Living the Seven Habits
Have you ever wondered what distinguishes effective people, i.e successful people from ineffective people, i.e. unsuccessful people? Stephen R. Covey wrote a book titled, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It was a national best-seller. Here is a synopsis of the contrast between the Seven Habits of Highly Effective and Ineffective People.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People provide an anchor for our lives, enabling us to live with a sense of constancy amid change, because the habits are based on timeless, changeless, and universal principles of human effectiveness.
According to Stephen Covey, the Seven Habits are habits of effectiveness. True effectiveness is based on timeless principles that are in harmony with natural laws. Effective people are guided by their own missions, and they manage their lives according to principles. Ineffective people follow other people’s agendas, and they manage their lives around pressing matters that confront them.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective and Ineffective People
- Are Proactive– Proactive people take responsibility for their own lives. They determine the agendas they will follow and choose their responses to what happens around them.
- Begin with the End in Mind– These people use personal vision, correct principles, and their deep sense of personal meaning to accomplish tasks in a positive and effective way.
- Put First Things First– These people exercise discipline, and they plan and execute according to priorities. They also “walk their talk.”
- Think Win-Win– These people have an “Abundance Mentality” and the spirit of cooperation. They achieve effective communication and a high trust level in their relationships with others.
- Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood– Through perceptive observation and empathic listening, these non-judgmental people are intent on learning the needs , interests, and concerns of others.
- Synergize– Effective people know that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. They value and benefit from differences in others which results in creative cooperation and teamwork.
- Sharpen the Saw– Effective people are involved in self-renewal and self-improvement in the physical, mental, spiritual, and social/emotional areas of life, which enhance all areas of their life and nurture the other six habits.
- Are Reactive– Reactive people do not take responsibility for their own lives. They feel victimized- a product of circumstances, their past, and other people.
- Begin with No End in Mind– These people lack personal vision and have not developed a deep sense of personal meaning and purpose. They have not paid the price to develop a mission statement, and thus live life based on society’s values instead of self-chosen values.
- Put Second Things First– These people are crisis managers who are unable to stay focused on high-leverage tasks because of their preoccupation with circumstances, their past, or other people.
- Think Win-Lose or Lose-Win– These people have a “Scarcity Mentality” and see life as a zero-sum game. They have ineffective communication skills and low trust levels in their Emotional Bank Accounts with others, resulting in a defensive mentality and adversarial feelings.
- Seek First to Be Understood- These people put forth their points of view based solely on their autobiography and motives, without attempting to understand others first. They blindly prescribe without first diagnosing the problem.
- Compromise, Fight or Flight– Ineffective people believe the whole is less than the sum of its parts. They try to clone other people in their own images. Differences in others are looked upon as threats.
- Wear Out the Saw– Ineffective people lose their interest and get disoriented. They lack programs of self-renewal and self-improvement, and eventually lose the cutting edge they once had.
Are you a “Highly Effective” person, or an “Ineffective” person?
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David C Figueroa