Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
21 December 2021
classic Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – here’s a quick
review to set up your new year in 2022.
The first three
habits are focused on Self Mastery – working on yourself.
Habit 1: Be proactive.
Take responsibility for your reaction
to your own experience, respond positively and improve the situation.
Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind.
Know what you want in the future
and plan for it. Do not just act, think first.
Habit 3: Put first things first.
Covey talks about what is
important versus what is urgent. This quadrant is quite powerful when deciding
how to plan your day or week ahead. This quadrant is derived from The Eisenhower Matrix which is summarised well here.
- Quadrant I - Urgent and important (Do) – important deadlines and crises
- Quadrant 2 - Not urgent but important (Plan) – strategic planning, professional development, networking and exercise
- Quadrant 3 - Urgent but not important (Delegate) – distraction or busy work with deadlines
- Quadrant 4 - Not urgent and not important (Eliminate) – frivolous distractions like social media and video games
Your focus should be on Quadrant’s 1 and 2.
The next three
habits are focused on Interdependence – working with others.
Habit 4: Think win–win.
Always seek a mutually beneficial
solution – or win-win – in your relationships. This shows the other person that
you value and respect them – and is ultimately better for long term
Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be
using empathetic listening to genuinely understand a person, you can encourage
them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to be influenced. This
creates an atmosphere of caring, and positive problem-solving.
Habit 6: Synergise.
Work with people to combine their strengths of people
through positive teamwork. The allows you to achieve goals that no one could
have done alone.
The final habit is
about continually striving for improvement in your personal and professional
Habit 7: Sharpen the saw.
Covey says that one should balance
and renew one's resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable,
long-term, effective lifestyle.
continually working on the 7 Habits, Covey encourages an individual to
continually grow and increase their capacity to lead and contribute across all
areas of their lives.
important takeaway from Covey’s books is the concept of ‘abundance mentality’ or ‘abundance mindset’. Covey coined this
phrase to encourage a way of thinking in which a person believes there are
enough resources and successes to share with others. The book
is well worth a read, even just to explore this important concept further.