The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

According to the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey, those who achieve great success have developed certain habits which they put to practice in their day to day lives.  The author seems to suggest that these habits can be acquired through practice. These habits are as follows:

Being Pro-Active

The author argues that people’s behavior depends on their decisions and not their circumstances as many believe. In addition, he cites three categories of major values in life namely experiential, creative, and attitudinal. Experiential values are those which we acquire through our life experiences, while creative values arise as a result of personal creativity. Attitudinal values depend on how we respond to our circumstances. According to Covey, being proactive means confronting reality with a belief that we have the ability to influence it.

Personal Leadership and Management

The author recommends that people should start every task with the desired outcome in mind. This calls for the formulation of a private mission statement and a philosophy so that one can focus on his or her goals. This also helps to clarify the desired outcomes and the core values upon which the desired outcomes will be achieved. He contends that a personal mission statement helps people to stay on course despite changes in the external environment. Further, he recommends that the core values upon which our lives are based must be profound and basic truths that are cross-cutting. Development of a personal mission statement can be done by visualizing the desired outcomes.

Empathic Listening

The author argues that the most effective people tend to be empathic listeners. Listening is important for understanding other peoples’ problems and communicating solutions. Empathic listening involves not only understanding what another person is saying, but also understanding his feelings and situation from his or her point of view. By so doing, it becomes possible to offer a comprehensive solution to another person’s problems, which tends to promote good relationship. The author advises that a person should examine a problem first before suggesting a solution. He discourages authoritative leadership where the leaders do not take time to understand their subordinates’ problems in a deeper way.

Balanced Self Regeneration

The author claims that the most effective people are those who take some time to replenish their physical, spiritual, mental, and social aspects of life. Firstly, the physical aspect entails maintaining good body health through physical exercise, taking adequate rest, and through relaxation. Secondly, the spiritual aspect involves reexamining our value system to determine its validity and to get inspiration. Thirdly, the mental aspect involves cultivating one’s mind by acquiring more knowledge and ideas so as to broaden our mind. The final aspect is the social aspect, which is about creating and maintaining healthy social relationships.

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