The Seven Habits—The Maturity Continuum

Quotes for the author:

“The Seven Habits are not a set of separate or piecemeal psych-up formulas. In harmony with the natural laws of growth, they provide an incremental, sequential, highly integrated approach to the development of personal and interpersonal effectiveness. They move us progressively on a Maturity Continuum from INDEPENDENCE to INTERDEPENDENCE.

On the maturity continuum, DEPENDENCE is the paradigm of you—you take care of me; you come through for me; you didn’t come through; I blame you for the results.

INDEPENDENCE is the paradigm of I—I can do it; I am responsible; I am self-reliant; I can choose.

INTERDEPENDENCE is the paradigm of we—we can do it; we can cooperate; we can combine our talents and abilities and create something greater together.

Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own effort. Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.

As an interdependent person I have the opportunity to share myself deeply, meaningfully, with others, and I have access to the vast resources and potential of other human beings.

Interdependence is a choice only independent people can make. Dependent people cannot choose to become interdependent. They don’t have the character to do it; they don’t own enough of themselves.”

Personal comments:

We’ve grown up in atmospheres that either encouraged dependence (“You need my help….”), independence (“You figure it out. I won’t”), or interdependence (living, working in an environment where we were shown how things got done effectively, efficiently, with trust in a true team environment).

Over time these “models of behavior; dependence and independence” were either reinforced, or trained out of us, or, through introspection, and learning, we proceeded through the Maturity Continuum.

Current “situations” I’m facing—#1 One dependent individual I know, through their life’s experiences, has been incapable of moving through the Maturity Continuum. I can hear the individual saying, “You take care of me, come through for me, and if you don’t I blame you for the results”. All of us have these dependent types in our lives, don’t we?

#2 Another situation involves an independent person who probably thinks they are a “team player”, but in reality has to micro-manage their employees, and other individuals who they have a working relationship with. This individual’s trust level is extremely low, and they expect to be manipulated. This behavior creates mistrust, and limits this person’s ability to move to the interdependent stage of the Continuum.

Interdependent people are very difficult to find, in my experience. One reason is that most of us have lost trust in others; government, companies, childhood memories, or being “burned” by someone they trusted. Remember that once trust is broken it is difficult to re-gain, if ever.

#3 One individual comes to mind when I think of interdependence. This individual works hard at communicating effectively, asking for opinions, gathering information, and sharing it. Also this person is very willing to “stay in the fight” in spite of being ignored, and “put-down”.

Next: The Seven Habits—Effectiveness Defined

Author: maxbinkley

Creator of Leadership to the Max My experience in the military helped set the career path for me in human resources. After the military I worked for The Dow Chemical Company and left there in 1993 to venture out on my own. I purchased a small business, then a franchise then started another business in semi-retirement.

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