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MBA IV(Behavioral Science)

What Are the Big Five Dimensions of Personality?
Personality researchers have proposed that there are five basic dimensions of personality.
Today, many contemporary personality psychologists believe that there are five basic dimensions
of personality, often referred to as the "Big 5" personality traits. Previous trait theorist had
suggested a various number of possible traits, includingGordon Allport's list of 4,000 personality
traits, Raymond Cattell's 16 personality factors and Hans Eysenck's three-factor theory.
However, many researchers felt that Cattell's theory was too complex and Eysenck's was too
limited in scope. As a result, the five-factor theory emerged to describe the basic traits that serve
as the building blocks of personality.
What Are the Big Five Dimensions of Personality?
Today, many researchers believe that they are five core personality traits. Evidence of this theory
has been growing over the past 50 years, beginning with the research of D. W. Fiske (1949) and
later expanded upon by other researchers including Norman (1967), Smith (1967), Goldberg
(1981), and McCrae & Costa (1987).
The "big five" are broad categories of personality traits. While there is a significant body of
literature supporting this five-factor model of personality, researchers don't always agree on the
exact labels for each dimension. However, these five categories are usually described as follows:
Extraversion: This trait includes characteristics such as excitability, sociability,
talkativeness, assertiveness and high amounts of emotional expressiveness.

Agreeableness: This personality dimension includes attributes such as trust, altruism,

kindness, affection, and other prosocial behaviors.


Conscientiousness: Common features of this dimension include high levels of

thoughtfulness, with good impulse control and goal-directed behaviors. Those high in
conscientiousness tend to be organized and mindful of details.


Neuroticism: Individuals high in this trait tend to experience emotional instability,

anxiety, moodiness, irritability, and sadness.


Openness: This trait features characteristics such as imagination and insight, and those
high in this trait also tend to have a broad range of interests.
It is important to note that each of the five personality factors represents a range between two
extremes. For example, extraversion represents a continuum between extreme extraversion and
extreme introversion. In the real world, most people lie somewhere in between the two polar
ends of each dimension.
What is the socialization process?
Socialization is the process by which children and adults learn from others. We begin
learning from others during the early days of life; and most people continue their social learning
all through life (unless some mental or physical disability slows or stops the learning process).
Sometimes the learning is fun, as when we learn a new sport, art or musical technique from a
friend we like. At other times, social learning is painful, as when we learn not to drive too fast by
receiving a large fine for speeding.
Natural socialization occurs when infants and youngsters explore, play and discover the
social world around them. Planned socialization occurs when other people take actions designed
to teach or train others -- from infancy on. Natural socialization is easily seen when looking at
the young of almost any mammalian species (and some birds). Planned socialization is mostly a
human phenomenon; and all through history, people have been making plans for teaching or
training others. Both natural and planned socialization can have good and bad features: It is wise
to learn the best features of both natural and planned socialization and weave them into our lives.
Positive socialization is the type of social learning that is based on pleasurable and exciting
experiences. We tend to like the people who fill our social learning processes with positive
motivation, loving care, and rewarding opportunities. Negative socialization occurs when others
use punishment, harsh criticisms or anger to try to "teach us a lesson;" and often we come to
dislike both negative socialization and the people who impose it on us.
There are all types of mixes of positive and negative socialization; and the more positive
social learning experiences we have, the happier we tend to be -- especially if we learn useful
information that helps us cope well with the challenges of life. A high ratio of negative to
positive socialization can make a person unhappy, defeated or pessimistic about life. One of the
goals of Soc 142 is to show people how to increase the ratio of positive to negative in the
socialization they receive from others -- and that they give to others. [Some people will defend
negative socialization, since painful training can prepare people to be ready to fight and die in
battle, put themselves at great risk in order to save others, endure torture and hardship. This is
true; but many people receive far more negative socialization than they need, and hopefully
fewer and fewer people will need to be trained for battle, torture and hardship.]
Soc 142 shows that positive socialization, coupled with valuable information about life
and the skills needed to live well, can be a powerful tool for promoting human development. We
all have an enormous human potential, and we all could develop a large portion of it if we had
the encouragement that comes from positive socialization and the wisdom that comes from

valuable information about living. Information about both natural and planned socialization can
be especially useful.
Our prior socialization helps explain a gigantic chunk of who we are at present -- what we
think and feel, where we plan to go in life. But we are not limited by the things given to us by
our prior social learning experiences; we can take all our remaining days and steer our future
social learning in directions that we value. The more that we know about the socialization
process, the more effective we can be in directing our future learning in the ways that will help
us most.
Because we were not able to select our parents, we were not able to control much of the
first 10 or 20 years of our socialization. However, most people learn to influence their own
socialization as they gain experience in life. It takes special skills to steer and direct our own
socialization, and many of us pick up some of those skills naturally as we go through life.
Having a course on socialization can help us understand which skills are most effective in
guiding our socialization toward the goals we most value.
It is important to know that we all come into life with a variety of psychology systems that
foster self-actualization and favor the development of our human potential. These are the
biosocial mechanisms that underlie natural socialization. We can see and study natural
socialization by examining the socialization of primates and other mammals. Once we under the
natural biosocial processes, we can try to build strategies of self-actualization that are compatible
with the natural biosocial mechanisms we are born with to make self-development as easy and
rewarding as possible.
Soc 142 shows how the natural self-actualization systems operate in everyday life so we
can create as many good social experiences as possible. The study of behavior principles in
everyday life is crucial to this, and that is why John and Janice Baldwin wrote a book with that
name. If we understand the ways to create positive socialization experiences, we can take our
human potential and develop the happy and creative sides of that potential. If we had too much
negative socialization in the past and have learned to be too sad or inhibited, knowledge about
positive socialization can help minimize some of the pain and allow us to build toward a more
positive and creative future.
The goal of Soc 142 is to help you learn how to be most effective in directing your own
socialization and self-actualization processes toward the goals that you value most. Special
attention will be paid to exploration, play, creativity, wisdom, and positive reinforcement -- five
centrally important aspects of positive socialization.
Patriotism is showing pride of your country because if you are proud of you country and respect
the law then you are showing pride of your country. Patriotism is a nationalist feeling of pride in
or support for your country. It manifests itself in many forms, both small and large. While some
people regard patriotism as a sort of civic virtue, others consider it a dangerous way of thinking.
That difference of opinion reflects the diverse ways in which patriotism can impact society.

National Pride

One effect of patriotism is its creation of a sense of national pride. Individuals take pride
in their country, its history and its culture. They see themselves as part of a nation and identify
positively with it. National pride is often expressed symbolically; in the U.S., familiar patriotic
symbols such as the bald eagle and the flag serve this purpose.

Patriotism often has the effect of promoting national unity. A patriotic society sees itself
as a single unit with common, national goals. Commentators frequently described the sense of
unity that emerged from the groundswell of patriotism following the September 11 attacks.
Patriotism also was closely linked with the unified spirit Americans had following the country's
entry into World War II.

A patriotic society tends to be more obedient than rebellious. Patriotic individuals tend to
have greater faith in the government and its leaders. Patriotism often instills a sense of national
duty, which can lead to enlistment in the armed forces or some other position of perceived public
service. Historically, political figures have seized on patriotic sentiment to compel obedience to
some mission. In World War I, for example, patriotic attitudes had a repressive effect on
opposition to the war and made the citizenry more eager to obey.

Patriotism can also have the effect of inducing conformist attitudes among a populace.
Extreme patriotism makes criticism less acceptable, even taboo. This has a chilling effect on the
free exchange of ideas and public discourse, which encourages a more narrow-minded thinking
that is less open to critical ideas about a nation. Following the September 11 attacks, a number of
journalists and editors were removed from their positions for making comments critical of the
president or U.S. policy, in part because the upsurge of patriotism made people less tolerant of
controversial views.

managing diversity
The management and leadership of a workforce with the goal of encouraging productive and
mutually beneficial interactions among the employees of an organization. Managing
diversity aims at providing employees with backgrounds, needs, and skill sets that may vary
widely with the opportunity to engage with the company and their co-workers in a manner

that produces an optimal work environment and the best possible business results for the
How to Manage Diversity in a Workplace
Diversity in the workplace means bringing together people of different ethnic backgrounds,
religions and age groups into a cohesive and productive unit. Advances in communication
technology, such as the Internet and cellular phones, have made the marketplace a more global
concept. In order to survive, a company needs to be able to manage and utilize its diverse
workplace effectively. Managing diversity in the workplace should be a part of the culture of the
entire organization.
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Step 1
Confirm that all of your personnel policies from hiring to promotions and raises are based on
employee performance. Avoid allowing tenure, ethnic background or any other kind of category
into your human resources policies. Managing a diverse workplace begins with strong policies of
equality from the company. Once these policies are in place, the company can begin
implementing diversity measures throughout the entire organization.
Step 2
Rate the qualifications of the candidate based on the quality of his experience, not age or any
other category, when hiring. When you hire a diverse but qualified workforce, you are on the
right track towards being able to manage the diversity in your company.
Step 3
Encourage diversity when creating teams and special work groups within the company. If a
manager creates a work group that does not utilize the skills of the most qualified employees,
then insist that the group be changed to include all qualified staff members.
Step 4
Treat complaints of favoritism or discrimination seriously. Encourage employees to report all
instances of discriminatory behavior, and have a definitive process in place for investigating and
dealing with these issues.

Step 5
Hold quarterly trainings for the entire staff on the benefits of diversity in the workplace.
Encourage discussions at these meetings on how the company can better manage workplace
Importance of Managing Diversity
Managers can help guide diversity and inclusion in organizations, from hiring
practices to communication and career development practices.
Operating Globally
Global businesses demand management that can work in a diverse environment.

Because of the challenges individuals sometimes have in incorporating diverse

perspectives in group settings, it is important that managers manage diversity in the workplace. A
manager can help guide these differences to the benefit of innovation and inclusion in the

Human resource managers are often tasked with managing many aspects of diversity in
organizations, but project managers and other managers with whom employees directly work or
to whom they directly report can also guide inclusion practices.

Stereotypes may affect the performance of a team, limiting employees contributions to

the areas are seen as typical to persons in the given stereotypical category. To address this issue,
managers can mix teams, monitor all members progress, and allow individuals to self-select for

Diversity training is another way that managers and other employees can manage
diversity in the workplace. Diversity training has the purpose of increasing participants' cultural
awareness, knowledge, and skills.


Consisting of many different elements; various.


A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image.

Because of the challenges individuals sometimes have in incorporating diverse perspectives in
group settings, managing diversity in the workplace is essential. A team or organizations
diversity can include diversity across religion, sex, age, and race, but can also include diversity
across work skills or personality types. All of these differences can affect team interactions and
performance. Global businesses demand management that can work in a diverse environment.
Figure 0
Diversity is beneficial to both the organization and the members of the company or organization.
Diversity brings substantial potential benefits, such as better decision making and improved
problem solving; greater creativity and innovation, which leads to enhanced product
development; and more successful marketing to different types of customers. Diversity provides
organizations with the ability to compete in global markets.
A manager can help guide these differences to the benefit of innovation and inclusion in the
organization. This includes not only hiring practices but also communication and career
development practices over the course of an employees career with a firm. Human Resources
(HR) is often tasked with managing many aspects of diversity in organizations, including the
attraction, selection, training, assessment, and reward of employees, but project managers and
other managers with whom employees directly work or to whom they directly report can also
guide inclusion practices. The process of inclusion engages each individual and makes people
feeling important to the success of the organization.
For example, stereotypes may affect the performance of a team. A person may be misunderstood
early in an interaction. Contributions may be limited and specific strengths or talents may be
overlooked because they do not seem prominent in the given stereotypical category. On the other
hand, poor performance can be overlooked in an individual because they belong to a
stereotypically desirable group. Managers can combat this by mixing teams, creating smaller
mixed teams for subtasks, monitoring all team members progress, and allowing individuals to
volunteer for roles rather than being cast into their default role, as defined by their stereotypical
Diversity training is another way that managers and other employees can manage diversity in the
workplace. Diversity training is training for the purpose of increasing participants' cultural
awareness, knowledge, and skills, which is based on the assumption that the training will benefit

an organization by protecting against civil rights violations, increasing the inclusion of different
identity groups, and promoting better teamwork.

Excellence is a talent or quality which is unusually good and so surpasses ordinary standards. It is also
used as a standard of performance.

Personal Excellence Comes First

What is Personal Excellence?

Personal excellence isnt just one skill. Its all the mental resources that go together to help you
handle problems. Here are a few questions you can use to measure yourself:

Do you procrastinate?

When you make a commitment, do you stick with it?

How hard is it to motivate yourself?

Could you give up something you enjoy for one month?

Could you give up something permanently if it conflicted with your goals?

Could you halve your spending if forced to?

Are you able to do what is most important first?

Does your emotional state frequently prevent you from getting work done?

Can you handle stress?

Personal excellence is extremely important to me because I feel it reflects on everything I try to
do. If Im weak with a personal skill, any other goal will be difficult to tackle. External
problems can usually be avoided by someone with personal excellence. But almost nothing can
be done if you arent in control of yourself.
I once heard that most lottery winners have spent the entirety of their winnings in five years. I
think this proves that wealth isnt about money: its about personal excellence. Unless youve
built wealth on the inside, any money you find will probably slip through your fingers.
Dimensions of Personal Excellence
I try to always be pushing myself in at least one dimension of personal excellence. Its like a
muscle, so if Im not improving, Im probably growing weak.
Discipline is at the core of personal excellence. About half of the questions I asked at the
beginning of this article are rooted in discipline. If you dont know how to push yourself through
temporary discomfort, youll be derailed every time there is a bump in the road.
The best way to improve discipline is to face difficult, but manageable, situations. Exercising is
a good way to push your discipline levels up. Thirty day trials are also a good test of your self
discipline. I know Im letting this dimension weaken if I have trouble getting through thirty
consecutive days of a new habit.

Discipline is important for personal excellence, but it should be the last skill to use, not the first.
If youre constantly having to drag yourself to do everything, you wont last long. Thats why
its important to build the other aspects of personal skill.
Emotional Control
Emotional control does not mean you should strive to be stoic and unfeeling. Strong emotions
are important for personal excellence too. Being able to motivate yourself and build enthusiasm
are components of emotional control.
Emotional control comes in two aspects: self-awareness of what emotional state is appropriate
and the ability to change that state. Building emotional control starts with building selfawareness. Realize when youre lazy, angry, energetic or depressed and ask yourself whether its
the best perspective for dealing with a problem.
Once you have self-awareness, you can find the triggers you need to change your state. People
change moods all the time, you just need to realize what causes you to change states and activate
it when you need it. When Im trying to motivate myself, a big help is being organized.
Decluttering is a tool I use to motivate myself to do other things.
A positive attitude does not mean you think things are going great all the time. Thats being
stupid. When things are going poorly, you need to be able to recognize and fix whats happening
A positive attitude, in the realm of personal excellence, means that you dont let negative
information shut you down. Someone with a positive attitude can take verbal abuse from
someone, and turn it into fuel for improvement. Alchemy is the heart of a great attitude, being
able to transmute the negative feedback from your environment into new solutions.
Fear is your friend. Fear tells you to work when others are lazy. Fear tells you secure yourself
when others are gambling. The first way to overcome your fears is to realize they serve a very
good purpose in focusing you.
Courage, of course, isnt the lack of fear. Its being able to realize your terrified but stand up
anyways. People with personal excellence know how to make their fears work for them. Fear
can be a powerful motivating force if you know how to channel it, and are able to override it
when necessary.
The best sign of personal excellence is that a person has grace when handling problems. If
regular stresses cause a nervous breakdown, you dont have personal excellence. The

scaffolding that supports your inner mental life, should be strong enough that when a hurricane
comes through it, you dont collapse.
Ive found that knowing what to focus on in situations makes a big difference to your mental
calmness. Stress usually results, not from the actual workload or pressures (although exhaustion
can happen), but from the way you focus on that information. A huge to-do list can be handled
one item at a time, not as an impossible mountain of tasks.
Building Personal Excellence First
Trying to fix external problems without building personal excellence is like putting a band-aid
over a leaky pipe. You might stop the water for a few minutes, but youve only masked the real
Personal excellence is similar to athletic training. Although you might get some conditioning
just by playing the game, the best athletes practice. Here are some ways to start building
personal excellence:

Get in shape. If you arent already eating healthy and exercising, start. The problem
isnt having enough time, its having enough discipline.


Give up television. Switch to entertainment that requires more effort, and read a book
instead of watching reruns. There is value in books, and there is also value in doing something
more difficult, but more rewarding.


Wake up earlier. Yes, I like to sleep in too. But every day you can push yourself to
wake up earlier, you earn more control to do other things that are important to you.


Speak in public. Get booed a few times too. A good test of personal excellence is to be
able to swallow the unfiltered, face-to-face reactions of a few dozen people and still keep


Follow a budget. Try cutting your spending for a month, and following a strict budget.
The exercise isnt just to save money, its to test yourself to see the limits of what youre able to
Youre square one. If you start there, the rest is easy

How to Prioritize between Long-Term Goals and ShortTerm Goals

Goals, both long-term and short-term, motivate us to be focused and productive. However, there
comes a time when prioritizing between long term and short term goals seem like a daunting
task. This is especially true for work-at-home mothers who usually have their hands full almost
all the time. Thus, learning how to prioritize goals properly is an important skill that will help

you become a successful work at home mom. Prioritizing goals must start with identifying your
long-term and short-term goals.
What are Short-Term and Long-Term Goals?
Short-term goals are those that you can realize in the near future, such as in a day, within the
week or even a few months. Examples of short-term goals include finishing a pending project at
work or getting done with shopping for the holidays.
Meanwhile, long-term goals are the ones that you plan to achieve over a longer period of time
such as over a year, 5 years or more. Long-term goals are usually those that are meaningful give
you a sense of greater purpose. An example of a long-term goal is finally starting the home-based
business of your dreams.
A problem with long-term goals is that they are usually far off in the future and it will take a long
time before they are achieved. As a result, staying focused on long-term goals can be
The Importance of having Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
It is important to maintain a balance between short-term and long-term goals. Have at least one
short-term goal and one long-term goal at any given time. Having long-term goals is necessary
but always keep in mind that you will need time before you can achieve them. It's easy to
become discouraged on your long-term goals if you have no short-term goals to provide you with
a sense of accomplishment.
Meanwhile, having only short-term goals and no long-term goals is not healthy either. Without a
long-term goal to give you a clear focus on the future, achieved short-term goals doesn't add up to
much. Having a long-term goal helps eases the burden of a tedious task while you are accomplishing a
short-term goal by reminding you that there is a greater purpose.

How to Prioritize Goals

A good way to prioritize goals is to set long term goals first. This will give you a sense of
direction and purpose. After you have identified and set your long-term goal, you can start
making short-term goals that relate to your long-term goals. Short-term goals serve as steppingstones towards achieving your long-term goals. They are simpler and easier to accomplish than
long-term goals.
Achieving short-term goals gives you a sense of accomplishment that will help motivate you to
pursue your other goals. By setting and focusing on these short-term goals and realizing them,
you build momentum towards achieving your long-term plans.

Before you start setting your goals, take a few moments to list down the things that matter most
to you. Writing down your goals help solidify them in your mind. Most importantly, never forget
to reward yourself whenever you achieve success in any of your goals.

Setting Goals: Long Term and Short Term Goals

One of the key ingredients for successfully managing your time is
identifying your goals. Goals are what will keep you motivated and
focused both essential to being productive.
What do goals have to do with time management?
When you have determined where you want your life to be in one year or five or even 20, it
will have an impact on what you do TODAY. A person who dreams of being a lawyer will not
have much success obtaining that goal if they dont first make the time to fit studying and school
into their schedule today.
Many long term goals will have short term goals that lead to them. Not only does this make
practical sense (ie: getting accepted to University is a shorter term goal than becoming a partner
in a law firm) but it also helps you from becoming overwhelmed or loosing sight of your goals.
If you are trying to manage your time it is because you recognize that there is a limited supply
and it is all valuable. While responsibilities at work and home may be what dictates how you
plan your day, shouldnt all (or most) of this time work in harmony with your goals? This may
mean some big changes, or it may just mean adjusting some things in your routine.
When you start planning your time with a goal in mind it is easier to appreciate the benefits of
what you are doing and prevents you from getting caught up in time wasters activities that use
up your time but are ultimately unprofitable either in money or your personal life.

Choosing Goals Wisely

If you are currently making $5/hour and cant cover your bills you may decide that your goal
needs to be making more money. Take some time to figure out exactly what youd like to be
doing with your life. Acknowledge that this may mean spending time getting an education rather
than taking on another low paying job which will fill your financial needs but keep you in a cycle
of working endless hours to make the money you need.
Or maybe you find your work time is eating into the time you want to spend with your family.
That family will grow and move away so what you do to make more time for them is important
NOW. Identifying these goals will help you make decisions to make better use of your time.

Setting Long Term Goals

Before you say "my goal is to retire to the Caribbean" it is important to take stock and analyze
your situation from a different perspective. While you may truly be able to retire to the
Caribbean, HOW will you do that? A new job? A higher income? Less responsibilities?
Long term goals are excellent motivators. They help you see beyond todays work and remind
you that there is a greater purpose for the time you are spending today. If you find a task tedious
you should think about how doing it fits into your goals. Making your daily tasks become
choices can ease some of the burden because we are in control of our day rather than having it
control us.
On the other hand, if we realize many of the time consuming activities we do have no bearing on
reaching our goals perhaps we have to take them out or at least reduce the time we spend on
Your long term goal may be to spend more time with your family. Make your goal specific and
give it a date to be accomplished. Perhaps you determine to work part time. Write down the date
this will take effect and put it on your calendar. It may be that you anticipate it will take two
years to achieve this goal. Pick a date and put it where you can see it every day.
Setting Short Term Goals
Your short term goals will relate to your long term goal.
Continuing with our illustration of working part time you may decide that you must first
complete certain projects you have already committed to. You will also need to be more selective
about what assignments you can handle or need to ask for an assistant so you can focus on the
main business and get help with minor tasks.
You may set a date to stop working overtime. You may set a date to ask for contract work instead
of salary. You should plan activities that are spent with family and no work interruptions.
Whatever your goals they should be clear steps to achieving your long term goal: spending more
time with family.
These short term goals will help you measure your progress towards your long term goal. They
will shape how you plan your time and clarify the VALUE of your time. Make your goals
specific and give them a date to be completed.
6 Steps to Creating Achievable Goals:
With every goal you must follow the 6 Ps:

Prioritize: You may have several goals. Prioritize them on your list.
Positive: Use positive language. "I will ", "Ill be", "Ill have"
Precise: Be precise. "I will have supper with my family three nights a week"rather than "I will be
home earlier"
Performance: Measure your performance. Set time for starting and completing your goal. "May
1 I will be home at 5:30 three nights this week"
Practical: Make your goals practical. Do you have the control to make this work or do you rely
on other people to meet your goal?
Personal: Is this goal a personal goal or someone elses desire for you?
Time management is easier when you can motivate yourself and judge the value of your time. If
your goals are based on someone elses desires (if your mate wants you to work in a steady job
but you want to be self-employed) you will find it difficult to manage your time due to lack of
Creating an Action Plan
Your action plan will have a great deal to do with your day to day scheduling.
Now that you have made yourself conscious of where you are headed (long term goal) and have
set up guide posts (short term goals) it will merely mean implementing an action plan to get your
time on track.
Use your short term goals to implement your action plan. If you are not making radical changes
but are just trying to take the stress out of your day you will find the time you took to think about
your goals may be enough to keep your priorities in order.
If you find that you need to refocus on your goals you will need to give each short term goal a
date to start or complete write it down.
Within the time frame of the goal write down the actions that need to be taken to realize the goal.
If you have discovered from the exercises above that you need to hire an assistant this may mean
putting out an ad, reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, hiring and training. Each task must
be assigned a time to complete.
The action plan combined with a focus on goals will help you appreciate the overall effects of
valuing your time. In this example you will realize that even though you may need to use MORE
time this month by interviewing and training an assistant your GOAL to spend less time on

minor tasks is being accomplished. At this point your time is valued comparative to your goal. In
a month you will be spending less time with minor matters even if it requires more work at the
early stage.
Part of your Action Plan should include a summary of the resources you need to meet your goals.
An assistant is a resource, more education is a resource, a supportive mate is a resource. List the
resources you need to obtain and include them in your action plan when will you get them and
how will they be obtained?
Review and Update
While writing goals down is an effective tool for managing your time you will still need to
review and update them occasionally. Perhaps you encounter an unexpected obstacle on your
way to meeting your long term goal. Reassess and determine if you can adapt your action plan. If
you cannot adapt your plan you will need to consider why the plan went off course did you
have less power to control the situation than you thought? Were you unaware of some of the
resources you would need and their cost or time obligations?
Understanding yourself provides the foundation for taking self-determined actions. It is a key to
success. To know yourself means to be aware of strengths, weaknesses, needs, In studies of
childhood risks and adversities it has been found that young people can minimize the effects of
disabilities and other risk factors by learning to see ones adversities in a new light (Katz,
1997). Successful individuals who overcome adversities are often able to define themselves more
around their multiple talents than around their areas of vulnerability. Being able to show their
talents and have them valued by those who are important to them helps them define their
identities around that which they do best. It has even been found that childrens perceptions of
their competence are stronger predictors of behavior and achievement than objective measures of
their capabilities (Phillips & Zimmerman, 1990) interests and preferences. Self-awareness is
essential for developing goals that reflect personal desires and for making informed decisions.
Valuing yourself leads to positive self-esteem. The belief that you are part of something larger
and more enduring than daily struggles can provide the strength required to persevere when life
presents its inevitable challenges.
You can help young people gain an understanding of their abilities and disabilities and then learn
to play to their strengths. This knowledge and skill can contribute to a successful life. For
example, one successful college student who had a stroke at a young How society labels
individuals with disabilities as a group can also have an impact on how young people with
disabilities view themselves. Responding to labels can test self-identity and self-value. Mentors
can play a key role in shaping the self-perceptions of young people.

People with disabilities who consider themselves successful generally accept their disabilities as
one aspect of who they are. They do not define themselves by their disabilities. They recognize
that they are not responsible for their disabilities, and they know that they are not inherently
impaired. They do not blame others for their situation, nor do they have a sense of entitlement.
Instead, they take responsibility for their own happiness and future. After completing the online
activities in this chapter, young people will reach a greater understanding of their abilities and
disabilities. These exercises will help students to know their strengths and weaknesses.
understand their rights and responsibilities. know that their disabilities do not define them as
individuals and have a limited impact on their lives. define their self-worth in terms other than
the stereotypes of others. have high self-esteem. know their lives have meaning. make positive
contributions to their families, schools, and communities

Career planning is an ongoing process that can help you manage your learning and development.
You can use the four step planning process whether you are:

still at school;

a school leaver;

an adult adding on skills; or

an adult changing your job or career.

Career planning is the continuous process of:

thinking about your interests, values, skills and preferences;

exploring the life, work and learning options available to you;

ensuring that your work fits with your personal circumstances; and

continuously fine-tuning your work and learning plans to help you manage the changes in
your life and the world of work.

You can revisit and make use of this process all the way through your career.
Start at the step that is most relevant for you now.
The career planning process has four steps:

Step 1: knowing yourself

Step 2: finding out
Step 3: making decisions
Step 4: taking action
Step 1: knowing yourself
Begin by thinking about where you are now, where you want to be and how youre going to get
Once you have thought about where you are at now and where you want to be, you can work on
getting to know your skills, interests and values.
Begin by asking yourself the following questions:

Where am I at now?

Where do I want to be?

What do I want out of a job or career?

What do I like to do?

What are my strengths?

What is important to me?

At the end of this step you will have a clearer idea of your work or learning goal and your
individual preferences. You can use this information about yourself as your personal wish list
against which you can compare all the information you gather in Step 2: finding out. Your
personal preferences are very useful for helping you choose your best option at this point in time,
which you can do in Step 3: making decisions.
Step 2: finding out
This step is about exploring the occupations and learning areas that interest you. Once you have
some idea of your occupational preferences you can research the specific skills and qualifications
required for those occupations.

Explore occupations that interest you and ask yourself how do my skills and interests
match up with these occupations?

Where are the gaps?

What options do I have to gain these skills or qualify for these occupations?

What skills do I need?

Where is the work?

At the end of this step you will have a list of preferred occupations and/or learning options.
Step 3: making decisions
This step involves comparing your options, narrowing down your choices and thinking about
what suits you best at this point in time.
Ask yourself:

What are my best work/training options?

How do they match with my skills, interests and values?

How do they fit with the current labour market?

How do they fit with my current situation and responsibilities?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each option?

What will help and what will hinder me?

What can I do about it?

At the end of this step you will have narrowed down your options and have more of an idea of
what you need to do next to help you achieve your goals.
Step 4: taking action
Here you plan the steps you need to take to put your plan into action.
Use all you have learnt about your skills, interests and values together with the information you
have gathered about the world of work to create your plan.
Begin by asking yourself:

What actions/steps will help me achieve my work, training and career goals?

Where can I get help?

Who will support me?

At the end of this step you will have:

a plan to help you explore your options further (eg work experience, work shadowing or
more research); or
a plan which sets out the steps to help you achieve your next learning or work goal.

Decide which step is relevant for you right now and start from there.

What is career planning?

Career planning steps you through the process of:

Choosing a career that suits your interests and abilities

Deciding the best way to pursue it
Taking the necessary action

Just like any plan, it provides a more formal way of thinking about your future by writing down a
proposed way forward and periodically revisiting your plan to see how you're tracking.
A career plan involves:

Identifying your skills, goals and interests and matching them to a job, course or training
Researching the range and type of jobs that fit your skills and interests
Developing a strategy to find work or pursue training in your chosen field
Carrying out your plan

A career plan is not set in stone and should grow and change as you do.
How do I create and action a career plan?
Online career planning resources
We've profiled some websites (see the 'Career planning links' below) that provide steps, tips and
tools for planning your career.
Career counsellors
Alternatively, seek assistance from a qualified career planner or, if you're still at school or doing
tertiary training, through your career counsellor or career resource centre.
We've also linked to some sites that provide more information about finding and using career
planning professionals.

Developing Employability Skills

Although we have been talking about skills as a part of the collection of qualities that combine
to make you an individual, this does not mean that these skills are as fixed as your height, or as
difficult to change as the shape of your nose. Personal skills can be acquired, developed and
A shy person may be able to speak fluently and confidently when discussing a subject (e.g.
politics; a favourite writer) which they know well and feel strongly about; somebody who
considers themselves "hopeless at maths" on the grounds of a low GCSE grade may happily
work out their living expenses for each term and evaluate the various loan options
available. Your interests may also influence the skills that you choose to develop.
You should now have a short-list of skills that you wish to improve: you may also have noted
down some ways in which you might do this. These could include the following:Through extra-curricular activities e.g.

Teamwork (in a sports team, organising a society event);

Lateral Thinking (thinking of ways to raise money during Rag Week);

Writing (writing for the student newspaper).

The University of Kent Student Development Unit has a range of

activities here which can help such as Student Tutoring in local schools.
Through your home life
e.g. Organisation and Planning (combining running a home and family with your studies if
you are a mature student).
Through your course
Course projects, dissertations and extended essays can be particularly valuable here. As
well as the skills of independent research, and planning and organising your own work which
they bring, sometimes you can choose the topic so that it is relevant to the type of work you wish
to enter, giving a strong plus point for your CV.

Analytical skills: the ability to debate and argue a case interpreting complex material;
picking out inconsistencies in reasoning; analysing data from an experiment.

Written Communication: expressing yourself clearly, using language with precision;

constructing a logical argument; writing reports; proper writing up of experiments and

Verbal Communication: entering into discussion and debate in seminars; expressing

yourself clearly and confidently; thinking quickly.

Investigating: gathering material for essays; comparing sources of information and

selecting from them to support your argument; using databases to search for material;
researching for a project.

Numeracy: interpreting and constructing statistics; analysing data and presenting it in

graphical format.

Planning and Organising: managing the workload of several courses simultaneously;

meeting essay deadlines; designing and carrying out surveys; balancing academic work
with extra-curricular activities and/or employment.

Teamwork: group projects, seminars.

Information Technology: entering data onto a spreadsheet, using the Internet to find
information. Designing a web page. Programming.

Technical Skills: knowledge of specific techniques. e.g. NMR, chromatography, practical

lab. skills developed on placements.

Through work shadowing

e.g. Investigating (talking to people about their work); Decision Making (whether or not to
pursue this career further).
Through vacation and part-time work
While it is possible to get vacation work experience with relevant employers (e.g. accountants,
computer companies) financial pressures mean that most students have to take any vac. job they
can get. Later on, when they make applications for permanent jobs and employers enquire about
their work experience, they find it hard to believe that these jobs can be of relevance to their
future career.

Students often say "I haven't done any real vacation work - not anything that would be
relevant to a career - just a bit of shop work, bar work, waiting on tables and so on. I
couldn't put anything like that on an application form".
But what employers tell us is that they do value this type of work experience and wish that
students would make more of it on their application forms!
Here are some of the skills that you might gain from shop, bar or restaurant

Dealing with customers (courtesy, social confidence, tact)

Handling money (numeracy, integrity)

Working under pressure

Organisation & planning (to meet peak demand)

Some popular employers early. The best opportunities for taking part in employers'
undergraduate vacation training schemes are available in the summer vacation after your second
year - but you may need to apply for these opportunities before the Christmas vacation in some

Examples of ways to develop skills.

You could also use these as evidence in an application to show you had these


ect or dissertation

Joining a campus drama group.

udent newspaper

Public speaking or debating

or a course placement


ons, project reports

Working as a receptionist in a
vacation job

ent society

s for a charity

onsorship for an event


up project

Showing 6th formers round


Course presentations

Student radio presenter


Year abro
travel abr

Working p



Shift work


Preparing Student Election


when a st

Analysing data from an experiment

Vacation job as a market research


Getting re

Starting y
selling on

Starting a


Coping w


Voluntary work for a publisher

Creative solutions to coursework


Chess, computing, role playing

Overcoming obstacles to achieve

an ambition e.g.Raleigh

hestra or band


ical assistant in a busy office

h's Award

Market research, telesales, bar





revision schedule

Leading a group project

Duke of E

Chairing a student society

Young En

or a play

Captaining a sports team

Music ban

entative for Eurocamp

Being a playscheme helper



und Europe with friends

se project

Guide leader

ng events

Air training corps

y events

Course or hall representative


Mentor in school

rts for the elderly



ent with your landlord

Arguing your case in a seminar

Careers fa

ate handing in of essays

Getting club members to turn up

for events!


Fund-raising for a local charity

Telesales job in the vacation

son committee

ument between friends




oursework in the library

In lectures!


Helping the student telephone

counselling service

Taking up


interviewer in a vac. job

First aid

n computer

Music gra

t different careers through work shadowing


Working as a waiter or barmaid



modules to take next year

Working in a pub or bank

Current a


Budgeting your expenses over the


Taking bu

Interpreting a statistical table for

your course


Reading f

Fantasy s
e.g. BullB

sive item (car or computer)

riate customers in a sales job

Treasurer of committee

Fantasy share portfolio

e.g. BullBearings


Stages of Stress
When you are under stress, you experience and pass through three specific stages. These stages
Alarm, Resistance, and Exhaustion. However, you may or may not pass through all stages of
depending on the events that triggered the occurence.
First Stage: ALARM
When you face any danger, your nervous system immediately sends an emergency signal to your
brain. All the different body parts and their functions coordinate to either fight or flee away from
You get more energy and your limbs work faster. This is clearly visible in your facial expressions
fear or tension.
Normally, this stage of stress can be due to an actual event such as an accident.
It is then primary stress. Otherwise, you could cause your stress like when you are appearing for
important examination. This is secondary stress.
The general indications of this stage are your fast breathing with sweating and accelerated heart
which leads to higher blood pressure and indigestion.
Second Stage: RESISTANCE
When you do not get any relief from the first stage of stress, you slowly start feeling a reduction
your energy levels.
However, still you want to keep fighting the danger. Hence, you feel exasperated and are
with trivial matters. You miss your sleep schedules and find your resistance breaking Your body
reacts by releasing the stored sugars and fats into your system. This leads to defined changes in
your physical and mental behavioral patterns.

The normal indications of this level are exhaustion, weariness, anxiousness, and being forgetful.
start smoking and drinking more to come out of your stress. Being weak, you are an easy target
colds and flu.
When stress continues beyond the second stage and you do not adhere to remedial measures, the
final stress stage of exhaustion settles in. You are now totally tired and drained out of all energy.
You do not even have the desire or the drive to do your work or live your life.
This stage symbolizes a breakdown of your system and your basic physical existence itself. This
leads to loss of mental equilibrium and extreme complications such as heart diseases, blood
pressure, and ulcers.

Definition of Stress
Stress may be defined as "a state of psychological and / or physiological imbalance resulting
from the disparity between situational demand and the individual's ability and / or motivation to
meet those demands."
Dr. Hans Selye, one of the leading authorities on the concept of stress, described stress as "the
rate of all wear and tear caused by life."
Stress can be positive or negative. Stress can be positive when the situation offers an opportunity
for a person to gain something. It acts as a motivator for peak performance. Stress can be
negative when a person faces social, physical, organisational and emotional problems.
Causes of Stress
Factors that cause stress are called "Stressors." The following are the sources or causes of an
organisational and non-organisational stress.
1. Causes of an Organisational Stress
The main sources or causes of an organisational stress are :-


Career Concern : If an employee feels that he is very much behind in corporate ladder,
then he may experience stress and if he feels that there are no opportunities for self-growth he
may experience stress. Hence unfulfilled career expectations are a major source of stress.
Role Ambiguity : It occurs when the person does not known what he is supposed to do
on the job. His tasks and responsibilities are not clear. The employee is not sure what he is
expected to do. This creates confusion in the minds of the worker and results in stress.
Rotating Shifts : Stress may occur to those individuals who work in different shifts.
Employees may be expected to work in day shift for some days and then in the night shift.
This may create problems in adjusting to the shift timings, and it can affect not only personal
life but also family life of the employee.
Role Conflict : It takes place when different people have different expectations from a
person performing a particular role. It can also occur if the job is not as per the expectation or
when a job demands a certain type of behaviour that is against the person's moral values.
Occupational Demands : Some jobs are more stressful than others. Jobs that involve risk
and danger are more stressful. Research findings indicate that jobs that are more stressful
usually requires constant monitoring of equipments and devices, unpleasant physical
conditions, making decisions, etc.
Lack of Participation in Decision Making : Many experienced employees feel that
management should consult them on matters affecting their jobs. In reality, the superiors
hardly consult the concerned employees before taking a decision. This develops a feeling of
being neglected, which may lead to stress.
Work Overload : Excessive work load leads to stress as it puts a person under
tremendous pressure. Work overload may take two different forms :i.
Qualitative work overload implies performing a job that is complicated or beyond
the employee's capacity.
Quantitative work overload arises when number of activities to be performed in
the prescribed time are many.
Work Underload : In this case, very little work or too simple work is expected on the
part of the employee. Doing less work or jobs of routine and simple nature would lead to
monotony and boredom, which can lead to stress.
Working Conditions : Employees may be subject to poor working conditions. It would
include poor lighting and ventilations, unhygienic sanitation facilities, excessive noise and
dust, presence of toxic gases and fumes, inadequate safety measures, etc. All these unpleasant
conditions create physiological and psychological imbalance in humans thereby causing stress.
Lack of Group Cohesiveness : Every group is characterised by its cohesiveness
although they differ widely in degree of cohesiveness. Individuals experience stress when
there is no unity among the members of work group. There is mistrust, jealously, frequent
quarrels, etc., in groups and this lead to stress to employees.
Interpersonal and Intergroup Conflict : Interpersonal and intergroup conflict takes
place due to differences in perceptions, attitudes, values and beliefs between two or more
individuals and groups. Such conflicts can be a source of stress to group members.


Organisational Changes : When changes occur, people have to adapt to those changes
and this may cause stress. Stress is higher when changes are major or unusual like transfer or
adaption of new technology.
Lack of Social Support : When individuals believe that they have the friendship and
support of others at work, their ability to cope with the effects of stress increases. If this kind
of social support is not available then an employee experiences more stress.
2. Causes of Non-Organisational Stress
Certain factors outside the scope of an organisation also cause stress.
These main sources or causes of non-organisational stress are :1.





Civic Amenities : Poor civic amenities in the area in which one lives can be a cause of
stress. Inadequate or lack of civic facilities like improper water supply, excessive noise or air
pollution, lack of proper transport facility can be quite stressful.
Life Changes : Life changes can bring stress to a person. Life changes can be slow or
sudden. Slow life changes include getting older and sudden life changes include death or
accident of a loved one. Sudden life changes are highly stressful and very difficult to cope.
Frustration : Frustration is another cause of stress. Frustration arises when goal directed
behaviour is blocked. Management should attempt to remove barriers and help the employees
to reach their goals.
Caste and Religion Conflicts : Employees living in areas which are subject to caste and
religious conflicts do suffer from stress. In case of religion, the minorities and lower-caste
people (seen especially in India) are subject to more stress.
Personality : People are broadly classified as 'Type A' and 'Type B'.
Feels guilty while relaxing.
Gets irritated by minor mistakes of self and others.
Feels impatient and dislikes waiting.
Does several things at one time.
While the 'Type B' people are exactly opposite and hence are less affected by stress due to
above mentioned factors.


Technological Changes : When there are any changes in technological field, employees
are under the constant stress of fear of losing jobs, or need to adjust to new technologies. This
can be a source of stress.
Career Changes : When a person suddenly switches over a new job, he is under stress to
shoulder new responsibilities properly. Under promotion, over promotion, demotion and
transfers can also cause stress


Calming Coping Strategies

First, its helpful to calm your physiology so you reverse your stress response. When your stress
response is triggered, you process information differently, you can feel physically and
emotionally taxed, and if you dont reverse your stress response, after a while you become
susceptible to the effects of chronic stress. Try these strategies tocalm down quickly, or these 5
minute stress relief strategies for some quick coping strategies.
Emotion-Focused Coping Strategies
There are two main types of coping strategies: emotion-focused coping strategies and solutionfocused coping strategies. The calming coping strategies I mentioned above are a quick version
of the former typeemotion-focused coping strategiesbut there are more in-depth emotionfocused strategies that can help with many of the major stressors that people face. These include
coping strategies like maintaining a sense of humor and cultivatingoptimism, where the situation
doesnt change, but your perception of it does. These strategies are great to use in many of the
situations youve mentioned where you have little ability to control what happens, and you need
to see your stressors as a challenge instead of a threat, or change the way you respond to your
circumstances in order to diffuse some of the stress involved. See this article on coping with
stress for more on emotion-focused coping strategies as well as the next category Ill discuss.
Solution-Focused Coping Strategies
Sometimes theres nothing you can do to change a situation, but often youll find an opportunity
to take action and actually change the circumstances you face. These types of solution-focused
coping strategies can be very effective for stress relief; often a small change is all thats required
to make a huge shift in how you feel. For one thing, one change can lead to other changes, so
that a chain reaction of positive change is created, opportunities are opened up, and life changes
significantly. Also, once action is taken, the sense of being trapped with no optionsa recipe for
stresscan dissipate quickly. Its important to be thoughtful about which actions to take, as each
situation may call for a unique solution, but a less-stressed mind (see coping strategies in the
calming category) can more easily choose the most beneficial course of action.
Coping Strategies
Listed below are a some of the hundreds of Coping Strategies that Dr. Zeff teaches for the
Highly Sensitive Person:
Create a Daily Routine

1. Your morning routine will set the tone for your day while your evening routine will influence
the quality of your sleep.
2. Wake up 15-20 minutes earlier than usual to begin your morning routine.
3. Begin with some gentle stretching, yoga postures or light calisthenics.
4. Spend at least 15 minutes centering yourself through meditation, progressive relaxation or
listening to a meditation tape.
5. Eat a nourishing breakfast slowly.
6. Leave plenty of time to commute to work.
7. Your evening activities should consist of calming endeavors such as reading uplifting books,
writing, meditating, taking a bath or having light discussions.
8. Try not to watch over-stimulating or violent television shows in the evening.
9. For 30 minutes prior to going to sleep, turn off the day and go inward by meditating, listening
to a relaxation tape or whatever helps you make the transition to a restful sleep.
Using the senses to calm the HSP
1. Avoid jarring noises by listening to relaxing background music or wearing earplugs.
2. Give yourself or receive a massage on a regular bases.
3. Reduce the time you are sitting in front of a television or computer screen and gaze at
beautiful pictures or nature frequently.
4. Reduce your use of caffeine while drinking calming herbal teas and a lot of pure water.
5. Eat warm, nurturing food.
6. Try inhaling calming essential oils or incense.
7. Take a mini retreat twice a week and a longer retreat several times a year.
Important points in reducing time pressure
1. Listen to soothing music while driving slowly.
2. Try to avoid driving during peak traffic hours.
3. Utilize the opportunity of red lights and traffic jams as cues to spend time practicing relaxation
4. Regularly practice slow, walking meditations in nature to stay calm and focused in the present.
5. Try talking slower and being in silence sometimes.
6. Wait five seconds before responding during an intense conversation to reduce over-stimulating
7. Try mindful eating during at least one meal a week without engaging in any other stimuli, such
as reading, watching television or talking.
8. Try writing and typing at a slower rate.
9. Transform the ring of the telephone into a relaxation cue by not answering the phone until the

3rd or 4th ring if possible, while using the precious moments to relax deeply.
10. Minimize your use of the computer, phones and television.
How to Create Enjoyable and Relaxing Work for the HSP
1. Try to develop a positive attitude toward your job by creating enjoyable social interactions,
helping others and being enthusiastic about your work.
2. Listen to background music that is calming and maintain proper air circulation and
3. Gaze at pictures of natural settings; bring flowers and plants to work.
4. Have juice or herb tea and healthy snack foods available as well as uplifting magazines or
articles for your clients or employees to read.
5. Have a comfortable chair to sit on. If you are sitting all day at work, periodically perform
stretches and take short walks.
6. Throughout the day do some slow abdominal breathing exercises and take short meditation
7. If you are calm, your co-workers will be more relaxed creating interpersonal harmony. Don't
forget to smile frequently.
8. Explore changes in your job schedule such as beginning work later, working from home or
reducing your hours.
9. Create a daily work schedule each morning to plan a pressure-free day.
10. If you are working in a very stressful job that cannot be modified, examine your beliefs and
values as to why you continue to work in a difficult situation.
11. Investigate new job possibilities that are well suited for your sensitivity.

Dependence, Independence, Interdependence and the Stages in
FranklinCovey has recently partnered with OpenSesame to offer some of our online learning
courses to their catalog. In addition the company is reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective
People. Below is a post from Micaela Deitch, an intern at OpenSesame about her experience
reading the book.
As an intern at OpenSesame, my peers and I recently started reading the The 7 Habits of Highly
Effective People as a group. Book in hand, I started the path to becoming a compassionate,
efficient and most of all effective career woman.

The beginning of my journey was not as smooth as Id hoped. Dr. Stephen R. Covey explains
that many individuals live in a state of dependence, where they feel and take no responsibility for
the events of their lives. As a young professional, this resonated with me. Since I was born Ive
been dependent on my family financially and emotionally. Every personal success I achieved felt
like it partly came from my family supporting me: paying for my school, consoling me when I
didnt get the part, or praising me when I got a good grade.
Being in a state of dependence had its perks, but I know it is not a sustainable option. All of my
role models, including my parents, had a time in their life when they made the change from
dependence to independence. It may not have been seamless or pretty, but at some point they
moved out of their parents house, got a job, and started taking care of themselves. When Covey
explained that the state beyond dependence is independence, I had an aha moment.
From Independence to Interdependence
However, in the next passage of the book, Covey explains that after achieving independence,
enlightened individuals move into a state of interdependence. This gave me pause. Moving from
dependence to independence to interdependence seems regressive. Isnt the independent
individual, who takes no help from anyone, the epitome of success?
I found my misunderstanding lay in the distinction between dependence and interdependence.
While dependence refers to relying on others to take care of us, interdependence refers to the
cooperation for a greater goal. And because there are limits on how productive we can be as
individuals, but virtually no limit on how productive we can be when we strategically collaborate
with others, being highly effective requires interdependence.
It took me awhile to understand this difference, but I soon realized many of my biggest successes
in life came from collaborative efforts. Take, for example, my last year of rowing as a senior in
high school. I had spent all winter training, hoping to be the fastest and fittest. I spent a lot of
time that season thinking about how I could be faster as a rower, but all that individual energy
wasnt helping my boat win races. A crew, like any group endeavor, relies on teammates working
together, not for personal success. When I stopped focusing on how I could be stronger or faster,

and started thinking about how I could row better to complement my teammates, we started
going faster. Eventually, we were rowing fast enough to win 2nd in the region.
The Next Step for Young Leaders
As college students make the transition from high school to college to adult life, theres
inevitable urge to rebel, to make a point of becoming independent and throwing off the
limitations of childhood. But it is important to remember that paying our own rent, buying our
own food, and working diligently at a chosen career path is not the apex of being effective. In
order to become truly effective we must use our independence and the stability it grants us as a
platform on upon which to build interdependent, highly effective relationships. Only when we
work in collaboration with others can we achieve our full potential.
Character vs. Personality Ethic
To provide a framework whereupon to build the 7 Habits, Covey begins his work introducing the
dichotomy between what he calls the character ethicand the personality ethic.
For years, the cultural theme that ran throughout the US was built upon the character ethic. This
is the idea that a person advances throughout life on the basis of their character. It was the
foundation of Benjamin Franklins Twelve Virtues and could be found in most of the self-help
literature of the time.
However, since WWI, a shift started to happen. Developing ones character began to be
overshadowed by the quick-fix solution of the personality ethic. All you had to do was learn
specific skills and techniques, work on your public image, personality and attitudes, and youd
be guaranteed success. However, the problem came when you were eventually discovered as
insincere and shallow. A perfect example is many of our modern politicians all fluff and no
Covey doesnt knock the personality ethic. In fact, he says it is sometimes absolutely necessary.
But these ideas are only effective when they flow naturally from a good character and the right
motives. And this is where the 7 Habits come into play.

Timeless Principles
The 7 Habits bring us back into the realm of the character ethic, where we live based upon timetested principles that have worked throughout the ages, regardless of social context. Values such
as the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you), going the extra mile,
charity and so on, are what truly effective people have lived by throughout history.
According to Covey, having a principle-centered life is the only way to be truly effective.
From Dependence to Interdependence: a Continuum
The 7 Habits are not mutually exclusive. In fact, from the first to the last habit, they are intended
to work with and build upon each other in a specific order and structure. When they are
sequentially applied in your life, they will take you from a state of dependence on others and
society to independence and ultimately interdependence an attribute reserved for the most
effective people.
Habits 1 through 3 comprise the private victory or independence (Ill be covering this
tomorrow). They take us from that feeling of helplessness and powerlessness to one of
empowerment and pro-activity.
Habits 4 through six make up the public victory or interdependence, where we learn to
effectively work with others in a mutually beneficial way. If we can achieve this, we have
achieved true effectiveness.
The 7th and last habit, Sharpen the Saw, is what keeps us running at peak levels. Just as any
machine requires regular maintenance to function properly, we require our own down-time to
rejuvenate our bodies, our minds and our spirits.

Co-dependence to Independence to Interdependence

Creating a win-win life of freedom, love, joy and expansion with self and others
by Melanie Tonia Evans

We have all understood our life from the outside in paradigm, believing that our needs are
supplied by something or someone outside of us. This leaves us in a very precarious position. It
is self-defeating to believe that our happiness, self-esteem and purpose are anyone elses job.
If we havent claimed our identity, we are defenceless to the effects of life outside of ourselves.
Working on emotional maturity, healthy boundary-setting, (please see my eBook How to
Understand and Implement Healthy Boundary Function) self-identity and alignment with Life
Principles that work allows us to enter a state of independence, which then sets the platform to
not only secure private accomplishment, but one that will expand into public accomplishment.
This transformation secures a synergistic expansion of love, happiness and success with others
and our environment. Read on to discover the crucial and essential steps of this journey.
Ultimately our new world that is emerging is one that works with the components of love, trust,
warmth and communion.
The days of dog eat dog, survival of the fittest, and me versus you and I need to succeed
with intimidation, victim behaviour or manipulation have now become ineffectual, and create
great disappointment, delays and pain.
These old states are ego (fear-based) mechanisms that dont create lasting and solid love, success
and happiness. Win-lose is no longer the workable trend. Win-win is now the goal.
Businesses, love relationships and families in modern times are breaking apart as a result of fear
based, low-trust conditions. As a species, we are all evolving and sensing the need for healthy
and trustworthy connections. No longer will many spouses or employees tolerate the stresses of
lack of trust. The days of put up and shut up are becoming obsolete, and are becoming

No longer can lack of trust and lack of connection with others and our environment create
worthy realities. These old incongruent energy statements are becoming more obvious and more
unbearable to live with. Its time to change!
We are all being called, as part of a new world, to make the journey from co-dependence to
independence to interdependence.

The Steps of the Journey

Co-dependence can be termed as: relying on others to provide what we are not providing for
ourselves. Obviously as new born babies we are extremely co-dependent. We have no ability to
provide safety, survival needs and emotional sustenance for ourselves. In our codependent stages of life we are totally vulnerable and all of our trust is placed on the actions and
resources of others. We on our own are powerless.
Independence can be termed as: being self-reliant, self-empowered and capable of providing our
own needs, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. As we grow older we begin making
progress towards independence. In our independent stages of life we build purpose, direction and
trust for ourselves. We are powerful within our own energy and know that we can rely on and
provide for ourselves.
Interdependence can be termed as: being a whole and balanced person who is able to share with
and join in the healthy resources of life and others. This facilitates an even greater expansion in
life than the independent stage, as we now have unlimited access to even more love, success and
happiness than we could have provided for ourselves.

So you see... THIS IS THE GOAL to create powerful, healthy interdependence.

The journey of co-dependence to independence to interdependence is a very necessary journey
and each stage is necessary. The end goal cannot be achieved without the building processes of
the stages preceding them.

In other words, we must leave behind our co-dependent behaviour to step up into independence,
and we must have a solid sense of independence to be able to function effectively in
interdependence. Having said this, it isnt necessary to be solely independent before working on
interdependence. These two stages can be achieved simultaneously. It certainly is a truth the
more healthy your emotional independence operates (as opposed to pure practical independence)
the easier it will be to connect to healthy interdependence.

Examination of the Limitations of Co-dependence

Co-dependence is an aspect of ourselves that can be difficult to overcome. It is an extremely
powerless state that has been our understanding of life for centuries.
When we are acting co-dependently, we set ourselves up for a lose/win or lose/lose situation. Our
energies and effects are focused on other people and situations rather than ourself. It is easy to
think they have the problems. But in reality they often dont have the problems because we are
busy fixing and controlling everything for them. They are reaping the rewards (a life without
having to take responsibility for problems) and we feel abandoned, unsupported, victimised,
angry and distressed. And maybe we are helping these people so much that we are enabling their
addictions, immature or abusive behaviour, and creating an energy exchange which helps them
stay sick.
The biggest problem is: as a co-dependent we ALWAYS LOSE, because we become empty,
powerless and unable to plot our own course independent of others and life. By trying to control
aspects outside of ourselves, we end up obsessing and creating over-involvement and become
emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually controlled by the life details or people we are
obsessing about.
In order to create a life that works it is essential to outgrow our co-dependent states as much as

Keys to understand if you are co-dependent

How many of these are applicable to you?

Do you spend a lot of time worrying about what other people think about you?

Do you often analyse other peoples lives?

Do you get distressed by bad things that happen which are out of your control?

Do you say and do what you think other people want you to say and do?

Do you try to control other peoples behaviour so that you can feel OK?

When an interaction with someone goes wrong do you spend time analysing their
actions, what they said and what they might be feeling and thinking?

Do you find it difficult to speak up and confront an issue when you feel uncomfortable?

Do you blame other people for the way you feel?

Do other people's moods bring your own mood down?

Do you immediately think of someone else who needs this information more than you?

Do you seek and listen to other peoples opinions rather than seeking and listening to
your own?

Do you obsess over having said the wrong thing or hurting someone elses feelings?
We can all be guilty of these traits. When we are, we have lost a connection to ourselves by
handing our power over to life and others. No longer are we capable of sustaining our needs and
looking after ourselves, we have forfeited this worthiness and trust to conditions on the outside
- conditions that we have no control over, and no right to control! Co-dependency fosters
insecurity, anxiety, depression and in many cases leads to premature death. In its advanced stages

the disease of co-dependency is deadly. I believe co-dependency is the greatest emotionally

destructive factor in humankind.
Most people dont act co-dependently when things are GOOD! (When life and others are
supplying their needs). Most people act CODEPENDENTLY when the going gets tough! (When
life and others arent supplying their needs).
We can all blame life and situations for throwing us into turmoil but the truth is these
challenging times are only EXPOSING the lack of self-resources and self-belief we had on-line
in the first place. If other people bring you down your state of down was lying just under the
surface before the event occurred!
THEREFORE the number ONE priority is to stop being just a fair weather person and know
that you can hold it together in a storm. These stormy times are inevitable (they are a part of
life) and through these times we gain enormous confidence and resources to become selfempowered. These times are a gift. The irony is the more we deal with them, the fewer storms
Your REAL job is to build your character. And then all of life will follow.
Another essential truth of life is:
It is not what people and situations have done to us that created our agony. It was our
decision to create the agony as a reaction to these people and situations that have
tormented us. I understand and empathise that as children YES we were defenceless. We
didnt have developed emotional intelligence or healthy boundary functions. However, as
adults we have the power to make new choices. To make other peoples emotional weaknesses
OUR emotional weaknesses is self-defeating.
For more information regarding co-dependency, read the Article Co-Dependency Issues Learning How to "Let Go" and my eBook How to Recognise and Heal Co-dependency.
You Always Have the Choice to Move Out of Co-dependency.
Here are some further questions to consider in regard to co-dependency.

Do you give in to other people's expectations and demands even when you feel

Do you feel controlled by life and dont believe you have a choice in many

Do you follow protocols and traditions that you dont agree with anymore?

Would you rather distress yourself than upset someone else?

Do you focus on changing others rather than changing yourself?

Do you grab onto things and people outside of yourself to feel better?

Many of us use and think co-dependent statements, such as:

I really should...

I dont want to but I have to...

Theres nothing I can do about it...

I cant help the way I feel...

Thats just the way I am...

Ill never be any good at that...

All of these statements are victim statements that create powerlessness in situations.
Lets look at an alternative way to live simply by affirming that we always have the power to
CHOOSE our realities:

I choose to not do this now...

I choose to honour what I said I would do...

I choose to let go of what I cant control...

I choose to feel happy regardless of...

I choose to become a better person and create a better life...

I choose to improve at the things I am interested in...

If you catch yourself using victim (powerless statements) make a decision and a CHOICE!

The Platform of Independence

Independence is essential. Your life is your job. Everyone elses life is their job. Please see Inner
Foundation of Trust to gain information as to why it is so important to have a solid and consistent
sense of self.
Part of a healthy independent foundation is having a mature boundary function (Please see my
eBook How to Understand and Implement Healthy Boundary Function). There is no need to
allow anything to penetrate your inner sense of self unless you choose to. This is why some
people get extremely distressed (and even obsessive) over a particular person or event, whereas
another could see it for what it is, do whatever was appropriate and in their authentic control
(make a decision that applied to themselves) without wasting emotional energy on it by
obsessing over the unknown or trying to control the uncontrollable (a dynamic that was outside
their power of influence).
Be very clear your emotional energy is best spent within the life-affirming decisions of your own
life. It isnt productive to burn it up on things outside of you that you have no control over. This
doesnt mean you dont have feelings or a conscience. Quite the contrary. By having a healthy

boundary function, you recognise where you can help, how to help in empowered ways, and you
make a decision that creates a win/win opportunity for everyone involved. No longer do you fuel
yourself and someone elses dysfunctions and insecurities by reacting in unhealthy ways.
Achieving independence means releasing yourself from the need for other people to validate
your sense of self. Ill explain with an example...
Not long ago my son and I had an interaction. He had spent money on a social event and hadnt
saved enough money to have petrol in his car to get to work. My sense of self on this matter is
I am living a principle centered life (non-co-dependent) where I no longer fix his irresponsible
mistakes for him and I dont enable him to be irresponsible. When he asked if he could borrow
my car (he knew my take on lending him money), I calmly and clearly said No. When he
asked me why, I stated my declaration of truth on the matter quietly and calmly. He ranted and
raved a bit which I totally ignored. An hour later we were having tea together as if nothing had
happened and hed rung one of his friends to organise a lift. After he finished work we had
pleasant talks about other unrelated issues.
In the past I would have acted co-dependently. I would have argued and been totally dismayed if
he didnt understand my point of view. One of the biggest lessons I have learnt in life is: Its not
important for other people to get it. Its important that I get it.
So you can see the old pattern would have created a Lose/Win if I had given in and fixed his
problem for him with my own resources, or a Lose/Lose where we both would have lost because
I was enabling him to be irresponsible. And whats more we could have argued for two days
about my Disbelief of His Irresponsible and Thoughtless Behaviour and his version What an
Unsupportive Mother I am.
Instead my decisions: 1) Knowing where I stood, 2) Stating it with no guilt, fear, explanations or
justifications and 3) Detaching from him getting it or validating it - created a Win/Win, not in
the sense of a marvelous synergistic transformation (which is possible in interdependent problem
solving) but most definitely a Win/Win. My resource and principle centre was not exploited and I

was implementing by example mature and responsible behaviour, which was to his advantage.
Part of being a healthy independent with a sense of inner self is escaping the need for the quick
emotional fix. Our co-dependent nature wants relief, validation (to be understood) and results
immediately. This is why we go in harder trying to make it happen. This is a function of
the ego that is immature (scared) and perceives scarcity. If I dont get it now, there may not be
more later on, or someone else is going to get it.
Healthy independence KNOWS that if we live calmly with an inner foundation of principles that
life will bit by bit, slowly and surely respond and match these principles. By not being attached
to timing, we are simply attached to doing the right thing the thing that works, and trusting the
process to unfold in its own time accordingly. Healthy independence realises that the old
emotional and co-dependent behaviours create temporary relief at best, disasters and blows ups
at worst, and are simply band-aid attempts that dont have durable results.

The Transcendence of Interdependence

As unlimited beings and incredibly powerful creators, we have an ability to create a synergistic
exchange with life and others that far exceeds the love, success and happiness that we or another
party could solely create. In fact when two forces come together (even if they are opposing) a
new force can be born - a third solution that grants each party an even better win than was
previously available. When we open our minds and our hearts to this, its exciting. Why?
Because the possibilities are limitless.
This goal creates a necessity to be open to other people, other situations and other ways. If we
have a firm sense of self we can listen and seek to understand another point of view without the
fear of being overtaken or attacked. It doesnt mean we have to agree, but it means we have to
listen and empathise with this persons feelings on a matter.
Most people dont listen. They are busy pushing their experience, their framework and their
beliefs over the top of another persons frame of reference. This comes from the inbuilt fear of

needing to be understood which is what every person truly wants. Naturally this pushing
creates a push back where the other person is trying to do the same. In this state of non-evolved
problem-solving the most convincing, intimidating or manipulative person will win. The person
that backs down will lose. This Win/Lose dynamic destroys potential for trust, teamwork and
connection, and seriously undermines relationships in all walks of life.
The golden key to creating healthy interdependence is: understand yourself without the need
for others to understand you, and then seek to understand them.
Lets start with the first step...
It is logical in an energy based reality to embrace the concept of like attracts like. And this
like is an inner state, because this is where our energy emanates from.
If you trust and know yourself:

Other people are going to be more open to trusting and knowing you

you'll not be hankered by the need to be understood every time you have a conversation
with someone.

you'll be safe and secure enough to listen and be open to someone elses beliefs, feelings
and model of life knowing full well that you have the power to remain safely in your centre.

You know their communication is about them and you dont have to take it on personally
and make it about you.
By leading the way, you can allow the other individual to feel open and trusted. you'll hear the
heart of their concerns rather than defensive and projecting logical arguments, by being
genuinely interested in their feelings and perceptions with empathy. You dont have to agree with
them, you simply need to honour that they are also a human beings with real feelings and
emotions and are entitled to their view of life.

I say to my son, I dont have to believe in everything you do. But this doesnt mean that I dont
always believe in you. By saying this he feels supported, understood and trusted, and in turn he
trusts me and shares life issues and feelings openly with me. I am blessed to experience our
connection as a team.
An interesting and powerful miracle occurs when you genuinely and openly listen and
emotionally validate another individuals concerns and what is on their mind. In almost every
case they will then allow you to do the same. Then as if there is a force all of its own, a higher
solution appears. This solution is more than a compromise - it is a greater reality than either one
of you could have created if you were defending your own frame of reference and trying to
disagree with the other. And a spectacular Win/Win occurs for both parties. Trust, communion,
love, respect and teamwork are created.
On of the most powerful statements you can make to another person who is challenging you in
your personal life or in business is:
I truly want to understand what your concerns are and know what the problems are from your
point of view. I am here to genuinely listen.
Then to do this with no other reason than to genuinely understand and connect. This is not a tool
to use to manipulate others to get your own way. If you are stuck in a Win/Lose framework you'll
keep creating people in your life who leave and dont want to play anymore no matter how
much you try to conceal the true motives.
Please note it takes courage and a high level of emotional maturity and calm healthy boundaries
to really take this journey. Make it a goal and apply the awareness and processes to your life and
you'll notice spectacular differences.
We all require the energetic support of life and others to really, really, really shine and others in
the world require our love and support to really, really, really shine. This communion and
teamwork is the way to create a life of spectacular love and inspiration. This is the truth and the
necessary shift of our new world. We all have the power to assist this shift. Please do it with all
your heart!!