The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
By- Stephen R. Covey
Many times we judge other peoples behaviour and beliefs by our own paradigms which is unfair and insulting to them. We really never truly listen to others to understand their point of view so we never build that close relationship we hoped we could have. Frustrated Network Marketer–A Shift In The Right Direction makes all the difference in the world.
There have been so many moments of discovery as I read this book. Stephen talks about paradigms and goes on to explain what they are and how they affect our relationships, business and life in general. “Paradigm – a set of road maps we follow to guide our life, what we believe and how situations should go or be resolved.” If we have the courage to recognize when our paradigm is not correct or does not serve us, to the benefit of improving our life or the lives of others, then we need to have a paradigm shift. We will need to either adjust our paradigm or totally replace it with one that serves us and others to the better regarding our relationships, business and life in general. Some of the paradigms we have inherited over time do nothing to serve us or others but hold us back and give a narrow outlook on life. This also applies to our listening skills or the lack of skills. Here is an example of a paradigm shift and a skill that most people will never use or even have.
Stephen Covey related this story: 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, oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, 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 as 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. I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more?”
The man lifted his gaze as if to come to 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 behaved differently. My irritation vanished. I didn’t have to worry about controlling my attitude or my behaviour; 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 a moment.
Most people would have never asked those small questions Stephen asked the man. Most of us would have conveyed condolences and that would have completed the conversation. Stephen is using a skill which utilizes the highest level of listening, one we need to learn and master.
Reading, writing, speaking and listening are the four basic types of communication. The skill of communication is the most important skill we use. We learn how to read, write and speak which takes us a number of years to master. Question: How much time have you or I spent learning how to listen? And not just listen but listen to the point of deeply understanding another person from their point of reference. If you want to interact with a person and get results you will need to truly understand that person. True understanding cannot be based on technique alone but your character needs to be present also. Your character needs to be in line with what you are portraying otherwise the other person will detect the inconsistencies and not open up to you. Without openness there can be no true understanding of that person and without that you cannot effectively counsel or advise them.
The four levels of listening we are most familiar with are:
1. Ignoring – not really listening.
2. Pretending – Uh-huh, okay, right.
3. Selective hearing – Guys specialty.
4. Attentive listening – being focused on the words being said. We listen with the intent to reply.
Empathic listening is the highest level of listening and certainly not very common. This is listening with the intent to understand. This is a paradigm in itself.
This form of listening gets into the other person’s frame of reference. You look out through it, you see the world the way they see the world, you understand their paradigm, you understand the way they feel.
When would you use this level of listening? Have new business partners? You need to listen to understand them, truly understand them. When they sense genuineness they will open up to you and at that level you can counsel and advise them. They will be open to your help and advice. We are building our business but we need to understand our prospects and business partners to the level where we can be effective in helping them.
My paradigms are not yours and I must not impose mine on you. Everyone has their own road maps of life and our job is to understand them and not insult them and that includes when we listen to them. Sometimes Frustrated Network Marketer–A Shift In The Right Direction will make all the difference in building relationships, your business and just life in general.
"You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself." — Galileo
Commit To Success Today
Dave and Darlene Mills
Leadership With A Vision