Summary: The 7 Habits Of Highly effective People By Stephen Covey

 To sum up the seven habits at a higher level, an effective person has learned to shift the paradigm from outside to inside.  They have progressed from dependence on independence to interdependence on the continuum of development.  An effective person has found the capacity for production while also increasing their capacity for production.

Book Summary: The 7 Habits Of Highly effective People By Steven Covey
Book Summary: The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People By Steven Covey


The first three habits are the habits of self-mastery or personal victory.  These habits should come first, followed by the other three habits of public victory.  The last habit is the key to proper functioning and renewal of the first six.

About Stephen Covey

Famous author Stephen Covey of Seven Habits of Highly Effect People was an internationally respected leadership authority, family expert, educator, organizational consultant, and author. He is also regarded as one of Time magazine's 25 most influential Americans.

"Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a person the way he should be and he will become what he should be and should be.

- Stephen Covey

Habit 1: Stay active

"But as long as a person can say deeply and honestly," I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday, "that person cannot say, 'I choose otherwise."

- Stephen Covey

Covey redefines several terms that we are accustomed to using. For example, you need to forget about the functionality of your dictionary. Also, you should forget how you are taught this term to your employees.

The best way to understand a paradigm is to first understand the widely accepted paradigms of human behavior.

1) Genetic determinism (who you are because of your genes)

2) Mental determinism (your childhood and upbringing shape your personality)

3) Environmental determinism (things around you make you who you are)

The prevailing view is that at our core, we are animals. Therefore, we are forced by a given stimulus to give a specific response. While there is undoubtedly some truth about this, Covey quotes psychiatrist and Holocaust victim Victor Frankl: "Between excitement and reaction, man has the freedom to choose." Therefore, we are influenced by stimuli, but we have free will.

The author defines activism (and the paradigm that comes with it) as exercising your freedom to choose self-awareness, imagination, discretion, or free will. This choice is usually between stimulus and response. This idea argues that your unhappiness and lack of success is due to you making something that way. Therefore, we have to choose our response, which is being activated. Covey's view of activism does not mitigate the effects of genetics, upbringing, and environment. However, we must recognize our responsibility for shaping our responses to these factors.

Activism is not an optimistic stance. Instead, activism means understanding the reality of a situation.

Covey points out that we all have "a circle of anxiety", representing all the things we care about. We can only affect a small part of things within the scope of our concern. Many people spend their time and energy or complain about things they cannot control. The more you focus on things outside of your control, namely, your "outside of the circle of influence", the least things you won't control. Your circle of influence will shrink. Conversely, by focusing only on those things under your control, you will find that your influence cycle will increase.

Summary: The 7 Habits Of Highly effective People By Stephen Covey
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To shift your focus to your sphere of influence, stop talking about "is" (if I only had a better job) and start saying "be" (I might be more efficient).

Habit 2: Start with the end in mind

Everything is made twice. You first create something like a mental creation. Then, as a result, it becomes a physical construct. Suppose you do not consciously choose to control your mental creations. In that case, your life is being created by default. In short, your life is shaped by random circumstances and expectations and agendas of other people. (Summary of Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill to better understand what it means, and to learn how to shape your actions based on this theory.)

Starting with an end in mind means a vision of any role in your life with your values ​​and directions clear. Because we are self-aware, we can feel when we are playing a role that does not conform to our values ​​or is the result of our active design.

At the center of your life will be the things that will be your source of protection (your intelligence), guidance (source of your direction in life), knowledge (your attitude towards life), and strength (your ability to work and accomplish).

Most people do not take the time to align their values ​​with their center. As a result, they have several alternative centers. People can be spouse-centered, family-centered, money-focused, work-focused, happiness-focused, or self-centered. You probably know someone who is an example of being centered around each of these things.

Many of these centers have sufficiently good things to focus on. However, Covey points out that it is not healthy to depend on any of these centers for protection, guidance, knowledge, or power. Instead, to be an effective person, we must be a "principle" center. Our principle center should be based on timeless, immutable values. The principal center will keep all these other centers in perspective.

“The personal power that comes from a theory-focused life is the power of a self-conscious, knowledgeable, active person, unrestricted by the attitudes, behaviors and actions of others or other circumstances and environmental influences that limit certain people. "

- Stephen Covey

The best way to ensure that your life is aligned with your principles (and the best way to track when you move away from the center) is to write a personal mission statement. Covey suggested his personal mission statement approach the roles and goals. Who do you want to be, and what do you want to achieve?

This principle is the same for families or organizations. An authentic mission statement is the first step in the process of being effective. Crucially, you need to take the time and effort to gain the right perspective and set yourself up for the next habit.

Habit 3: Put the first things first

Habit 3 is the second composition - the physical perception of habits 1 and 2. Habits 1 and 2 are known as "leadership". After establishing both these habits, you can begin to consider management. Management is at the core of habit 3.

Effective management involves getting things done first and not doing what other people want to do. From habit 1 and 2, you should have a burning "yes" inside you. This "yes" should allow you to say "no" to other things that do not align with your principles and goals.

Covey describes four levels of time management:

1) Notes and checklists (currently reducing your cognitive burden)

2) Calendar and appointment books (look forward to arranging better times in your future)

3) Daily planning using goal setting and prioritization. Most people never progress beyond this level.

4) Classification of activities and deliberate focus and exclusion of certain activities

This fourth level is where the author asks us to work. He borrows equipment for this classification from Dwight Eisenhower.

Summary: The 7 Habits Of Highly effective People By Steven Covey
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An effective time manager spends as much time as possible in quartile II. They do things that are important before they become necessary. For example, they prioritize building relationships, long-term planning, and preventive maintenance. The more time you spend in this quadrant, the less time you have to spend in Quadrant I.

In fact, most people spend most of their time in quarters I and III. They are always focusing on the things that may or may not be necessary. This approach rarely allows you to be effective. Most of us try to get out of this vicious cycle by trying to be more disciplined. However, the author argues that your problem is probably not that you lack discipline. More likely, it is simply that your priorities are not rooted in your values.

To become a quartile second self-manager, Covey suggests a series of four steps:

1) Identifying roles. Write a list of roles you want to give time and energy to fill. This may be your role as an individual (to whom you will devote time to self-improvement). Alternatively, you may have a role as a family member (spouse, son, mother, etc.). Finally, it can be your role in the job (roles that are related to your job title).

2) Selecting goals. Write one or two goals for each role that you want to accomplish next week. Since you have already gone through the process of establishing habits 1 and 2, these goals should be tied into your larger purpose and longer-term goals.

3) Scheduling. Take things beyond a step where most people meet with their scheduling usage. Therefore, plan your event once a week at a time. Scheduling will allow you to match the best times to accomplish your goals. For example, peak productivity for most people is between 2 and 5 hours after waking. One use of this principle may be 2 - 5 hours after waking up on Saturday to perform the most important quartile II activities that your job does not allow you to do during the week.

4) Adopt daily habits. Set aside a few minutes at the beginning of each day so that you keep together and revisit the values ​​that inspire you to set your goals for the day. In real life, things change. Therefore, it is important to allow your program to be fluid and adaptable while keeping your focus on your values ​​and priorities.

Habit 4: Think Win / Win

Covey is not outlining some unreasonably happy and friendly attitude. Instead, the author defines thinking/winning as a mindset that is always looking for a third alternative to the "me or you" decision. Most people live in one of the following four alternative patterns:

1) win / lose (authoritarian or egoistic)

2) lose/win (to be a pushover)

3) lose / lose (when two win / lose people negotiate)

4) Win (focused only on the results achieved for oneself)

To avoid these unproductive mindsets, we must develop the three character traits required for the win/win paradigm:

1) Integrity (the value we place on ourselves)

2) Maturity (balance between courage and thought)

3) Abundance (which comes from a sense of personal worth and security)

Try to think of your relationships as an emotional bank account. By making regular deposits, you ensure that when the time comes to withdraw funds, the emotional fund will be there.

Win/win is often challenging but is made much easier by the presence of a heavy emotional bank account.

To understand what a win/win decision is and how it is structured, Covey offers the following features:

1) Clear identification of desired results.

2) Specified parameters within which to achieve those results.

3) Resources used to accomplish results.

4) Accountability through specific standards of performance and timing for evaluation.

5) Consequences of the results of the evaluation.

The key to this chapter is that, in most difficult situations, the problem is the system, not the people. With those situations the question of how we can change the system to make it all work, many difficult problems can be solved.

Habit 5: Seek First to be Understand, Then to be Understand

"Most people don't listen with the intention of understanding; They listen with the intention of answering. "

- Stephen Covey

If you want to interact and influence people effectively, you must first understand them. This may be common knowledge, but it is contrary to the ways of most people, being understood primarily.

Again, Covey breaks things down in a step-by-step framework that makes your behavior easier to understand. Here are four levels of their listening:

1) To ignore

2) pretend to listen

3) listening carefully

4) listening to empathy

The first three are self-explanatory, but you may not have heard the term "empirical listening" before. Empathy listening involves experiencing someone else's context by "listening" to their body language, tone, expression, and feelings. It is a tremendous deposit in an emotional bank account.

Unlike listening to empathy, we listen from our frame of reference (even if we listen carefully) and have "autobiographical responses":

1) Evaluation (agree or disagree)

2) inquiry (ask questions from our frame of reference)

3) Mentoring (consult based on your own experience)

4) Interpretation (explain people's actions based on our motivations)

We should listen emphatically rather than forcing our natural autobiographical reactions on each situation. If we do this, we can get beyond a surface-level, transactional exchange and make a real impact. Stop motivating people when the need is met. Satisfy the need to understand, and you can proceed to be productive. Subsequently, the other half of this habit is being understood.

Covey refers to the Greek philosophy of ethos, passage, and logo. You should focus on your character first and then your relationships. However, both rely on your argument, which should be pursued after the first two philosophies. Most people try to drop people directly in every exchange. However, you have to understand emotionally before someone understands how your argument fits the overall picture of your point of view. Approve your communication through this framework, and you will be surprised at how efficiently you can get your point across.

This habit is powerful because it is always under your influence to understand initially, then it can be understood. When people understand each other, the door is opened to a third option - a win/win solution.

Habit 6: Synergize

Covey does not refer to the type of "synergy" that occurs when two companies merge and get better together by cutting administration costs. Additionally, he is not referring to collaborative efforts to accomplish more than alone.

Covey describes the synergy in such a way that it can be impossible to understand until you experience it. One way to describe it is when a group of people enters a simultaneous and cooperative state of flow. Covey described it as an "extreme experience" of group interaction.

You may have experience playing games, where the team is just playing. When this happens, your team plays start clicking as if you were moving as a body. Alternatively, you may experience performing as a musical group. Imagine moments where every note was perfect, and every hook was tight. Finally, you can remember an emergency where strangers came together to act with unprecedented cooperation.

These are examples of what the writer means by synergy - a shared peak experience. This experience can be made as to the culmination of the first five habits. The key here is that this type of synergy is not a rare experience. We can make it in our everyday lives. Start living at a higher level by putting the first five habits into practice and adding authenticity and openness. To work consistently at this level, you can become more effective than those who mostly dream.

Habit 7: Sharpen the saw

Remember, these are all habits. Habit is something that is practiced over and over again. Next, you need to take time to renew yourself before practice.

Covey advises you to take time to do the things that he classifies as the four dimensions of human nature:

1. Mental (reading, imagining, planning, writing)

2. Physical (exercise, nutrition, stress management)

3. Emotional (service, empathy, coherence, internal security)

4. Spiritual (value clarification, commitment, study, and meditation)

When you neglect one area, you harm the rest. Therefore, allow at least one hour of time each day for these practices.

An overall balance of these dimensions is necessary to support the other six habits. If done correctly, this practice can be a virtuous cycle of continuous personal development.

The conclusion

"It is one thing to make a mistake, and not to accept it is another thing. People will forgive mistakes, because mistakes are usually of the mind, mistakes of judgment. But people will not easily forgive heart mistakes, bad intentions, bad intentions, a proud justified cover of the first mistake. "

- Stephen Covey

The craze of the book is that you must come from a place of authenticity to be effective. You should start with your values ​​and build with each successive habit. Unfortunately, it is human nature to imitate without providing authenticity.

Once you read the book, you will understand the nuances of its meaning and its points, but it is still useful to refresh your memory in this way:

1. Be active. Adopt an attitude of responsibility for your actions, reactions, and results.

2. Start with the end in mind. Make sure that your efforts begin with establishing your principles.

3. Put first things first. Spend your time on important things, not important things.

4. Think Win-Win. To find the best solution to involve everyone, approach every interaction with a view to trying to fix the system.

5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understand. Understanding the needs of people, establishing trust, and communicating their feelings; Finalize your argument.

6. Synergies. Combine the first five habits for a high level of effective and cooperative daily interactions.

7. Sharpen the saw. Take time to maintain and renew your mind, body, emotions, and soul.

If you have feedback about this summary or would like to share what you have learned, comment below.

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