Stephen Covey’s 8th Habit | Season 6 – Episode 14 | Find Your Voice

“EVERYONE CHOOSES ONE of two roads in life—the old and the young, the rich and the poor, men and women alike. One is the broad, well-traveled road to mediocrity, the other the road to greatness and meaning. The range of possibilities that exists within each of these two destinations is as wide as the diversity of gifts and personalities in the human family. But the contrast between the two destinations is as the night is to the day.”

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

Diagram explanation in podcast.

“The path to mediocrity straitjackets human potential. The path to greatness unleashes and realizes human potential. The path to mediocrity is the quick-fix, short-cut approach to life. The path to greatness is a process of sequential growth from the inside out. Travelers on the lower path to mediocrity live out the cultural “software” of ego, indulgence, scarcity, comparison, competitiveness and victimism. Travelers on the upper path to greatness rise above negative cultural influences and choose to become the creative force of their lives. One word expresses the pathway to greatness. Voice. Those on this path find their voice and inspire others to find theirs. The rest never do.”

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

STEPHEN COVEY’S 8TH HABIT | SEASON 6 – EPISODE 9 | THE Silent Conspiracy

“This silent conspiracy is everywhere. Not many people are brave enough to even recognize it in themselves. Whenever they hear the idea, they instinctively look outside themselves. When I teach this material to large audiences, I often pause after a couple of hours and ask the question, “How many like this material, but feel that the people who really need it aren’t here?” They usually explode in laughter, but most hands go up.”

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

Here’s a short podcast today on the silent conspiracy. People who constantly look outwardly when they should be looking inwardly. People who should be holding the person in the mirror accountable rather than his peers. This is an important aspect of life.

STEPHEN COVEY’S 8TH HABIT | SEASON 6 – EPISODE 3 | WHY THE 8TH HABIT & The Story of Muhammad Yunus

“Being effective as individuals and organizations is no longer optional in today’s world—it’s the price of entry to the playing field. But surviving, thriving, innovating, excelling and leading in this new reality will require us to build on and reach beyond effectiveness. The call and need of a new era is for greatness. It’s for fulfillment, passionate execution, and significant contribution. These are on a different plane or dimension. They are different in kind—just as significance is different in kind, not in degree, from success. Tapping into the higher reaches of human genius and motivation—what we could call voice—requires a new mind-set, a new skill-set, a new tool-set …a new habit.”

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

This couldn’t have been written any better. Perfectly put. For everyone who was just “effective,” they’re probably without jobs now. Does that make sense? You have to reach beyond just being effective now.

“The 8th Habit represents the pathway to the enormously promising side of today’s reality. It stands in stark contrast to the pain and frustration I’ve been describing. In fact, it is a timeless reality. It is the voice of the human spirit—full of hope and intelligence, resilient by nature, boundless in its potential to serve the common good. This voice also encompasses the soul of organizations that will survive, thrive and profoundly impact the future of the world.”

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

“All of us are finding our voices again. Learning how to talk to one another. . . . Inside, outside, there’s a conversation going on today that wasn’t happening at all five years ago and hasn’t been very much in evidence since the Industrial Revolution began. Now, spanning the planet via Internet and Worldwide Web, this conversation is so vast, so multifaceted, that trying to figure out what it is about is futile. It’s about a billion years of pent up hopes and fears and dreams coded in serpentine double helixes, the collective flashback déjà vu of our strange perplexing species. Something ancient, elemental, sacred, something very, very funny that’s broken loose in the pipes and wires of the twenty-first century.
. . . there are millions and millions of threads in this conversation, but at the beginning and end of each one is a human being. . . .
This fervid desire for the Web bespeaks a longing so intense that it can only be understood as spiritual. A longing indicates something is missing in our lives. What is missing is the sound of the human voice. The spiritual lure of the Web is the promise of the return of voice.”

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

Like I’ve said before in my Business English podcast, communications, sales and marketing are the three most powerful tools in the world right now, and these are skills that need to be developed AT ONCE in order to not only weather the COVID storm but also to prepare yourself for a future where you can see ample opportunity in terms of speaking engagements.

I know, “I’m scared. I don’t want to. I hate public speaking.” Again, those negative voices and quotes from the past blogs. You can listen to them, but you must ignore them.

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The Emotional Bank Account Course is Officially LIVE!

So, after my blog has gotten a significant amount of views over the years (as well as podcast plays), I’ve finally put together a video course to teach everyone about The Emotional Bank account.  With loads of actionable items, this could be your introduction into personal development/self-improvement.  Because we’re always engaged in communication, whether it’s family & friends, colleagues, etc…we’re unaware of the emotional damage we may be causing because of our continual withdrawals.  In this course, there are six sub-areas you’re going to learn and build on. 

  • Understanding The Individual
  • Attending to The Little Things
  • Keeping Commitments
  • Clarifying Expectations
  • Showing Personal Integrity
  • Apologizing Sincerely When You Make a Withdrawal

At the completion of this course and with the actionable steps at the conclusion of each video, you will begin to take significant strides in putting more into your daily relationships. 

The Emotional Bank Account

Propensity & Broken Trust Being a Beginning

For many people, broken trust is a dead end. It’s the end of a relationship, the end of an opportunity — sometimes even the end of self-confidence and the ability to ever trust again.

But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, I contend that broken trust can actually become a significant beginning.

If you’ve broken trust with someone else, it’s an opportunity to get your own act together, to improve your character and competence, to behave in ways that inspire trust. Hopefully this will influence the offended party to restore trust in you. But even if it doesn’t, your effort may well affect others in positive ways, and it will definitely enable you to create more high-trust relationships in the future.

If someone has broken trust with you, it’s an opportunity for you to grow in your ability to forgive, to learn how to extend Smart Trust, and to maximize whatever dividends are possible in the relationship.

In either situation, broken trust presents an opportunity for you to make huge leaps in building up your own self trust and personal credibility. As you go through the process of trying to restore trust you have lost with others, or forgiving and extending smart Trust to those who have broken trust with you, you will grow in character and competence. You will gain confidence in your own discernment and ability to establish, grow, restore, and extend trust on every level of your life.

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In my own life, I’ve been on both sides of the equation. I’ve been in situations where I was micromanaged, where trust was not extended. I know the powerful negative effect that had on my own feelings of engagement, commitment, excitement, and creativity, and on the release of my energy and talent. But I’ve also been in situations where trust was extended abundantly, and I know how that trust dramatically inspired and powerfully released the best in me.

Occasionally I’ve been burned. I’ve trust people who didn’t come through. But for the most, I’ve seen the incredible results when people have come through. I’ve seen them rise up to meet the expectation. I’ve seen them energized, excited, and engaged. I’ve seen them willingly give their hearts and minds as well as their hands and backs in doing their work. I’ve seen them overcome differences, transcend difficulties, and accomplish great things — fast — because someone had the wisdom to extend trust.

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Restoring Relationship Trust

Another area that creates huge trust issues in personal relationships is money. As many marriage counselors affirm, money problems are a key cause of divorce. While many such problems are caused by lack of character (selfish or impulsive spending, attempts to control or restrict a partner’s access to shared resources, or efforts to hide spending from a partner), many are also caused by lack of competence (lack of education or experience in money management). In addition, two people coming into a relationship are often scripted in different ways by family experience — for example, one may come from a background of spenders, while the other comes from a background of thrift.

Here’s a story from Stephen Covey’s book

“For years, my husband and I had problems managing our money. We would agree to spend our money in a certain way, then he would come home with some new thing we hadn’t agreed on. It was very frustrating, and I eventually withdrew emotionally as a financial partner.

Over time, however, we both came to realize that this situation was negatively affecting the trust in our relationship, and we decided to change. He worked on being more responsible to act based on our agreements; I worked on expressing my opinions better and participating more fully in financial decisions. And together, we became involved in learning more about good financial habits, including budgeting and investing.

It’s taken quite a while to shift old habits, but through it all, we’ve become amazingly close and more unified in our financial values, goals, and habits. In fact, I’d say that now financial units is one of our strengths. Doing something together that was this challenging has created even strong bonds of trust in our entire relationship.

Restoring Organizational Trust

Restoring trust within an organization may seem difficult, particular if the focus is almost exclusively on producing and is not balanced by the need to maintain the capacity to produce in the future. However, the fact that high-trust organizations outperform low-trust organizations by three times provides a strong incentive to make the effort. High trust not only creates a great working environment, it also provides a powerful competitive edge.

All I know is that trust was not only restored, it was enhanced, with both the director and the team. Looking back, I can see how this experienced validated the importance of showing loyalty and righting wrongs, the value of restoring trust in the organization, and the impact of trust on speed and cost.

Here’s the podcast with the stories and travel experiences!

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Restoring Societal Trust

Restoring trust on the societal level means rebuilding trust in countries, institutions, industries, professions, and in other people generally. it includes counteracting suspicion and cynicism and replacing it with contribution, value creation, and ethical behavior.

Stephen M. Covey

Wow, kind of a big one, right? I mean how can we rebuild trust in institutions? They’ve been milking citizens for years while putting them in heavy debt.

How about countries? Can I restore trust in Thailand? Well, with proper documentation, no one has the right to ask me about any form of documentation unless I’ve done something wrong.

Professions? Tough to restore trust in teachers because I know the “teachers” here have a more insidious agenda. If I go back to the Americas, I know that the majority of them perpetuate bullying and they also perpetuate bad education (or maybe old education that is no longer suitable for a rapidly changing society).

What we can control, though….

Contribution: regardless of everything that has happened to you and the things you’ve gone through both in the education realm and living in countries where you’ve been marginalized, make a contribution. If you believe something needs to be addressed, fill the need.

Value Creation: I was recently listening to Jay Shetty when he was on stage at MindValley’s A-Fest and he talked about creating value through education, but also have a deeper meaning that’s involved within his content. Very powerful stuff. How can you create value, for free, and plant the seeds today so that they can blossom tomorrow?

When You have Lost the Trust of Others

Whether you lose the trust of others through a conscious act of betrayal, poor judgement, an honest mistake, a failure of competence, or a simple misunderstanding, the path to restoration is the same — to increase your personal credibility and behave in ways that inspire trust.

Sometimes the only way to win back is by ACTION. It’s like when you don’t keep an agreement with your spouse, children, or friends in general. If you consistently betray their trust by cancelling on a consistent basis, what will ultimately happen is “daddy always says this but he does something else.”

When that happens, you need to make commitments and agreements to yourself — in MICRO. Sometimes massive steps are just too much and it’s often times the bain of all existence. If you can take out bite-size chunks, you will be able

However, understanding how trust was lost in the first place is an important key to understanding how to apply the Cores and Behaviors in attempting to restore it. Generally speaking, a loss of trust created by a violated of character (Integrity or Intent) is far more difficult to restore than a lost of trust created by a violation of competence (Capabilities or Results). Violations of Integrity are the most difficult of all to restore in all relationships, whether they are personal, family, professional, organizational, or in the marketplace.

Keep in mind that when you talk about restoring trust, you’re talking about changing someone else’s feelings about you and confidence in you. And that’s not something you can control. You can’t force people to trust you. You can’t make them have confidence in you. They may be dealing with other issues in their own lives that make the challenge more difficult for them. Or they may have interpreted a breach of competence on your part as a breach of character, which significantly complicates the issue. The point is that you can only do what you can do. If you’re not able to restore trust in a particular situation or relationship, by strengthening your Cores and making habits of the Behaviors, you will increase your ability to establish or restore trust in other situations and relationships throughout your life.

Stephen Covey’s Smart Trust Matrix Zones

Zone 1 (High Propensity to Trust; Low Analysis) is the “Blind Trust” zone of gullibility. It’s the Pollyanna approach where people blissfully trust everyone. This is where we find those “suckers who are born every minute” — those people who are a sure bet to fall for Internet, marketing, investment, and other scams.

Fyre Festival Scam

One of the biggest scams in the world. This was a shame. Rich charlatans from America went on a journey to the Bahamas with promise that this particular festival would be the greatest ever. Instead, they were introduced to refugee tents, cheese sandwiches, wet beds, and no water — including loss luggage and dozens of other things.

Hey, it happens. But shortly after, they received emails about “VIP Ticket New York,” a scammer by the name of Frank, who was offering them tickets for events that didn’t even exist. He ended up selling 15 tickets priced at 100K USD each…scamming them out of 1.5 million dollars. It was so repulsive to see, but the gullibles will never learn, unfortunately.

Zone 2 (High Propensity to Trust; High Analysis) is the “Smart Trust” zone of judgement. This is where you combine the propensity to trust with the analysis to manage risk wisely. this is where you get both good business judgment and good people judgment — including enhanced instinct and intuition.

Zone 3 (Low Propensity to Trust; Low Analysis) is the “No Trust” zone of indecision. People here tend not to trust anyone. Because their own analysis is low, they tend to not even trust themselves.

Zone 4 (Low Propensity to Trust; High Analysis) is the “Distrust” zone of suspicion. This is where you find people who extend trust very cautiously or not at all. In fact, some are so suspicious that they do not trust anyone but themselves.

So, there’s a tremendous risk in Zone 1. If you unquestioningly trust everyone, you will sooner or later get burned.

Zone 3 is a wipeout. With poor and low in both areas, you’re going to get the worst of both worlds.

The biggest surprise is Zone 4. While it may sound low risk because you’re keeping the trust for yourself, this is actually one of the highest risk zones of all. When you’re highly suspicious, you tend to try to validate everything, to analyze everything to death — which ends up decreasing speed and cost.

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