Seven Habits Study Guide/Public victory

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The second set of three habits, 4. think win-win, 5. seek first to understand, then be understood, and 6. synergize, are the basis for public victory.

Public victory is success with others in teams and in relationships in general. They are shared victories where you help and are helped by other people.

Public victories are built on the private victories of the first three habits. To be publicly successful in a deep or real way, you should first build the first three habits into your character. To try to do things another way is building on a false foundation and will bring about only short-term results.

Habit 4: Think win-win[edit | edit source]

Many of us grow up with a competitive mindset, "I win, you lose". Or, a beaten-down mindset, "I give up, do whatever you want to me". Or, a mix of these and other mindsets. Each of these has its place. However, for most of the most valuable interactions we have in family and business, the most mature and effective point of view is seeking situations that benefit everyone involved.

When we negotiate, we should seek to make deals that help everyone. In cases where this is not possible, it is best to have the mindset from the outset that you will walk away from the deal.

Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then be understood[edit | edit source]

To influence and help others, you must first actively listen to them and understand their situation and concerns. Think of the example of a doctor who gives a prescription over the telephone without getting all of the necessary information about the patient or his condition. This could lead to a serious or fatal error if the patient takes the wrong medicine. In the same way, you should be very careful when you start to give anyone advice that you understand the preoccupations and situation of that person. Even if your advice is very good, it will likely not apply to the situation.

Part of this is not just to listen passively but to listen actively and empathetically. Put yourself in the shoes of the other person. See the world from their perspective as best you can. Listen without judging.

Three main errors to avoid: 1. "Hearing" everything through a filter formed by your own world-view, imposing your pre-conceived ideas on everything that you hear. 2. 3.

For most of us, we have extensive experience being frustrated by someone who just doesn't or won't understand us, or worse, someone who just argues for their position. We can minimize these frustrations by seeking first to understand and honestly empathize with the person. We can listen actively and then state their case back to them so they say "yes that's exactly how I see it". When that happens, you are truly seeking to understood. The resulting exchange of ideas and feelings is bound to be synergistic, win-win. Genuine empathic understanding is the doorway to collaboration, friendship, and more.

Habit 6: Synergize[edit | edit source]

This habit deals with teamwork and opening yourself up emotionally to work with other people. It says that optimistic, emotionally-charged individuals who are living out the previous habits are able to work in amazing ways and come up with new alternatives together that no one of them would have come up with alone. The idea is that one plus one is three, or more, and the synergy happens when these "third alternatives" appear. It is a bit chaotic but fun and stimulating. Along with these there is a 3rd NOVEL.