I know…I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I finally got around to reading Stephen Covey’s “international bestseller”.
This work is truly a guidebook on how to perform better in both personal and professional areas. Covey stresses that if we want to make a change, we all should first address our own personal attitudes and behaviors. Personal victories precede public victories.
- Habits 1, 2, and 3 deal with self-mastery
- Habits 4, 5, and 6 deal with teamwork, cooperation and communication
- Habit 7 incorporates all of the other habits to help an individual work on continuous improvement.
- Habit 1 – Be proactive – Principles of Personal Vision
- Habit 2 – Begin with the End in Mind – Principles of personal Leadership
- Habit 3 – Put First Things First – Principles of Personal Management
- Habit 4 – Think Win/Win – Principles of Interpersonal Leadership
- Habit 5 – Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood – Principles of Empathetic Communication
- Habit 6 – Synergize – Principles of Creative Cooperation
- Habit 7 – Sharpen the Saw – Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal
Being proactive was the Habit that resonated the most with me. The most difficult step to take is the first one, whether you’re looking for a job, starting a new business or taking out the garbage. Just do it. There are no excuses and there is no one to blame for not getting things moving. It’s your choice to take action or not.
The best advice I received when I began my consulting/coaching career was to listen. (Habit 5) Don’t be afraid to ask a question and then just sit back and listen to the answer. Don’t say anything in the silence because chances are, the other person will fill it up with additional information. Make sure you get all of the information from the person you’re communicating with before you offer a solution. Be sure that you understand what the problems are first.
And finally (Habit 7), it is important to focus on the physical, emotional, mental and social side of your being. When you neglect one of them, the others tend to suffer and your work is affected. Schedule time to take care of your physical being; schedule time to go out with your friends.
When you read the book, which Habits resonated with you? Which Habits are you using in your personal and professional lives today?