The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Revisited

If you’re like me, summer is a time for catching up on the business and self-help books you’ve been meaning to read all year. But what do you remember about the books you read last year, let alone the ones you read over a decade ago? Stephen R. Covey’s bestseller – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is still considered one of the 25 most influential business management books.

habits, lego building blocks

Can you recall any of the habits?

Here’s a quick refresh on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

1. Be proactive

The first habit is about taking responsibility for your life, your choices and your behaviour. Proactive people don’t blame genetics or circumstances. They take the initiative. Instead of worrying about conditions over which you have no control, focus your time and energy on things that are within your circle of influence.

2. Begin with the end in mind

The carpenter’s rule is: measure twice, cut once. The second habit is about vision and planning. Begin each day with a clear vision of what you want to achieve. If you don’t have a plan, your life will be shaped by circumstances and other people.

3. Put first things first

The third habit is about identifying what’s most important in your life, organizing/managing your time accordingly, and learning to say no to other things.

4. Think win-win

Life is not a zero-sum game. Others do not have to lose for you to win. Be empathetic, considerate and sensitive in seeking solutions that are mutually beneficial.

5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood

Most people listen with the intent to reply and get their point across, not to understand. Learn to listen emphatically.

6. Synergize

This is the habit of cooperation, teamwork and open-mindedness. It embodies the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Value differences of opinion as a strength, not a weakness.

7. Sharpen the saw

The 7th habit is about continuous growth and self-improvement in 4 areas: physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual. Its about learning to recharge, grow and build resilience so that you are better equipped to take on life’s challenges.

Interested in building your skillset as a highly effective person?

Learn how to be more proactive and expand your circle of influence in a 1-day Building Your Leadership Influence workshop – coming January 14, 2019.