In order to prosper at work in the Information Age, where interdependence is more crucial than independence, The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey is about discovering your voice and helping others find theirs. Stephen Covey explains how we can set ourselves and others up for success in the workplace by cultivating The 8th Habit: discovering our voice and motivating others to find theirs in this 2004 supplementary book.
The ability to choose is the greatest gift you were given at birth. Obviously, before you can help others find their voices, you must first find your own. According to Stephen Covey, how quickly you can accomplish this is determined by how well you employ the gifts you were given at birth.
There are numerous advantages that we are born with simply because we are humans, but according to Stephen, the most significant is our ability to choose. You have complete control over how you respond to every situation in life. Unlike plants, which cannot move, and animals, whose lives consist only of intuitive, knee-jerk reactions, humans have the ability to choose our next course of action. We have no influence over what occurs to us. But we have complete control over how we respond to it. So it's entirely up to you whether you take the next step up or down.
Recognizing your abilities and experimenting with how you use them is the first step toward discovering and capitalizing on your special abilities at work. Then it's only a matter of getting the word out to others.
To gain trust, be courteous, apologize when necessary, and follow through on your promises. When you have a trusting relationship, communicating with others is much easier. The more you trust each other, the more you'll feel safe talking, the more you'll consider each other's remarks, and the more probable you'll accept them. Consider this in the context of business, and it's easy to see why one of the most crucial things for CEOs to concentrate on is trust. It determines the speed with which you can execute and, as a result, the overall success of your firm. According to Covey, trust can be established in three ways:
Maintain your word. Keep your word if you say you'll do anything. Not sure if you'll be able to make it? Then don't make any promises. Always back up whatever comes out of your mouth.
Be courteous. It's so basic, but it's so effective. Just be pleasant. "Thank you," "please," and "how may I assist you?" Stay positive and avoid gossip. These things are free, yet they go a long way.
When it's necessary, apologize. We all make mistakes. When it happens, the best thing you can do is accept it right away and simply say, "Sorry!"
Give up control and empower others by entrusting them with responsibilities. One of the most powerful ways to empower others is to just give them the power – literally! That isn't to say you should let the intern manage the company; rather, you should continue to give your employees more responsibility and control over their work. Allow your cleaning crew, for example, to choose which cleaning products to use, which gloves to wear, which vacuuming equipment to try, how to manage the schedule, and so on. Allowing them to make these critical judgments regarding their work will increase their motivation and, of course, their trust in your future decisions.