STEPHEN COVEY’S 8TH HABIT | SEASON 6 – EPISODE 11 | The Whole-person paradigm

“At the core, there is one simple, overarching reason why so many people remain unsatisfied in their work and why most organizations fail to draw out the greatest talent, ingenuity and creativity of their people and never become truly great, enduring organizations. It stems from an incomplete paradigm of who we are—our fundamental view of human nature.
The fundamental reality is, human beings are not things needing to be motivated and controlled; they are four-dimensional—body, mind, heart and spirit.”

Excerpt From: Stephen R. Covey. “The 8th Habit.” Apple Books.

The explanation of this will be in the podcast, but to reiterate, body, mind, and spirit are the four dimensions that really motivate us as beings.

“So what’s the direct connection between the controlling “thing” (part-person) paradigm that dominates today’s workplace and the inability of managers and organizations to inspire their people to volunteer their highest talents and contributions? The answer is simple. People make choices. Consciously or subconsciously, people decide how much of themselves they will give to their work depending on how they are treated and on their opportunities to use all four parts of their nature. These choices range from rebelling or quitting to creative excitement:”

Excerpt From: Stephen R. Covey. “The 8th Habit.” Apple Books.

“Now consider for a moment which of these six choices listed in figure 2.4—rebel or quit, malicious obedience, willing compliance, cheerful cooperation, heartfelt commitment or creative excitement—you would make under the following five scenarios:
First, you are not treated fairly. That is, there are a lot of politics at play in your organization; there is nepotism; the pay system doesn’t seem fair and just; your own pay does not accurately reflect the level of your contribution. What would your choice be?
Second, let’s say that you are treated fairly in terms of your pay, but you are not treated kindly. That is, you are not respected; your treatment is inconsistent, arbitrary, capricious, perhaps largely dictated by the mood of your boss. What would your choice be?
Third, let’s say that you are paid fairly and treated kindly, but when your opinion is wanted, it is given to you. In other words, your body and heart are valued, but not your mind. What would your choice be?”

“Fourth, now let’s say that you are paid fairly (body), treated kindly (heart), involved creatively (mind), but you are asked to dig a hole and fill it again, or to fill out reports that no one ever sees or uses. In other words, the work is meaningless (spirit). What would your choice be?
Fifth, now let’s say that you are paid fairly, treated kindly, and involved creatively in meaningful work, but that there is a lot of lying and cheating going on with customers and suppliers, including other employees (spirit). What would your choice be?
Now notice we went through all four parts of the whole-person paradigm—body, mind, heart and finally spirit (spirit being divided in two parts—the meaninglessness of the work and the unprincipled way that it was done). The point is, if you neglect any one of the four parts of human nature, you turn a person into a thing, and what do you do with things? You have to control, manage and carrot-and-stick them in order to motivate them.”

Excerpt From: Stephen R. Covey. “The 8th Habit.” Apple Books.

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