Seven Habits Of Effectiveness

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Paradigm Shift

Last week I posted that the P/PC balance is the is the paradigm of effectiveness upon which the 7 habits are based. But what is a paradigm? A paradigm is the way an individual perceives, understands, and interprets the surrounding world. In some fields of study it is commonly referred to as a frame of reference. Most commonly it is known as world view. This influences how we view ourselves and the world around us.

It is said that no two people see things the same way nor understand them the same way. That is because they have different paradigms. Our perception of reality is very relative and subjective. However, reality is very much absolute and objective. We will never really know how it looks or feels because we are incapable of perceiving and understanding things objectively. Everything we come in contact with, whether physical or ideal, filter through ourselves: senses, mind, understanding, experiences, etc. Whether we accept it, reject it, or modify it - whatever 'it' is - we perceive it in a personal, individual, and unique way. Thanks to our basic paradigms. These basic paradigms will affect every thing we do, including how we view ourselves and others. This basic paradigms affect how we treat others.

To have better relationships - or anything else - we need a new paradigm. How can we do this? It requires a paradigm shift. It is a two-fold process. First, it requires questioning, examining, and testing your own basic paradigms. Second, when you find negative paradigms you will replace it with a better one. Covey says, "The more we are aware of our basic paradigms, maps, or assumptions, and the extent to which we have influenced by our experiences, the more we can take responsibility for those paradigms, examine them, test them against reality, change them if necessary, and listen to others and be open to their perceptions, thereby getting a larger picture, and a far more objective view."

The first paradigm shift is, taking care of ourselves and those who care for us and those, so that what I and others produce - whatever we produce - is done consistently.

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