Journal Entry 3: Habits 4 (Think Win/Win) And 5 (Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood)
How can you/have you applied this habit to your internship/work experience? Provide a comprehensive and thorough assessment of the habit.
How does this habit challenge you to reflect on your internship and other work experiences to date?
What does this habit suggest for your personal and professional efforts in the future?
What does this habit mean with regards to adding value to your career? Apply critical thinking to the habit and share your POV and insight.
Journal Entry: Habits 4 and 5
- Identify the reflections you have on recent events that relate to this habit and how it pertains to your continued personal and professional development.
- Consider feedback on your work performance provided by your supervisor and evaluate your progress toward achieving your learning objectives (as outlined on your Individual Development Plan worksheet). In performing this evaluation:
- Evaluate the progress of your learning objectives, accomplishments and any setbacks you may be facing. (If necessary, resubmit the Individual Development Plan Worksheet and Individual Development Plan Agreement form if learning objectives change. If changes, be sure to have the form re-signed by your supervisor to ensure alignment.)
- Assess your supervisor’s feedback about your performance and clarify any concerns you may have. What does the feedback mean with regards to adding value to your future career?
- Discuss the feedback your supervisor provided regarding your work performance. What suggestions were made to improve your performance? What positive aspects of your performance did he/she highlight?
SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND,
THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD
April 6, 2019
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Based on the understanding and successful application of Habit 1 through 3, which are the Private Victory, Covey now moves into the Public Victory. Public Victory does not simply mean winning over others, instead, it means the victory in effective interaction that results in synergies and bring mutual benefits to everyone involved. According to Covey, Win/Win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Everyone involved should benefit and feel satisfied with the outcome or solution. Win/Win looks beyond power and position, rather it focus on principle, and it fosters a cooperative and mutually beneficial environment.
Covey categorized all human interactions into six paradigms, which are Win/Win, Win/Lose, Lose/Win, Lose/Lose, Win, and No Deal. No Deal is agreeing to disagree, which means when mutual benefit could not be achieved and no synergy is possible, the next best option is to abandon both. No Deal is open and liberating, because no one is pressured or manipulated to agree to the other, and both parties are open to look for other options, which would lead to greater synergies. Ultimately, for all human interactions, the best possible options are Win/Win and No Deal in long-term relationships.
Five Dimensions of Win/Win
· The foundation of Win/Win, consisting three essential character traits: integrity, maturity, and abundance mentality.
· We first have to determine our core values and principles, and then proactively organize and execute our actions around those values on a daily basis, as well as keeping meaningful promises and commitments.
· Personal Reflection: For both personal and professional life, develop self-awareness and have a deep understanding of my own personal core values and principles. For instance, I want others to see me as a kind, honest, diligent, accountable, and trustworthy person. Therefore, all my daily behaviors should revolve and reflect these values. There will be no shortcut, my character is built up over time through the countless interactions with everyone around me.
· Trust is the essence of Win/Win paradigm, and it establishes the ground for open, mutual, and endless creativity.
· Personal reflection: If I am perceived as a trustworthy and accountable teammate at work, when different point of views or conflicts arise, my team members would know that I have the right intention and would always strive for mutually beneficial solutions. The solid and healthy relationship between my teammates and I would eliminate any unnecessary doubts or further conflicts, and we would be able to find the best alternative eventually.
· Clarify and define expectations and instructions of involved parties in any interdependent endeavors, including desired results, guidelines, resources, accountability, and consequences.
· Personal reflection: As an intern, whenever we are assigned tasks, we must clearly understand the agreement between manager and ourselves, including what result is expected, how long approximately is the task expected to take, who and what type of resources are available when we encounter problems. Asking and clarifying these questions would also show our proactivity and willingness to learn and contribute to the team.
4. Supportive Systems
· The reward system and organizational environment must align with Win/Win paradigm to promote a cooperative organizational culture.
· Personal reflection: An organization should focus on promoting and rewarding synergetic teamwork rather than competitive individual work, and only when the reward and compensation system support the Win/Win paradigm, organizations could then achieve the synergies they desire.
· The Win/Win paradigm is only achievable through a Win/Win process, which involves viewing problems from the other point of view, identifying key issues and concerns involved, determining acceptable solution, and identifying possible options to achieve those solutions.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood
This habit deals with the most important skill in life: communication. Out of the four basic types of communication, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening, listening is the main focus of Habit 5. Understanding the other party is the first and crucial step in the communication process. Only through active, genuine and empathic listening, which requires listening with not only ears, but also with eyes and with hearts, one can establishes the trust and respect in an interaction. Based on that foundation, one could then seek to be understood by others.
Often we tend to jump to conclusions or wonder why the other party does not understand our point of view, but the most effective way should be a change of paradigm, in which we ought to listen to the other point of view, try to understand their needs and concerns, and then relate and resolve any differences to reach a mutual understanding of each other.
Four Developmental Stages of Empathic Listening
1. Mimic content: repeat the words of another party, which shows that you have paid attention
2. Rephrase content: interpret the meaning using your own words
3. Reflect feeling: attempt to understand the emotions and feeling behind the words
4. Rephrase content & reflect feeling: helping the other party walk through his or her own thoughts and feelings
Practicing empathic listening establishes the authentic openness and trust in the communication, it breaks down any barrier between the other party and you, and it enables an effective and beneficial communication.
· The foundation of effective interdependence is true independence
“Self-mastery and self-discipline are the foundation of good relationships with others.” (Covey, pg.196) We have to keep in mind that we, ourselves, have to be competent and knowledgeable, and based on this solid foundation, we could extend our network and start building interdependence. If we do not possess the necessary skills or qualities and only seek reliance on others, only taking but not giving, interdependence is impossible to achieve, and no relationships would be long-lasting. In a professional environment, teamwork is becoming increasingly important. If we want to cultivate a healthy, strong, and effective interdependence, we must first become independent ourselves. We must first become aware of our own strengths and weakness, know what we can offer to others, and know what we can receive or expect from others to achieve a common and higher goal.
· Abundance Mentality
This is one of the three essential character traits for character. It stood out to me particularly because I was raised under the perfect example of Scarcity Mentality. Born and raised in China, the competition among peers was extremely high, and the expectations from parents and relatives were very high and could be suffocating at times. I was taught at a very young age to compete for the best, and my self-worth was heavily dependent on how I performed academically and the evaluations from my teachers and parents. This mentality is detrimental and distorting, even after years moving to the States, I still have to constantly remind myself not to compare myself with peers, I have to learn to be genuinely happy for others’ success and achievements, and I have to adjust and adopt the Abundance Mentality learning how to share recognition and credit with team members. Covey made me realized that Win/Lose is not the only paradigm, Win/Win is possible and usually the most beneficial outcome.
a. Evaluate the progress of your learning objectives, accomplishments and any setbacks you may be facing.
· Since the beginning of the internship, I have been able to keep a positive attitude for any feedbacks, positive and negative, an open mind to new and different opinions, and have shown the ability to adapt to new environment and learn new things quickly and effectively.
· I have met with my senior and manager discussing my goals and understanding their expectations for me for this internship.
· I have completed research topics on Audit Sampling, Capital Lease vs. Operating Lease, and SREC for renewable energy industry.
· I have attended Webinars for software training on Team Analytics, Elite, and Affordable Housing training sessions.
b. Assess your supervisor’s feedback about your performance and clarify any concerns you may have. What does the feedback mean with regards to adding value to your future career?
· Rebecca XXXX (Performance Coach): “Something I urge Nan to continue to do is walk through a process that’s being explained to her – so both she and the person giving her direction knows she understands what to do.”
· This is something I have to keep in mind in the future, because most of the time when I was given instructions on assigned work, I tend to mostly listen, take notes, and start doing the work. In the future, I will also repeat the instructions in my own words to my senior and make sure that my understanding aligns with my expectations from my senior before I start any work.
· This is valuable for my future career as well, because it is crucial to set up a clear and enforceable agreement before taking any actions. It might take a little longer in the beginning to clarify and make sure that everyone is on the same page, but it saves so much time and effort on trying to fix misunderstandings or solve conflicts resulting from vague expectations later on. This proactive approach would also build up my accountability and trust.
c. Discuss the feedback your supervisor provided regarding your work performance. What suggestions were made to improve your performance? What positive aspects of your performance did he/she highlight?
· Rebecca Kordon: “XXX has been able to comfortably navigate through Excel and CaseWare and is able to use her resources when asking questions and working with the team. … XXX should continue to ask those she’s working with about tips and tricks while working in a particular software.”
· I will make more effort to ask more questions regarding tips and tricks when using any particular software. So far, my attention has been focused on understanding my task and taking in lots of new information on the renewable energy industry. I did notice that my senior and colleagues knew tips and tricks, which enables them to navigate software more effortlessly and efficiently, and I will do my best to ask and learn from them to increase my own efficiency and competency.
· Rebecca Kordon: “XXX communicates effectively as it relates to her schedule and her workload. … She goes above and beyond to detail check the workpapers she’s been in to make sure they are consistent across all files and clear to the person reading the workpaper.”
· This was such an encouragement for me because sometimes I spent longer time to perform tasks and double check my own work as well as work performed by others. My senior and manager clearly noticed my effort and approved my hard work.
· Rebecca Kordon: “XXX does accept challenges and willingly takes on new responsibilities. She started off with smaller tasks such as prepping lead sheets and importing trial balances and has worked up towards completing entire files like XXX’s Agreed Upon Procedures Reports. In addition, she is open and receptive to feedback.”
· Rebecca Kordon: “XXX has a passion for excellence, her level of detail shows she’s paying attention and making an effort to complete a task to the best of her ability…. She makes a difference by assisting our team in meeting our busy season deadlines. As time goes on, we’re able to trust her with more complex work. XXX has shown to be an asset to the team.”
Rephrase content & reflect feeling