Questions About Covey's Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence (Habit 1)


 
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Questions About Covey's Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence (Habit 1)
Lee Hao Tian, Student (Other), Malaysia

"Because of position, wealth, role, or relationships, there are some circumstances in which a person's Circle of Influence is larger than his or her Circle of Concern. This situation reflects on a self-inflicted emotional myopia -- another reactive selfish life-style focused in the Circle of Concern. Though they may have to prioritize the use of their influence, proactive people have a Circle of Concern that is at least as big as their Circle of Influence, accepting the responsibility to use their influence effectively."
This is a phrase copied from the book "The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People". After reading this, I have 2 questions:
1. Why does the author say that if a person Circle of Influence is larger than his or her Circle of Concern, then he or she is showing a self-inflicted emotional myopia -- another reactive selfish life-style focused in the Circle of Concern? I only can figure out why selfish.
2. In this phrase, the author mentions that proactive people accept the responsibility to use their influence effectively. The definition of a proactive person is a person who has the ability to take action before a response becomes necessary. In this definition I see no promise of using his or her influence effectively.
Notice how Stephen Covey expresses these words. It isn't a hypothesis for him but a fact. Thanks beforehand for your ideas...
 

 
Answers to Habit 1: Be Proactive
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada
Answer to Question 1:
Reactive people focus their efforts on the weakness of other people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over which they have no control. When their Circle of Influence is larger than their Circle of Concern, they don't realize nor do they care how their behaviour impacts others. This is what myopic means - taking a narrow view and being shortsighted.
An example is a movie or rock star idolized by fans. A star displaying boorish behaviour can inadvertently influence fans to also behave badly. The star however, does not accept any responsibility: "Don't blame me if they want to act that way. I didn't tell them to follow me. It's their own fault."

Answer to Question 2:
I don't dispute your definition but it's not the one that we use in the 7 Habits. Our situation is that something has happened (stimulus) requiring some sort of response. A reactive person will immediately blurt out the first thing that comes to mind and it's typically negative and hurtful. A proactive person recognizes there is a space between Stimulus and Response. The proactive person uses this space to stop to think, challenge any reactive thoughts, and choose a response that positively influences.
 

 











 

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