The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen R. Covey
Contributed by Margherita Wickersham
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Chapter 3

Public victory in this context does not denote victory at the expense of other people but the efficient interaction with the people around while trying to achieve objectives using sound communication. When one feels at peace with their fellow friends and the people also feel comfortable with you, and this is the public victory. This phase and part commence a chapter of interdependence as described in the book which includes habits four to six.

The paradigms of interdependence are described in the context the friendship is deemed nonexistent without confidence and in turn, confidence cannot exist without integrity. Covey states that the individual victory is the initial process to the public triumph just like algebra and calculus. The paradigms are reinforced by the various analogies and topics in the text. Covey talks of an emotional bank account in which one deposits through courtesy and commitment to other people. The author informs the reader on six vital deposits to the bank which includes understanding people, finding importance to the little things, meeting one's commitments, clarifying expectations, improving ones integrity and apologizing when one withdraws from an engagement. The emotional bank is an analogy that describes the effort people need to put to maintain a good rapport and repairing relationships as a long-term asset investment.

Another essential paradigm of interdependence is the ‘P problems are PC opportunities’ which is the dynamic that shows how people see their problem. Covey gives an example that illustrates parents and children such that parents should see the tough experiences with their children as the golden chance to build stronger relationships with them instead of seeing their children’s irritations as burdensome which subsequently shifts the parent-child interaction. The author, therefore, urges the readers to recognize the P/PC Balance as a means to an end of efficiency in the interdependence reality which values people’s problems as the ideal opportunities.

Habit 4 consists of the principles of interpersonal leadership which works by employing the right attitude towards personal excellence and a reward system. The author argues that one cannot yield any results from a paradigm of competition which results in quick fixes, but alternatively results are generated from personal organization and excellence which manifests physically. The fourth habit is further explained using what the author refers to as the six paradigms of human interaction which include win-win, win-lose, lose-win, lose-lose and No deal TM. The models of interactions are controlled by approaches that human beings seek to achieve or benefit from their interactions. For instance, the Win-Win human interaction is one that continually tries to get the mutual benefit from the interaction.

The fifth habit is the principles surrounding the empathic communication which suggest that people should try first to understand so that they can also be comprehended since the heart harbors reasons which other people do not know. Covey describes the various factors that people need to consider in line with Habit 5 which include character and communication, empathic listening, analyzing before prescription, and understanding & perceptions. The factors help one to identify the concept that people have inner struggles they have before they pass judgment. Covey analogizes a man in a park with his children playing loudly and causing annoyance to other people. The author together with other people feel the man should control the children, but when he enquires, he finds out that the man just lost his wife and the children just lost a mother and didn’t know how to channel their grief.

The sixth habit describes the principles that are involved in the creative cooperation and also the synergize TM. The synergy and creative cooperation aids in catalyzing the powers within people as well as unifying and unleashing the ability of people. Covey strategically lists synergy as the sixth habit so that all the previous habits can formulate the miracle of synergy. The principles of cooperation include the synergistic communication, presence of synergy in the classroom, business, valuing differences, force field analysis and fishing for third alternatives. Throughout this part, covey brings out the point that the importance of synergy is to appreciate differences, respect them, construct the strengths and also compensate for the existing weaknesses.


One can make deductions from part three that covey seeks to educate people on public victory through the paradigms of interdependence, human interactions, and synergy. The general idea being put forth by Covey is that of fairness and justice towards other people to maintain a good rapport. Habit 4 describes the human interactions and the factors that guide the relationships. Covey, in this case, challenges the reader to choose the best paradigm of human interactions that pay attention to the principles of courtesy, justice, and integrity. From the fourth habit, a conclusion drawn includes the fact that the foundation of maturity and liberal mindset which shows that one can display real happiness towards the success of the people around.

It is evident that communication is the epicenter towards the success of habit 5. The inclination in this case habit 5 employs an empathetic strategy one that seeks understanding and awareness of other people’s feelings and situation before prescription of judgment. In this habit, the text stresses the importance of the ability of one to diagnose a problem before providing an order to the problem. It is evident that people tend to judge a book by its cover without paying attention to the underlying issues as covey analogizes the story in the park. However, covey provides a solution to habit 5; that people should seek to communicate and find out the problem before passing judgment.

The cream of part three in the context is crowned by the sixth habit that seeks to unify the previous habits through synergy. Habit 6 utilizes the understanding that human beings have differing ideologies, capabilities, and rationality which when tapped appropriately forms a bigger and better effort. Covey urges the reader, in this case, to appreciate the diversity of opinions and be more tolerant of other people. The conclusion, in this case, is that that synergy compels people to acknowledge each other and when they do so, the real weaknesses are compensated for by the collective strengths of the people.

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