Public Victory

Stephen Covey's Public Victory includes the Paradigms of Interdependence:

  • Habit #4:  Think Win/Win (Paradigms of Human Interaction)
  • Habit #5:  Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
  • Habit #6:  Synergize 

If you are like me, you have been encouraged to be responsible;  be independent.  Independence has its place, but true collaboration involves being interdependent - striking a healthy balance between independence and dependence. 

It requires one to be open, to be vulnerable, to trust (both themselves and others), mastering the habits comprising Private Victory.

Think Win/Win

This habit is one of the most powerful and most difficult to master.  It involves being aware of and challenging thinking that prevents true problem solving. 

Stephen Covey says, "To be a win-win thinker requires that you work hard at the personal level to overcome your insecurities and competitive feelings."

Think Win/Win requires a total mindset change if you are steeped in being right and "me first."  It requires one to be open to listen with the intent to understand, then to be understood.

It requires one to be open to being influenced, willing to hear and be open to new information.  It requires one to be willing to change their minds.

It is in Habit #4 that Covey identifies and defines the Six Paradigms of Human Interaction.


Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Seek first to understand, then to be understood involves listening, doing unto others AS you would have them do unto you.  Not, before they do unto you.

This habit, in essence says, "You go first."  It does not mean you never get to have your say, but it does mean you give others the space (and place) to have their say.  To really listen with the intent to understand, not just to reply.

Do you sometimes feel others are "listening" in order to refute or debate your point of view?  When others (and you) engage in this type of behavior, it is not true listening. 

A willingness to truly listen is the underpinning, and is foundational to mastering this habit.


To synergize is the ability to take the diverse strengths and talents within a group of individuals and create astounding results. 

When you synergize, 1 + 1 is much greater than 2. 

Because I am a visual learner and my primary learning style is visual, a picture is worth more than a thousand words. 

The video below is an example of teamwork at its best.  Enjoy!

Public Victory

So, how do you rate?  On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate yourself on the following:

  • Think Win/Win
  •  Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
  • Synergize

Ask several trusted confidants how they would rate you on these habits.

Once you get your results, determine what steps you will take to improve the skills to build these habits. 

As you build the skills and develop these habits, you will achieve increasing levels of public victory.

(More on the 7 Habits here.)

Want to Know More?

Improve Your Relationship with Your Boss

Are you looking to improve your relationship with your boss?  If so, the Boss Relationship Worksheet will help you better understand and communicate more effectively with your immediate supervisor.

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About Coach Gwen



Leaders don't







- Tom Peters


7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Five Dysfunctions of a Team
For Your Improvement Coaching Guide