PRINCIPLED COMMUNICATION, Stephen R. CoveyIf our motive is to manipulate, our communication and our leadership, in general, will prove to be ineffective over time. In recent years, since the publication of my book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, I have worked with many wonderful individuals who are seeking to improve the quality of their communications, relationships, products, services, organizations, and lives. But sadly, I see many people using a variety of ill-advised approaches. In effect, they try to apply short-cut, manipulative practices learned in academic and social systems to natural systems, the “farms” of their lives. The Problem: Alternate Centers Let me share with you some examples of the problem. Then I will suggest the principle-centered solution. Some executives justify heavy-handed means in the name of virtuous ends. They say that “business is business” and that “ethics” and “principles” sometimes have to take a backseat to profits. Many see no correlation between the quality of their personal lives at home and the quality of their communications at work. Because of the social and political environment inside their organizations and the fragmented markets outside, they think they can abuse relationships at will and still get results.