What We Learned From Stephen Covey

What We’ve Learned From Stephen Covey

Excerpts taken from “What We Learned From Stephen Covey’s ‘7 Habits…’”

Written by Sarah Watson for Profiles International

It has been a week since Dr. Steven R. Covey, author of the 1989 best-seller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, passed away.  Dr Covey had a huge impact on both individuals and businesses with his message of success. His book has sold over 20 million copies and was named one of the most influential management books by several organizations. In 1996 Dr. Covey was listed in Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential Americans.

If you are not familiar with his book, or need a refresher, I have listed his famous 7 habits below:

Habit 1: “Be Proactive“.  Decide your own goal and go for it.  Covey wrote, “Self-awareness enables us to stand apart and examine even the way we ‘see’ ourselves… It affects not only our attitudes and behaviors, but also how we see other people.  It becomes our map of the basic nature of mankind.”

Habit 2:Begin With the End in Mind”. Always be thinking of your end goal so you keep focused on what you are working towards.  Covey wrote: “This habit is based on the principle that all things are created twice.  There’s your mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.

Habit 3:  “Put First Things First“. Prioritize tasks based on importance, not urgency. Then execute accordingly.

Habit 4: “Think Win-Win”. Look for solutions that are beneficial to everyone involved.  According to Covey, “This is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions.  Win-win means agreements are mutually beneficial, mutually satisfying…”

Habit 5: “Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood”. Listen to other people and really try to understand what they are saying.  In turn, they will give you the same courtesy and respect you have shown them.  Covey wrote “We have such a tendency to rush in, to fix things up with good advice. But we often fail to take time to diagnose, to really, deeply understand the problem first.. This principle is the key to effective interpersonal communication.”

Habit 6: “Synergize”. Work as a team to accomplish things you could not do alone.  This way you can get more insights, learning and growth.

Habit 7: “Sharpen the Saw”. To be more effective over time, make sure to keep your body and mind strong. Exercise, pray or meditate, get involved in community service, read, and do the things you enjoy. Covey wrote: “It’s renewing the four dimensions of your nature – physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional”.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” – Stephen Covey

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