The first three Habits of the effective people are aimed at self-awareness and understanding of oneself. The second group of habits in the concept concerns the interaction of a person with other people. The topic is extremely complex and multilayered. Before you continue, you must understand one very significant condition mentioned by the author, which states that the effective interaction with others can only be built on the basis of genuine personal autonomy achieved through the first three habits. Or, in other words, we can better interact with others only if we know who we are and have a good relationship with ourselves. Only then, we can truly turn our attention to the others and seek effective ways to interact with them.
The habits that the concept defines as necessary to achieve better interaction with others are based on fundamental principles such as:
• Establishment of trust;
• The principle I win/ you win;
• The determination to first understand the others and then make sure you are understood;
• Effective interaction is synergistic or "2 +2 = 5"
These principles, which the author defines as a foundation for better interaction with others, at first glance seem quite "inappropriate" for the modern lifestyle. Much of the communication between people is now accompanied by fear. Fear that if you open yourself to the other, the other will take advantage of you and you will be hurt. Being biased, attacking the others first or using the advantages of the protective behavior in a desire to ‘outplay’ the others is also common for today's reality.
How can you then build trust and interact according to the principle I win / you win?
The author uses an analogy with the banking system. It's also called "emotional bank account". Each of us in our interaction with another person may make deposits or withdraw from the emotional bank account. However, as in real bank accounts, in order to withdraw you must first import something from yourself. And if the emotional bank account is at red, relations with the other person may not be effective. The purpose of the Highly Effective People is to maintain a positive balance in the "emotional bank accounts" between them and the others.
What are the appropriate deposits for effective human relationships?
All those things that make up the foundation for the building of trust - to really try to understand others, to pay attention to small things, to keep your promises, to clarify your expectations, not to lie and so on. These are all fundamental values that seem to have been forgotten by the majority of people. And we cannot expect that trust can be created in a situation where we do not apply the means that for being effective in our interactions with others. It turns out that there is no quick and easy way to build effective relationships. To import deposits in the emotional bank account you are required to be honest, to stand firm and to defend your principles. It takes a lot of time and energy on your part and a serious dose of courage.
Yet why should we give so much of ourselves?
Can’t we just take a defensive position and blame the others for what happens to us and around us? It's so much easier. For you, of course, but the author of the concept of things that can be achieved by effective interactions with others states that there are much greater things that can be achieved through the proper interaction with others. And if we have big ambitions and objectives it may be worthwhile to make efforts to build relationships based on trust with the others based on the correct principles. That kind of interactions will be effective and will lead to the desired results.
One person can achieve a lot by himself, but this cannot be compared to the things that more people can achieve if they work together and trust each other completely. That is why the second group of principles of the effective people is very important and build-up the foundation of the structure that can lead to success for a company with the help of its employees.
George Peterson works for one of the leading developers of CRM systems in Europe - WebCRM. You can find some of his posts in popular blogs such as TechWench.