Insights (Essays)

Insights (Essays) July 2012

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Steven R. Covey

This book by first introduces the concept of Paradigm Shift and prepares the reader for a change in mindset. It helps the reader understand that there exists a different perspective, a viewpoint that maybe different from his own and asserts that two people can see the same thing and yet differ with each other. Once the reader is prepared for this, it introduces the seven habits, in a proper order.

Each chapter is dedicated to one of the habits,[3] which are represented by the following imperatives:

Independence or Self-Mastery

The First Three Habits surround moving from dependence to independence (i.e., self mastery):

  • Habit 1: Be Proactive

Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life's principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow.

  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life. Create a mission statement.

  • Habit 3: Put First Things First

Prioritize, plan, and execute your week's tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluate whether your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you toward goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that were elaborated in Habit 2.

Interdependence

The next three have to do with Interdependence (i.e., working with others):

  • Habit 4: Think Win-Win

Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a "win" for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way.

  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving.

  • Habit 6: Synergize

Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership.

Self Renewal

The Last habit relates to self-rejuvenation:

  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes on exercise for physical renewal, prayer (mediation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to the society for spiritual renewal.

(The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages since first publication, which was marked by the release of a 15th anniversary edition in 2004. Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls "true north" principles of a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless.[1] In August 2011, Time listed Seven Habits as one of "The 25 Most Influential Business Management Books".[2])

This commentary taken from Wikipedia.org.

About the Author(s)

Mr. Covey passed away July 16, 2012

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