Practicing from Books: What Are the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?

Life doesn’t come with instructions that help you stick to a specific path to success. Achieving effectiveness on a personal and professional level takes a lot of sweat, patience and sometimes, second-guessing yourself. Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is one tool individuals have been utilizing for almost three decades as a guide to creating success.

No one has everything figured out, which is why mistakes are common for everyone. Maybe you haven’t read the book and are wondering. So, what are the 7 habits of highly effective people and how can they influence your life? Or, you might have an idea of these practices but don’t remember how to actualize them. Here is a summary to answer the question- what are the 7 habits of highly effective people for anyone seeking inspiration for the Covey Framework to success?

what are the 7 habits of highly effective people

What Are the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a set of tenets that Stephen Covey put down in a book in 1989. He researched over 200 pieces of literature on the topic of success. Then, he concluded that, over time, people have come to view success differently. Writings had moved from identifying success based on character ethic to personality ethic. The former refers to success that is based on character-oriented principles like courage, integrity, and patience while the latter focuses on individual attitudes.

To offer an understanding of what are the 7 habits of effective people, Covey first explains that your responses shape your future. Your perceptions influence how you respond to situations and consequently, all your choices. When addressing the seven habits, the author divides them into stages.

  • Habits 1, 2, and 3 are in the dependence phase where humans rely on others for help;
  • Habits 4, 5, and 6 fall under independence, which is the stage where individuals make their own decisions;
  • The last one is the interdependence paradigm, which requires people to combine efforts for a common goal.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People That Might Boost Your Business

1. Proactive

The first answer to the what are the 7 habits of highly effective people question is doing something. Stephen Covey explains that a person’s future follows the choices he/she makes. You chose to be courageous, afraid, happy, or sad. Being proactive means taking charge of the things that happen in your life so that you can impact their outcomes.

On the other hand, reactive people find ways to assign fault to anything or anyone around them; parents, genetics, or conditions. Many aspects of everyday life like conditioning, environments, and circumstances can dictate the course of your life but only if you let them. Proactive people don’t blame their ineffectiveness on the things around them. They decide to approach life with a positive stance. The phrases, I can, I will, and I am characterize a proactive person.

2. Begin with the End in Mind

Whatever plan you cook up to guide you through your personal and professional life should aim specific goals. Envisioning your future self may not be simple, especially when you are just starting out, but it is critical. It is a waste to invest energy, time, and other resources into pursuing something that turns out wasn’t that essential to the bottom-line in the long run.

Covey suggests that you use your imagination to picture the end. A Personal Mission Statement is a great tool to help you stay on task.

3. Put First Things First

Prioritizing your objectives is the third part of addressing the what are the 7 habits of highly effective people question. Discipline is hard to achieve and sustain with all the distractions most people have around them.

Separating the trivial from the important and allocating enough time where it’s needed will get you closer to becoming a highly effective individual. Look at your responsibilities, both professional and personal, then divide them into Urgent/Important and Not Urgent/Not Important, and start from there.

4. Think Win/Win

Aim to establish agreements that benefit both parties. Whether it’s a personal relationship or business partnership, strive for win/win situations. Winning on your part doesn’t mean someone else has to lose or vice versa.

The 7 habits of highly effective people explain that three character traits help in negotiating mutually beneficial arrangements. These are integrity, maturity, and abundance mentality. Additionally, consideration and courage make it less complicated to work out favorable odds.

5. Seek First to Understand, Then To Be Understood

When seeking to understand what are the 7 habits of highly effective people, interpersonal relationships are part of the equation. Developing these relationships is not always simple. This happens particularly in the workplace where there is so much diversity.

Covey’s advice is to pay attention first, so you not only hear what they are saying but comprehend as well. Being an effective person means knowing how to handle all sorts of interactions. That begins by adopting the perspective of the other party, rather than your own.

6. Synergize

Making a team function is not always straightforward, but effective people need to learn how to. Open-mindedness is one trait that is crucial in creating synergy, whether in your personal life or work relationships. After knowing how to develop win/win situations and understanding before being understood, it becomes less challenging to operate as one organism.

Trust and cooperation are qualities that make it possible to develop synergy between individuals with conflicting perspectives.

businessman in cafe

7. Sharpen the Saw

Just learning what are the 7 habits of highly effective people is not enough; you must keep renewing yourself. Life comes in different stages, and each one requires a certain production capacity from an individual. To be capable of meeting the demand, the spiritual, mental, physical, and social parts of your life, you must be up to the task.

Staying sharp at all times gives you the power to practice the other six habits of effective people. By renewing yourself, you prepare to tackle the numerous challenges that will present themselves during the journey.

Wrap Up

When you comprehend what are the 7 habits of highly effective people, creating your own blueprint for success will be much easier. Becoming an effective person doesn’t happen overnight. Therefore, this framework provides viable solutions for handling some of the issues along the way.

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