We live in a competitive world – our educational, corporate and sports, to name a few, encourage and reward us to one-up each other, reach the top of the bell curve, land in the uppermost percentile, score the most points, or add the ‘W’ to the win column.
To win as fast and as often as you can. As human beings, we have been conditioned to view the world as having only so much to offer, so we should better get ours while we can.
This brings us to the 3 levels of maturity very well explained by Franklin Covey.
The first is Dependence – we are dependent on others. You are responsible for me, for my feelings and circumstances. It’s your job to take care of me. There is nothing wrong with being dependent in certain situations, but I see many still stuck in this situation. Dependence represents the lowest level
of personal maturity, where we can adopt a victim mentality when things go wrong.
The next level of maturity, Independence, comes with the mindset of ‘I’. I am the one who can do this, I am responsible, I will decide what’s best. When we think and act at this level, we move our focus from the people around us to our own strengths and capabilities. For man, independence is the pinnacle of maturity.
While independence is certainly more mature than dependence, there’s something even more satisfying and transformational that happens when independent people choose to work together.
With interdependence, we adopt the mindset of ‘we’. When we think and act interdependently – we make a choice to combine our talent and capabilities with those of others, creating something greater as a result. Interdependence sounds like together we can do it, together we can collaborate, and together we can figure this out.
There is tremendous power in thinking we, not me. Not only are we more likely to achieve the results we want, but we also strengthen relationships along the way.
Think more of we than me.