I wrote recently about Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and mentioned that there is indeed an eighth habit. Weren’t seven habits enough? Well, the first seven habits help us to become more effective: Covey tells us that the eighth habit will take us from effectiveness to greatness.
So what is the eighth habit?
Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs
Covey defines finding our voice as finding the one thing in life with which we can fully engage – when our mind, body, heart and spirit are completely involved, we have found our voice. Does your work satisfy your physical needs? Can you live the way you want to live? Does it challenge you mentally? Are you passionate about what you do? Do you feel that it’s the right thing to be doing with your life?
At an organisational level, I believe a company can find its voice: what does it stand for? What does it love to do? What does it do well? What does it believe its role is within society?
Having found our voices, we’re encouraged to inspire others to find theirs. How do we do that? I think it starts with listening to people and noticing what it is that seems to fire them up and where they have potential to develop. We so often miss in ourselves what is obvious to others. If we can help them find an opportunity to develop those strengths, then we are helping them find their voice.
The eighth habit is a challenging one to get our minds around. Watching the blind sprinter, Libby Clegg, and her guide runner, Mikail Huggins, take the silver medal in the Paralympic 100m T12 event at the weekend gave me an inkling of what it is to have found your voice and to inspire others.
Libby has evidently found her voice. She runs with passion, conviction and courage. Mikail has found his too – having seen her race at Beijing, he got in touch and, having been trained as a guide runner, now acts as Libby’s eyes whilst she races. He says on Libby’s website:
‘Becoming Libby’s Guide Runner is one of my biggest achievements, I get a huge amount of enjoyment running with her and helping her to achieve her dreams, I get to train as a world class athlete, I attend major competitions and I also get to travel the world! Love what you do, do what you love!’
You can watch their race here on the Channel 4 website (after 80 seconds of ads). It’s a beautiful and inspiring example of two people who have found their voices working together.
Today’s pebble for your thoughts:
Have you found your voice? How will you inspire others to find theirs?
What do you think?
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?