identify the source of that approach? Determine whether or not this approach serves you well in your relationships. Write all of this down. Then assess and apply the necessary changes using the grid above.
We can’t simply use one technique to understand someone, Covey says. In fact, if a person were to sense that they’re being manipulated by us, they would question our motives and never again feel safe opening up to us, right?
5. Seek First to Understand, Then To Be Understood
Before we can offer advice, suggest solutions, or effectively interact with another person in any way, we must seek to deeply understand them and their perspective through empathetic listening, Covey suggests.
Let’s say you go to an optometrist and tell him that you’ve been having trouble with your vision lately, and he takes off his glasses, hands them to you and says, “here, try these – they’ve been working for me for years!” So you put them on, but it only makes the problem worse. What are the chances you’d go back to that optometrist?
Yet in our everyday interactions with others, we do the same thing. We prescribe a solution before we diagnose the problem. We don’t seek to deeply understand the problem first.
Habit 5 says that we must seek first to understand, then to be understood. In order to seek to understand, we must learn to listen.
You have to build the skills of empathetic listening (listening with the intent to understand, both intellectually and emotionally) on a base of character that inspires openness and trust – STEPHEN COVEY
Applying genuine empathy while listening requires a fundamental paradigm shift. We typically seek first to be understood. Most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. At any given moment, they’re either speaking or preparing to speak.
After all, Covey points out, communication experts estimate that:
- 10% of our communication is represented by our words [CLICK TO TWEET]
- 30% is represented by our sounds [CLICK TO TWEET]
- 60% is represented by our body language [CLICK TO TWEET]
When we listen autobiographically – in other words, with our own perspective as our frame of reference – we tend to respond in one of four ways:
1. Evaluate: Agree or disagree with what is said
2. Probe: Ask questions from our own frame of reference
3. Advise: Give counsel based on our own experience
4. Interpret: Try to figure out the person’s motives and behavior based on our own motives and behavior
But if we replace these types of response with empathetic listening, we see dramatic results in improved communication. It takes time to make this shift, but it doesn’t take nearly as long to practice empathetic listening as it does to back up and correct misunderstandings, or to live with unexpressed and unresolved problems only to have them surface later on.
The second part of Habit 5 is “… then to be understood.” This is equally critical in achieving Win-Win solutions.
Seeking to understand requires consideration; seeking to be understood takes courage – STEPHEN COVEY
When we’re able to present our ideas clearly, and in the context of a deep understanding of the other person’s needs and concerns, we significantly increase the credibility of our ideas.
Practice Success Habit 5:
Here are a few ways to get yourself in the habit of seeking first to understand:
1. Next time you’re watching two people communicating, cover your ears and watch. What emotions are being communicated that might not come across through words alone? Was one person or the other more interested in the conversation? Write down what you notice.
2. Next time you give a presentation, root it in empathy. Begin by describing the audience’s point of view in great detail. What problems are they facing? How is what you’re about to say offering a solution to their problems?
Pro Tip: One executive recommends planning your approach — Check out her specific tips here.
Next Monday, we’ll discuss habits 6 & 7 (Synergize and Sharpen the Saw). Till then, remember, you’ve got this and God’s got you. #YouArePossible 🙂