The Principled Centered Paradigm
Personal comments from last week’s post:
Remembering Covey’s definition of Character Ethic:
“Character Ethic, the foundation of success—things like integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, patience, industry, simplicity, modesty, and the Golden rule. Also, the principle of fairness, out of which comes the concept of equity and justice, honesty (which create the foundation of trust, which is essential to cooperation and long-term personal and interpersonal growth). Human dignity, service (the idea of making a contribution), excellence, potential, growth (process of releasing potential and developing talent), with the accompanying need for patience, nurturance, and encouragement.”
WHERE CHARACTER ETHIC DOES NOT EXIST:
This Board represents community members; seniors, taxpayers, staff and employees. The group meets once a month to review activities/plans/issues. Reviewing Covey’s definition of Character Ethic I’m hard-pressed to find one of his principles that exists. Reasons include some group members are introverted, and uncomfortable speaking unless asked, while others, who are extroverted, control the conversation, and have an air of superiority. Discussion must mirror the leaders point of view or it is stifled. This has resulted in ill will among some members (their ideas have been rebuffed, or ignored). The atmosphere is tense most of the time because trust does not exist. Principles of fairness, equity, human dignity, patience, nurturance, and encouragement are missing. Another very important point is that the group is too large, which affects the ability to work together. A well-functioning team contains 5 to 9 members.
WHERE CHARACTER ETHIC DOES EXIST:
The other group I participate in, a group of 6, has most, if not all of the elements of Covey’s Character Ethic. This group meets as time in our busy schedule allows. The difference is—a well thought out, thought-through discussion of differing ideas, points, suggestions, without aggressiveness, put-downs, impatience, and the like. The atmosphere in this group is relaxed with a willingness to share, listen, respond, and take action.
Keep this comparison in mind as you read the remaining posts related to Covey’s book, and then compare it to any group you participate in. Every group has controllers, and when they are in charge, and do not possess Character Ethic, effective communication, and trust rarely exists.