Keep Trying

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Voice of Influence

Chapter 7 of the 8th habit is focused on our inner desire to make a difference, to matter and to extend our influence to the people and causes we most value. Covey refers to two concentric circles, our Circle of Concern - things which interest us and a much small circle, our Circle of Influence - things over which we have control or influence.

Covey imnplores us to take the initiative where possible and practical by asking the key question, "What is the best thing I can do under these circumstances?". In this chapter he also illustrates the 7 Levels 0f Initiative:
1 - Wait Until Told
2 - Ask
3 - Make a Recommendation
4 - Say what you "intend to do"
5 - Do it and report immediately
6 - Do it and report periodically
7 - Do it

You chose the level of initiative depending on how far the task lies within your Circle of Influence. If you are successful, little by little, your Circle of Influence will expand.

Taking the initiative is the alternative to what Covey calls the five emotional cancerous behaviours of criticizing, complaining, comparing, competing, contending.