While many of The 7 Habits represent familiar concepts (so far this year, we’ve done 1) Be Proactive, 2) Begin with the End in Mind, and 3) Put First Things First), it seems to me that the 4th Habit-- Think Win Win—is the only one that has actually become part of the American lexicon. I feel like I say and hear this all the time, as in, “I got some great vintage clothes, and she cleared out her closet so she wouldn’t have to pack as much for her move. It was a win win!”
As our students are learning this month, there are many times when you can just as easily do something that is good for all, rather than something that benefits only yourself. Plus, there is an added value in the goodwill that is built when others see you looking out for their interests. Over time, this can result in trust and the ability to accomplish what otherwise might not be possible.
The two main ideas for this habit are having consideration for others and looking for what works best for all when conflicts arise. These traits emphasize respect for others and the sense of civic responsibility that is so strong in our tolerant, diverse city. By encouraging our students to realize (and remember in the heat of the moment) that they are not the only ones who “want what they want,” we will help them grow into young adults who are able to take others’ perspectives and prefer outcomes that are balanced, fair and thoughtful.
With warm regards,
Dr. Merritt F. Waters