PARADIGMS AND PRINCIPLES
- PARADIGMS AND PRINCIPLES
- The Power of a Paradigm Shift
- The Principle-centred Paradigm
- Principles of Growth and Change
- The Way We See the Problem is the Problem
- Habit 1: Be Proactive
- Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
- Habit 3: Put First Things First
- Time management
- Habit 4: Think Win-Win
- Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be understood
- Habit 6: Synergize
- Communicating synergy
In order to change a situation, you first have to change yourself. And to change yourself effectively, you first have to change your perception.
A Paradigm is the way we “see” the world – not in terms of our visual sense of sight, but in terms of perceiving, understanding, and interpreting. 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.
The Power of a Paradigm Shift
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 behaviours, and ultimately our relationships with others.
A Paradigm Shift is the “a-ha” experience associated with finally perceiving or understanding some aspect of the world (or a circumstance) in a different way.
The Principle-centred Paradigm
Principles are natural laws that cannot be broken. While individuals may look at their own lives and interactions in terms of paradigms or maps. These maps are not the territory. They are a “subjective reality,” only an attempt to describe the territory. The “objective reality,” or the territory itself, is composed of “lighthouse” principles that govern human growth and happiness. Natural laws that are woven into the fabric of every civilized society throughout history. Laws that comprise the roots of every family and institution that has endured and prospered.
Principles of Growth and Change
In all of life, there are sequential stages of growth and development. Each step is important and each one takes time. No step can be skipped. Consequently, we sometimes look for a shortcut. Expecting to be able to skip some of these vital steps in order to save time and effort and still reap the desired result. It is simply impossible to violate, ignore, or shortcut this development process. It is contrary to nature, and attempting to seek such a shortcut only results in disappointment and frustration.
The Way We See the Problem is the Problem
Look around us and within us and recognize the problems created as we live and interact within the personality ethic. We begin to realize that these are deep, fundamental problems that cannot be solved on the superficial level on which they were created. We need a new level, a deeper level of thinking. And we need a paradigm based on the principles that accurately describe the territory of effective human being and interacting – to solve these deep concerns.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Proactivity – means more than merely taking initiative. It means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our behaviour is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen.
“Response-ability” – the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behaviour. Their behaviour is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.
We are, by nature, proactive. If our lives are a function of conditioning and conditions. It is because we have, by conscious decision or by default, chosen to empower those things to control us. In making such a choice, we become reactive. Reactive people are often affected by their physical environment. If the weather is good, they feel good. And if it isn’t, it affects their attitude and their performance. Proactive people can carry their own weather with them. Whether it rains or shines makes no difference to them. They are value driven; and if their value is to produce good quality work, it isn’t a function of whether the weather is conducive to it or not.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
To Begin with the End in Mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. To know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now. And so that the steps you take are always in the right direction. It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap – it is possible to be busy – very busy – without being very effective.
“Begin with the End in Mind” is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things. It determines whether or not you are able to create a successful enterprise. Most business failures begin in the first creation. With problems such as under capitalization, misunderstanding of the market, or lack of a business plan.
The unique human capacities of self-awareness, imagination, and conscience enable us to examine first creations. And to make it possible for us to take charge of our own first creation, to write our own script.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 3, is the second creation – the physical creation. It’s the fulfillment, the actualization, the natural emergence of Habits 1 and 2.
An ability to manage well determines the quality and even the existence of the second creation. Management is the breaking down, the analysis, the sequencing, the specific application. The time-bound left-brain aspect of effective self-government.
It is the fourth human endowment – independent will – that really makes effective self-management possible. The ability to make decisions and choices and to act in accordance with them. It is the ability to act rather than to be acted upon. To proactively carry out the program we have developed through the other three endowments.
There are 4 ‘generations’ in time management. The first generation is characterized by notes and checklists, an effort to recognize the demands placed on our time and energy. Next, the second generations is characterized by calendars and appointment books. Reflecting an attempt to look ahead and schedule events in the future. The third generation reflects the current time-management field. It adds the important idea of prioritization, of clarifying values, and of comparing the relative worth of activities based on their relationship to those values. In addition, it focuses on setting goals. Long, intermediate, and short-term targets toward which time and energy would be directed in harmony with values. It also includes the concept of daily planning, of making a specific plan to accomplish those goals and activities.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Win-win is not a technique; it’s a total philosophy of human interaction. In fact, it is one of six paradigms of interaction. The alternative paradigms are win-lose, lose-win, lose-lose, win, and Win-Win or No Deal TM.
Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. It also means that agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial, mutually satisfying. With a win-win solution, all parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan. Win-win sees life as a cooperative, not a competitive arena.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be understood
We have such a tendency to rush in, to fix things up with good advice. But we often fail to take the time to diagnose, to really, deeply understand the problem first. This principle is the key to effective interpersonal communication.
Communication is the most important skill in life. We spend most of our waking hours communicating. But consider this: You’ve spent years learning how to read and write, years learning how to speak. What about listening?
If you want to interact effectively with someone, to influence them, you first need to understand them. You have to build the skills of empathic listening on a base of character that inspires openness and trust.
Habit 6: Synergize
When properly understood, synergy is the highest activity in all life. The true test and manifestation of all the other habits put together. Synergy is the essence of Principle-Centered Leadership. It is the essence of principle-centered parenting. Synergy catalyzes, unifies, and unleashes the greatest powers within people.
What is synergy? Simply defined, it means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It means that the relationship which the parts have to each other is a part in and of itself. Not only a part, but the most catalytic, the most empowering, the most unifying, and the most exciting part.
When you communicate synergistically, you are simply opening your mind and heart to new possibilities, alternatives, options. It may seem as if you are casting aside Habit 2; but, in fact, you’re fulfilling it. You’re not sure when you engage in synergistic communication how things will work out or what the end will look like. But you do have an inward sense of excitement and security and adventure. Believing that it will be significantly better than it was before. And that is the end that you have in mind.
Once people have experienced real synergy, they are never quite the same again. They know the possibility of having other such mind-expanding adventures in the future. Synergy is exciting. Creativity is exciting. It’s phenomenal what openness and communication can produce. The possibilities of truly significant gain, of significant improvement are so real that it’s worth the risk such openness entails.
Synergy works; it’s a correct principle. It is the crowning achievement of all the previous habits. Synergy is effectiveness in an interdependent reality. It is teamwork, team building, the development of unity and creativity with other human beings.
WAIT! This was just a summary, imagine what impact the book can have on you.