The seven habits of highly effective people2 Comments
I won’t write a summary post of this book because I think I’d miss the whole point. Instead, I’ll enumerate the habits giving a brief explanation and my thoughts about it.
The richness of the book I think it’s in reading and thinking at each step how it applies to you, in fact, I think it’s impossible to no “project” yourself into what it’s said on the book, showing you your strengths and weaknesses.
The most important lesson learnt I think I got from the book is that you have control on what happens around you. Of course there are things you can’t change, but most of what affects you is inside your Circle of Influence. That means you have the power to change the things that make you unhappy, even if you think it’s somebody else’s fault.
Briefly, the seven habits are:
Proactivity means more than merely taking initiative. It means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We can subordinate feelings to values. We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen. Look at the word responsibility — “response-ability” — the ability to choose your response.
This is I think the habit that impacted the most on me, when I reviewed situations in my daily life, I recognized that things that I felt where out of my control, actually could be affected by actions and decisions I made. As the author says exist “a gap between stimulus and response“, and you can act on that gap to make your life better.
Begin with the end in mind
Talks about writing your mission, your end in each role you have in life (as professional, as father, as son, etc.) that must focus on what you want to be and to do, and on the values or principles upon which being and doing are based.
Once you have enunciated your mission, you have to always keep it in mind when taking decisions and in every aspect of your life.
I think once a person acquires this habit, he can take decisions that act accordingly to a purpose and to have a goal in mind is always a beacon to which direct our efforts.
Put first things first
This habit is about organize and execute according to priorities, it’s about acting on Important things that are not Urgent: building relationships, acknowledge new opportunities, planification, etc.
To focus on things according to priorities organize our efforts and makes more effective the use of our energy.
Is centered on conducting positive negotiations, looking for an agreement that satisfies all the parts involved and that strengthen the relationship.
Negotiation is a subject I really like, I think most of the relationships (commercial and affective) would seriously improve if we always tried to use the win-win paradigm.
Seek first to understand
This habit is about empathy, is about understanding in every relationship what’s happening to the other person to improve the effectiveness of the communication.
Again, in every relationship it’s important to understand how the other person/s feel about a subject and why, one of the most important step in relationships in general, and negotiations in particular, is to understand the other part in order to talk the same language.
This habit focuses on working together as a team, to make the whole more than the sum of the parts.
From all my experiences in team work I’d learned that the only way to get to the finish line in a productive and effectively way, it’s imperative to trust in the other team members, helping each other and delegating responsibilities, in a manner to act as a whole; so I think this habit is one of the most important.
Sharpen the saw
Finally, this habit concentrates on “… preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have — you. It’s renewing the four dimensions of your nature — physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional.”
It may sound selfish, but I agree that it’s important to give some time for oneself, because as said so many times in the book the change is made from inside-out, so being at peace with oneself is the first step to being at peace with the rest of the people.
While reading this book I found I’d several concepts from texts I’d read for some courses on university. So here are some books I know that you might find interesting:
- The Aquarian Conspiracy, Marilyn Ferguson. Talks about changing paradigms and several other subject covered in “7 Habits…”
- Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton. Negotiation.
- Getting Past No, William Ury. Negotiation.
- Irrationality : The Enemy Within, Stuart Sutherland. Taking decisions.
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