The seven habits of highly effective people

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Based on Covey S (1989) The seven habits of highly effective people: Simon and Shuster


Covey suggest that highly effective people have seven main habits which they develop in maturing from a stage of childlike dependency to individual independence and then, for the few, to an appreciation of the need for participatory interdependence. They are illustrated and explained in the following diagram and table.

You can rate your own level of effectiveness by considering where you would place yourself on the following set of scales.

In each case 1 = a real need to develop this, through to 5 = this is fundamental to the way I already lead my life.
. 1 2 3 4 5
1. Be proactive - you are in control rather than being a victim . . . . .
2. Begin with the end in mind - live by values - you know what you personally want out of life and do not get distracted . . . . .
3. Put first things first - prioritising and controlling - have good personal time management - focus on the non-urgent, important things . . . . .
4. Think win/win - avoid creating losers. See challenges rather than problems, and trust others . . . . .
5. Understand and then be understood - listen carefully to make sure you understand the other personís point of view - listen for feelings as well as meaning . . . . .
6. Synergise - recognize and respect different points of view and use them as driving forces to produce the best solutions and enhance mutual awareness and respect . . . . .
7. Sharpen the saw - this is about personal renewal, growth and learning and has four dimensions - physical, social, spiritual and mental . . . . .

 

Habits 1-3 are essential precursors to allowing the ensuing processes:
  • genuine empathy: really understanding the other point of view
  • identifying and agreeing the issues and concerns
  • agreeing that what results constitutes a mutually acceptable solution
  • agreeing action to achieve the results

Note: having filled the boxes you might care to share the findings with a critical friend by way of using them as a mirror to help you move towards deeper understanding of your own habits.


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