The ‘7 Habits’ Reviewed – 7 Ways to Increase Your Effectiveness

In his highly acclaimed book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ Steven R. Covey shares very powerful lessons in personal change.

covey coverAccording to Covey, personal growth happens in three stages:

  • Dependence: Generally, in this first stage we are all dependent on other people. And without personal development, we would stay stuck at this stage.
  • Independence: Through personal development, we develop greater independence and responsibility for our actions. However, we are not yet quite as effective as we could be.
  • Interdependence: In this stage, we realize that, although we are mostly self-reliant, we need other people to accomplish our goals. So we embrace the idea of working together for better results.

Fundamentals are the key to success. Stephen Covey is a master of them. Buy his book, but most important, use it!” ~Anthony Robbins

While I highly recommend you buy and read Stephen Covey’s book for yourself, it is my intention to summarize the most important aspects of the timeless principles in the weeks and blog posts to come, for your convenience.

As a result of applying these principles to your personal and professional life, you may expect to learn how to…

  • Execute critical priorities with laser-like focus and careful planning
  • Build strong, meaningful, trust-based relationships
  • Gain new confidence & tools for effective change
  • Effectively influence, engage, and collaborate with others
  • Preserve and enhance the greatest asset you have—You

So let’s get started with an overview of the 7 habits, what they mean and which principles are addressed:

#1: Be proactive

Assume responsibility, focus and act on what can be controlled and influenced, instead of what can’t

Principles of Personal Vision

#2: Begin with the end in mind

 Define clear measures of success and a plan to achieve them

Principles of Personal Leadership

#3: Put first things first

 Prioritize and achieve your most important goals, instead of constantly reacting to urgencies

Principles of Personal Management

#4 = Think win/win

Collaborate more effectively with others by building high-trust relationships of mutual benefit

Principles of Interpersonal Leadership

#5 = Seek first to understand, then to be understood

 Influence others by developing a deep understanding of their needs and perspectives

Principles of Empathic Communication

#6 = Synergize

Develop innovative solutions that leverage diversity and satisfy all key stakeholders

Principles of Creative Cooperation

#7 = Sharpen the saw

Increase motivation, energy, and a healthy work/life blend by making time for renewing activities

Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal

In between now and my next blog post I invite you to assess for yourself how good you already are at the 7 habits above. How would you rank yourself on a scale from 1 to 10?

Talk to you soon!

2 thoughts on “The ‘7 Habits’ Reviewed – 7 Ways to Increase Your Effectiveness

  1. It is one of my favorite books of all time. It has graced my bookshelf since the day I attended one of his events and went home with a copy personally autographed. Thanks for the reminder to take it off the bookshelf and reacquaint myself with some of his wisdom. I like the way you have broken down the points and have challenged us to evaluate where we are on a scale from 1-10. Am not quite ready to answer the challenge but it certainly is a guide to use. Thanks.

    • Thanks for your positive comments, Roswyn! I appreciate them and am happy to read that you’re inspired to look at Stephen Covey’s book again. His material is sure helpful and inspiring. In case you’re interested in diving a bit more in to the matter, I’ll be facilitating the RTN Business Training on Monday, November 3rd from 7:30pm – 8:30pm with the “7 Habits” as the topic. It would be great to ‘see’ you there!

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