THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE - BOOK SUMMARY

THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE is one of bestseller books of all time written by Stephan R Covey. This book gives you details study of 7 habits (of successful people) which, if adopted well, will lead you to great success in personal and professional life.

THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE - BOOK SUMMARY

THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE

Excellent book written by Stephen R covey

 

THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE is one of bestseller books of all time written by Stephan R Covey. This book gives you details study of 7 habits (of successful people) which, if adopted well, will lead you to great success in personal and professional life.

 

This book was first published in 1989 and remains the bestseller since then. As its name suggests, this a book about changing ourselves to become more effective in every area of our life. Through this book we can learn 7 habits that are inculcated by most successful people in their life.

 

Let us go into the details of these habits:

(1)Habit 1 - Be Proactive - By being proactive author means being in-charge. We are in- charge of our lives. If we are successful it’s because of us. If we are struggling, it’s because of us.

The author says ‘‘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.’’

According to the author the word responsibility cab be divided in two parts response – ability i.e. ability to choose our response .Successful people identify their responsibility. They do not blame circumstances for their behavior. Their behavior (Being proactive) is a result of their own conscious choices based on their values. It is not a result of their conditions or their feelings.

According to the author ‘’Taking initiative does not mean being pushy, obnoxious, or aggressive. It does mean recognizing our responsibility to make things happen. Our basic nature is to act, and not be acted upon. As well as enabling us to choose our response to particular circumstances, this empowers us to create circumstances.’’

Proactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Influence i.e. they work on the things they can do something about. Reactive people, on the other hand, focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern. They focus on the weakness of other people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over which they have no control.

 

(2)Habit 2 - Begin with the end in MindWith this the author intends to say that when we start we must have a clear understanding of our destination. We must know where we want to go, where we are at present, what steps we should take to reach the destination. All things are created twice, first it is a mental creation and then physical (Second) creation.

 

(3)Habit 3 - Put First Things First - The author says’Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.’’This habit is all about prioritization of works, which is explained by the principle of tie quadrant. Time quadrant is illustrated as below:

 

Urgent

Not Urgent

Important

1

2

Not important

3

4

With the help of above quadrant authors shows that all the activities which  are performed by us will fall into one of the four places. According to the author people who spend their time in quadrant 3 and 4 lead irresponsible lives. Effective people stay out of Quadrants III and IV because, urgent or not, they are not important.

(4)Habit 4 – Think win-win - By this the author means that we must first try to seek agreements and relationships that are mutually beneficial. According to the author whenever win-win deal cannot be achieved, the best alternative solution will be ‘’no deal’’. The author says ‘With no deal as an option, you can honestly say, "I only want to go for win-win. I want to win, and I want you to win. I wouldn't want to get my way and have you not feel good about it, because downstream it would eventually surface and create a withdrawal. On the other hand, I don't think you would feel good if you got your way and I gave in. So let's work for a win-win.’

(5)Habit 5 – Seek First to Understand, Then to Be UnderstoodAccording to the author we must first try to understand the other person and only then we must try to be understood. Author says that this habit is one of the most important aspects of interpersonal relations. We have spent years to learns how to read, how to write and how to speak. But what about listening? We have not got ant training or education which enables us to really understand the other person’s viewpoint.

Here the author stresses upon emphatic listening which means just not only listening to what other person has said from our own viewpoint, rather it is putting ourselves in the perspective of other person, listening emphatically for both feeling and meaning.

(6)Habit 6 – Synergize - Here the author tries to explain that through trustful communication, we should find ways to leverage the differences to create a bigger perspective which is greater than the sum of individual energies. We must put together the strengths of every individual through positive teamwork to achieve the goals which nobody could have achieved individually.

(7)Habit 6 – Sharpen the saw - The last of the seven habits of highly effective people, the seventh habit is maintenance. It is the habit that tells you that with improving yourself with perseverance. You will keep your body, mind, relationships and spirituality in balance by exercise, meditation, etc. It primarily emphasizes exercise for physical renewal, good prayer (meditation, Yog asanas, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal.