Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People – The Power Of A Paradigm Shift
I recently read Stephen Covey’s The 7 habits of highly effective people and one aspect that really resonated with me was the section on the power of a paradigm shift.
As I am a visual learner, you’ll understand in a moment why this section impacted me so.
To pre frame things for you here, I have taken a section from Stephen Covey’s book below:
” The word paradigm comes from the Greek. It was originally a scientific term, and is more commonly used today to mean a model, theory, perception, assumption, or frame of reference.
In the more general sense, it’s the way we “see” the world — not in terms of our visual sense of sight, but in terms of perceiving, understanding, and interpreting.
Now, take a few seconds and look at the image above.
After you have done that, look at the picture below and carefully describe what you see:
“Do you see a woman? How old would you say she is? What does she look like? What is she wearing?In what kind of roles do you see her? You probably would describe the woman in the second picture to be about 25 years old — very lovely, rather fashionable with a petite nose and demure presence.
If you were a single man you might like to take her out. If you were in retailing, you might hire her as a fashion model.
But what if I were to tell you that you’re wrong?
What if I said this picture is of a woman in her 60s or 70s who looks sad, has a huge nose, and certainly is no model.
She’s someone you probably would help cross the street.
Look at the picture again.
Can you see the old woman?
If you can’t, keep trying.
Can you see her big hook nose?
If you and I were talking face to face, we could discuss the picture. You could describe what you see to me, and I could talk to you about what I see. We could continue to communicate until you clearly showed me what you see in the picture and I clearly showed you what I see.
The exercise that Stephen Covey provides is extremely fascinating, demonstrating the powerful reality that we all perceive things differently determined by influences around us, most of the time we aren’t even aware of it and think it’s the only way things can be.