According to Stephen R. Covey’s bestseller book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, he presented a framework for personal achievement which have been highlighted in our article below.
Stephen R. Covey believes that, the way we see the world is entirely based on each individual’s personal perceptions, and that in order to change a given situation, we must first of all change ourselves, and in order to change ourselves, we must be able to change our perceptions.
According to him, these traits can help you improve your personal and work-output and life-balance. However, as much as we will be stating how you can get best out of these habits and why you should not always stick to them. The habits are as follows;
- Be Proactive: being proactive entails being eager, enthusiastic or simply have a can-do spirit. Often, we take this to mean that you should be the first to finish, a task or activity, but it means being able to proffer solution to things that are still to be discovered. Whether you were appointed as the team leader or not, you should learn to be proactive. Take control of the situation by initiating positive change in the group and the organization at large.
- Start with a goal in mind: this part could be tricky, as a lot of people seldom loose the end goal most times before they get midway. It is a trait that can be found only in a focused and disciplined person. Only an indecisive person will start a life journey without a destination (i.e. goal either in their career, work, project or personal lives) and they are bound to make costly mistakes.
- Put First Things First: this simply means prioritize. Appropriate prioritization can only be achieved by someone that has taken time to carefully carve out a plan of executing and arriving at his desired goal. Effective people don’t just do things as they come. They make step-by-step plans with stated achievements, so even if at the end of each step, if the desired outcome is not reached, they know where the problem is and the solution is sought immediately.
- Think win/win: this could be easily mistaken for the selfish “only me attitude” but it’s the contrary. It means finding ways to build interdependent relationships that are mutually beneficial to all parties involved.
- Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood: this habit talks about active listening. Highly effective individuals are great listeners, they listen to undersand not to respond. This is so because they are always very curious. As an individual, you would tend to experience improved performance when you always take your time to get a clear and definite understanding of the situation before giving your input.
- Synergize: This is the habit of creative cooperation. It is teamwork, open-mindedness, and the adventure of finding new solutions to old problems. But it doesn’t just happen on its own. It’s a process, and through that process, people bring all their personal experience and expertise to the table.
- Sharpen the Saw: there is no such thing as a perfect individual and you cannot learn all these traits in one day. It takes time and continuous practice. Decide what is truly important and distinguish them from that which is urgent but not important. Half the time people spend is on things that are urgent but not important, like a ringing phone, something that is pressing, something that is proximate or popular, but it may not be important at all. You must learn to say no to the unimportant so you can say yes to the important ones, and endeavor to try as much as possible to keep practicing
No matter how competent you are as a person you will not have sustained a lasting success unless you are able to effectively lead yourself, influence, engage, and collaborate with others and continuously improve and renew your capabilities.
Though these seven habits of highly effective people are at the heart of team, organizational, and personal effectiveness. Nowadays, the patience to follow each step diligently is somewhat seen as a waste of productive time. In one sentence, people want to get-up and go, instead of waiting around for a colleague/team member to do this and that.
Also, it is time consuming to be waiting on a team member or colleague to catch up, most employees want to do their things their own way (which they see as faster than having to wait and teach another person before facing the obstacle together to surmount it.
Essentially, to be an effective/successful individual even if it’s just for your own self, you must have majority if not all the discussed habits. Having it in mind that we are human beings and as social animals we are bound to interact with people. To be a successful individual you must possess a high level of human interaction. Think about it!