Friday, January 18, 2008

Express yourself empathically

Today at work I was reading Training magazine, when I came across this gem from Stephen Covey, co-author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
My experience is that many people go for lose-win rather than win-lose. ... Sometimes you go for win-win or no deal, which means you agree to disagree agreeably, particularly when there are opposing values. Sometimes you transcend opposing values by finding a higher, unifying value. Sometimes it's OK to go for win-lose or lose-win if the most important consideration is not the subjects you're discussing but rather the quality of the relationships. This may contribute to a win-win relationship, even though there are some decisions that are win-lose or lose-win. ... when it comes to your turn to express, you should say, "I sense you really don't want a win-win deal or that you don't really believe in the ideal of mutual benefit and mutual respect." Then listen to them empathically.

Read it for yourself
, in context, and see if you can make any sense of it. Congratulations if you can. And extra big prize to anyone who can justify Covey's use of "express" and "empathically."

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