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Flashcards in Inside Out Deck (47):

What is Covey's professional experience?

25 years of working with individuals in business, university, and marriage and family settings


What problem does Covey perceive among people he's come into contact with in his professional experience?

He's come across people who are outwardly successful, but looking for "personal congruency and effectiveness" and "healthy, growing relationships with other people."


What list does Covey begin the chapter with?

One of problems of the type he's encountered in his professional experience.


Summarize the story Covey tells of his own experience with a problem in his life of the type listed at the beginning of the chapter.

One of Covey and his wife's sons was struggling socially, academically, and athletically. Covey and his wife wanted to help him as his parents, so they worked on their attitudes and behaviors and tried to work on his, reinforced good behavior, and reprimanded others when they laughed at him. Nothing they did seemed to work and his self-esteem was flagging, so they reassessed their approach.

During this time, in his professional role, Covey was involved in leadership development with many clients and in that capacity was preparing bimonthly programs on the subject of perception and communication for IBM's Executive Development Program. As he researched these presentations, he became interested in how perceptions are formed, how they govern the way we see, and how the way we see governs how we behave, which led to a study of expectancy theory and self-fulfilling prophecies and to a realization of how deeply embedded our perceptions are.

As his wife and he talked about what he was teaching at IBM and their own situation, they began to realize that what they were doing with their son didn't match how they saw him, and that their perception was that he was somehow inadequate or behind. They decided that if they wanted to change their situation, they first had to change themselves, and that in order to do that they'd have to change their perceptions.

At the same time, Covey was involved in an intense study of the success literature published in the U.S. since 1776. He noticed a pattern emerging in the past 50 years of material which he calls the Personality Ethic, which was superficial, as contrasted with the first 150 years, which emphasized what he called the Character Ethic, which appropriately worked on a person's inner character.

Covey began to realize that the Personality Ethic was the subconscious source of the ineffective strategy they had been using with their son, and that his wife's and his image of themselves as good parents was deeper than their image of their son as adequate, and may have influenced it. They began to work to change their motivations toward and perceptions of their son, and began to work on separating themselves from him, allowing him to develop more naturally on his own.

After some weeks and months, his son began to improve markedly.


Does Covey believe the Personality Ethic is useless or should be eliminated? What elements of it does he think are commendable, and what does he think of them?

No; he thinks personality growth, communication skill training, and education in the field of influence strategies and positive thinking are beneficial, sometimes essential for success.


Define secondary greatness.

Social recognition for one's talents.


Define primary greatness.

Goodness of one's character.


Why does Covey consider success built on the Personality Ethic secondary?

Because it's artificial and can be short cut. He compares it to trying to take a shortcut sowing seeds for crops.


Define paradigm.

A model, theory, perception, assumption, or frame of reference.

(Additionally, how we "see" the world.)



What analogy does Covey use to communicate the function of a paradigm?

A map.


Describe the analogy of the use of the map of Chicago vs Detroit Covey uses.

If you tried to navigate Chicago with a map of Detroit labeled Chicago, it would be frustrating and ineffective. You could work on your behavior and you attitude, but you'd still be lost.


What two categories does Covey say the "maps" in our heads can be divided into?

"The way things are," or "realities," and "the way things should be," or "values."


What visual exercise does Covey employ regarding the young and the old woman?

A drawing of the same basic shape but emphasizing different elements can be interpreted to be an old woman or a young woman.


Where did Covey first encounter the young and old woman drawing visual exercise? What does he say the instructor was using it to demonstrate?

Harvard Business School; that two people can see the same thing, disagree, but both be right.


Briefly describe Covey's experience with the visual exercise at Harvard Business School.

The instructor would come in and assign students a large card each from one of two piles. One had an image emphasizing the old woman, the other emphasized the young woman. He then asked the two groups to describe the image to each other; communication problems flared up, etc. The difference in opinion was resolved when one of the students walked up to the large image of the woman at the front of the room and started pointing to elements of the drawing and naming them.


What does the young/old woman exercise yield according to Covey? What examples does he use?

Many deep insights into both personal and interpersonal effectiveness.

The four examples he uses are:
1. It shows how powerful conditioning affects our perceptions, our paradigms.
2. It also shows that these paradigms are the source of our attitudes and behaviors.
3. 2 brings into focus one of the basic flaws of the Personality Ethic: to try to change the outward attitudes and behaviors does very little good in the long run if we fail to examine the basic paradigms from which those attitudes and behaviors flow.
4. It shows how powerfully our paradigms affect the way we interact with other people.

(1. Conditioning
2. Attitudes & behaviors
3. Flaw in the Personality Ethic
4. Interaction)


Summarize Covey's description of our relationship with the world, facts, objectivity, and subjectivity.

We see the world subjectively, but we think we see it objectively. When we describe the world, we describe ourselves--our perceptions, or, as he'd say, "paradigms." We tend to believe that there's something wrong with people who disagree with us, but the young/old woman visual exercise shows that reasonable people can disagree. This doesn't mean that there are no facts--just that each person's interpretation of these facts reflects their previous experiences and that the facts are meaningless without these interpretations.

The more aware we are of these paradigms and the extent of their influence on our experiences, the more responsibility we can take for them, examine them, test them against reality, listen to others, and be open to their perceptions.


What's perhaps the most important insight to be gained from the perception demonstration? (young/old woman) How does Covey describe it?

Paradigm shifting; "the 'Aha!' experience when someone finally 'sees' the composite picture in another way."


Who introduced the term "paradigm shift" and where?

Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962, 1970, 1996, 2012).


What are three scientific paradigm shifts that Covey mentions?

Ptolemy/Copernicus, Newton/Einstein, germ theory


What is a political paradigm shift Covey mentions?

The United States


What negative paradigm shift does Covey mention?

The one from the Character Ethic to the Personality Ethic


What "mini-paradigm shift" from his own experience does Covey mention?

Him on the subway with the father of the misbehaving kids who came from the hospital where the kids' mom died.


What is "being" according to Covey in this chapter?

"Seeing" in the human dimension. (Acting out our paradigms)


Define "principle."

Natural laws in the human dimension.


What physical law does Covey relate to principles in the human dimension?



What story does Covey tell to demonstrate the reality and the impact of principles? Summarize it.

A story about a captain of a battleship talking to a seaman second class in a lighthouse, told by Frank Koch in PROCEEDINGS, the magazine of the Naval Institute.

When he saw a light in the distance, the captain of a battleship assumed it was another ship and ordered the ship to move several times by radio until the seaman second class radioed back that he was in a lighthouse.

Covey says principles are like the lighthouse.


Define "subjective reality."

Only an attempt to describe the territory.


Define "objective reality."

The territory itself (as opposed to attempts to describe it.)


What is objective reality composed of, according to Covey?

"Lighthouse" principles that govern human growth and happiness--natural laws that are woven into the fabric of every civilized society throughout history and comprise the roots of every family and institution that has endured and prospered.


What principles does Covey mention?

Fairness, integrity, honesty, human dignity, service, quality, excellence, potential, potential, growth, patience, nurturance, and encouragement.


Define "practice."

A specific activity or action.


Define "values."

If principles are the territory, values are maps.


Are principles guidelines? Describe them.

Principles are guidelines for human conduct that are proven to have enduring, permanent value.


What's one way to quickly grasp the self-evident nature of principles?

To consider the absurdity of attempting to live in an effective life based on their opposites.


Describe the fact or principle of "process."

In all of life, there are sequential stages of growth and development. Each step is important and each one takes time. No step can be skipped.

It is simply impossible to violate, ignore, or shortcut this development process.


What must we do to relate effectively with a wife, a husband, children, friends, or working associates?

We must learn to listen.


What attempts to shortcut the natural process of growth in the business world does Covey mention? Why doesn't it work in this case?

Executives attempt to "buy" a new culture of improved productivity, quality, morale, and customer service with strong speeches, smile training, and external interventions, or through mergers, acquisitions, and friendly or unfriendly takeovers. It doesn't work because they ignore the low-trust climate produced by such manipulations.


What story does Covey tell about violating the principle of growth as a father? Why did he violate it? What five ways did he try to get his daughter to share her toys?

He took his 3 year old daughter's toys away from her to share with the other kids when she wouldn't at a party. He was teaching university classes in human relations and thought he knew the expectations of the parents present at the party. He tried a simple request, a little reasoning, bribery, fear and threat, and then force.


What does Covey say borrowing strength builds? What three ways does he say it does this? What difference can develop, changing this relationship?


1. It builds weakness in the borrower because it reinforces dependence on external factors to get things done.

2. It builds weakness in the person forced to acquiesce, stunting the development of independent reasoning, growth, and internal discipline.

3. It builds weakness in the relationship; fear replaces cooperation, and both people involved become more arbitrary and defensive.

The source of borrowed strength can change or no longer be there.


Describe how Covey says people respond when they see good things happening in the lives of individuals, families and organizations that are built on good principles. How does Covey demonstrate this?

They're intrigued, and their immediate request is to inquire into quick-fix Personality Ethic techniques. They may find people willing to teach these things, but the chronic condition remains. He demonstrates this by presenting and commenting on some of the problems presented in the beginning of the chapter.


What Einstein quote does Covey mention in characterizing "A New Level of Thinking"?

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."


What is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People all about, according to Covey?

"[A] new level, a deeper level of thinking--a paradigm based on the principles that accurately describe the territory of effective human being and interacting--to solve these deep concerns."


What does "inside-out" mean?

To start first with self; even more fundamentally, to start with the most INSIDE part of self--with your paradigms, your character, and your motives.


Should you focus more on what you want to HAVE or what you want to BE?



Has Covey seen lasting solutions to problems from the outside in? What has he seen?

No; unhappy people who feel victimized and immobilized, who focus on the weaknesses of other people and the circumstances they feel are responsible for their own stagnant situation.


What are the subheadings in the chapter?

The Personality and Character Ethics
Primary and Secondary Greatness
The Power of a Paradigm
The Power of a Paradigm Shift
Seeing and Being
The Principle-Centered Paradigm
Principles of Growth and Change
The Way We SEE the Problem IS the Problem
A New Level of Thinking