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Summary : The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People - Part II.

My previous summary post was about ‘Private Victory’, which effectively covers ways to achieve true independence and mastery over oneself. Do read that post to understand more about Habits 1, 2 and 3.

This post is about ‘Public Victory’, which covers ways to improve our relationships with others, in order to achieve true interdependence.

“Some people say that you have to like yourself before you can like others. I think that idea has merit, but if you don’t know yourself, if you don’t control yourself, if you don’t have mastery over yourself, it’s very hard to like yourself, except in some short-term, psych-up, superficial way.”

One of the most important concepts of the second part of the book is ‘The Emotional Bank Account’. According to the author, ‘it is basically a metaphor that describes the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship. It’s the feeling of safeness with another human being.’

He writes about six major deposits that build the Emotional Bank Account:

  1. Understanding the individual

  2. Attending to the little things

  3. Keeping commitments

  4. Clarifying expectations

  5. Showing personal integrity

  6. Apologizing sincerely when you make a withdrawal


4. Think Win/Win

In this chapter, the author writes about six paradigms of human interaction:

  1. Win/Win: Everybody can win, there is plenty for everybody

  2. Win/Lose: If I win, you lose

  3. Lose/Win: I will lose, so that you can win

  4. Lose/Lose: Happens when two determined, stubborn, ego-invested individuals interact

  5. Win: I will secure my own win, and leave it to others to secure theirs

  6. Win/Win or No Deal: If we can’t find a solution that would benefit us both, we agree to disagree agreeably.

He states that in order to determine which among the first five options is the best usually depends upon the circumstances and upon reality, but thinking Win/Win is the best habit of interpersonal leadership.

Win/Win has five dimensions:

  1. Character: There are three character traits essential for Win/Win: Integrity, Maturity and Abundance Mentality.

  2. Relationships: A high Emotional Bank Account coupled with a deep commitment to Win/Win can lead to tremendous synergy.

  3. Agreements: A Win/Win agreement should consist of five elements – Desired results, Guidelines, Resources, Accountability and Consequences.

  4. Structures and Systems: The environment should consist of structures and systems which support Win/Win. “If you put good people in bad systems, you get bad results. You have to water the flowers you want to grow.”

  5. Process: The author recommends a four-step process to achieve Win/Win: See the problem from the other point of view; Identify key issues and concerns; Determine what results would constitute a fully acceptable solution; Identify new options to achieve those results;


5. Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood

Part 1: Seek First To Understand:

The first part mainly deals with being empathic. When someone wants to share a problem with us, we need to practice empathic listening and not give them solutions based on our own past experiences, which the author calls ‘autobiographical responses’.

The author explains that when we listen autobiographically, we respond in one of these four ways:

  1. We evaluate: We agree or disagree

  2. We probe: We ask questions from our own frame of reference

  3. We advise: We give counsel based on our own experience

  4. We interpret: We try to figure people out , to explain their motives, their behaviour, based on our own motives and behaviour.

He then breaks down the four developmental stages of empathic listening:

  1. Mimic content

  2. Rephrase the content

  3. Reflect feeling

  4. Rephrase the content and reflect feeling

“What a difference real understanding can make! All the well-meaning advice in the world won’t amount to a hill of beans if we’re not addressing the real problem. And we’ll never get to the problem if we’re so caught up in our own autobiography, our own paradigms, that we don’t take off our glasses long enough to see the world from another point of view.”

The author states that when really given a chance to open up, people unravel their own problems and the solutions become clear to them in the process. Sometimes they may need additional perspective and help.

Part 2: Then Seek To Be Understood

According to the author, seeking to understand requires consideration, seeking to be understood takes courage and a Win/Win situation requires both.

He explains how the early Greeks had a magnificent philosophy, embodied in three sequentially arranged words: ethos, pathos and logos.

- Ethos: Your personal credibility; Your character; Your Emotional Bank Account;

- Pathos: Your empathic side

- Logos: Your logic and reasoning

He states that while making presentations, most people go straight to the logos, without first taking into consideration the ethos and pathos.


6. Synergize

The exercise of all the other habits prepares us for the habit of synergy.

“The highest forms of synergy focus

- the four unique human endowments (self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination)

- the motive of Win/Win and

- the skills of empathic communication

on the toughest challenges we face in life.”

This habit mainly deals with synergistic communication – opening your mind and heart to new possibilities, new alternatives, new options.

The following excerpt explains the beauty of synergistic communication:

“The more authentic you become, the more genuine in your expression, particularly regarding personal experiences and even self-doubts, the more people can relate to your expression and the safer it makes them feel to express themselves. That expression in turn feeds back on the other person’s spirit, and genuine creative empathy takes place, producing new insights and learnings and a sense of excitement and adventure that keeps the process going.”

Synergy can take place only when we are humble enough to recognize our own limitations and we appreciate the resources available through interaction with others.


Note : I have only summarized and mentioned those excerpts which I found enlightening. Do read the book to learn about the concepts in greater detail.


Thank you for reading! Stay blessed!



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