Friday, February 5, 2010

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Meet billiard ball number seven; 7 as in Steven Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. For me, this book has been a helpful guide on how to be more effective on both social and business aspects, hence I thought of writing about it this month's post.

Habit 1: Be Proactive
Being proactive means taking responsibility for your own choices and realizing that change starts within yourself. Reactive people focus on things they can do nothing about (Example: if the weather is good, they'll be happy. If the weather is bad, they'll be unhappy). On the other hand proactive people focus and work on things they can do something about.

Habit 2: First things first
The term First things refers to two parts:
  • Chronological time order of tasks.
  • Important tasks that have high priorities.
On both cases we should always do first things first.

Habit 3: Begin with the end in mind

I once heard a meaningful saying that is related to this habit "A man who knows where he is going, usually gets there". This means that for each task we take we should have a clear vision of the desired result, once this have been taken care of, our performance will gradually adjust to pave the way straight to our goal (This is very similar to the Spaced Repetition).

Habit 4: Think win/win
We always encounter new situations, nonetheless, there are only four possible endings:
You Win/ They Lose - good for you
You Lose/ They Win - good for them, but not for you
You Lose/ They Lose - good for nobody

You Win/ They Win - good for everybody
When you use the win/ win mentality you achieve a mutual benefit; while you score, the other party also scores. However this strategy will be preferred by the other party indeed, which will eventually lead to more of your benefit in the future.

Habit 5: Seek first to understand then to be understood
The key of doing this habit is via effective listening and putting yourself in other's shoes.

Habit 6: Synergize

This habit contradicts with what we all have learned in math, this habit states that 1 + 1 = 3. When people group together and use their knowledge, performance and results will be much better than what they could have performed as individuals.

Habit 7: Sharpen the saw

Similar to the cutting edge of the saw that needs to be sharpened regularly, in order to stay effective our skills also need continuous sharpening. Stay tuned to; this is one of the best ways to sharpen your saw :)

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People might seem to be thorough, but keep in mind that effectiveness will sure lead you to success. Here is my advice, as a start you can exercise one habit per day; this way you will finish the 7 habits demo in one week ?! The good news is that if you enjoyed reading this post you can now read Steven Covey's latest book: The 8th Habit - From Effectiveness to Greatness. How about this homework ?
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