The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey

Learn all about the 7 habits that will make you highly effective, making you shape your life the way you want.

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There is no doubt that most people want to be effective at work, marriage, health, and in every area of their lives. In the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey shows the guidelines to reach the highest level of efficiency.

But to reach that level you have to change your habits by changing your interior first. To help you do it, Stephen Covey introduces seven behaviors that highly effective people use to achieve fulfillment, how they build their character and shape their lives on top of extreme effectiveness.

Want to discover what are these 7 habits? Stay with us in this summary and learn everything about it!

The book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” was first published in 1989 and is still considered one of the most influential business books of the twentieth century.

The work presents a valuable and useful manual for the personal and professional development of anyone, has sold over 25 million copies and has been translated into 38 languages.

By the way, if you want to know all the details of the book, the complete edition has 455 pages.

Who was Stephan R. Covey?

Stephen Covey was one of the most influential Americans, recognized as a great authority in spreading the principles of leadership and life to organizations and people.

In addition, he was co-founder and vice president of Franklin Covey Co., a leading consulting firm. Covey is also the bestselling author of the books:

Why should I read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”?

It is recommended to every person who wants to inspire and motivate people, since the book will help you set goals in life so that you can be the protagonist of your own career.

In addition, it is a practical guide recommended for anyone who wants to have small habits, but with a great impact on routine, becoming more effective in all areas of life.

What can I learn from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”?

  • When you master your insides, you can master your surroundings;
  • Change takes place internally, i.e. to change your behavior you need to change your personality;
  • Proactive people have thoughts and actions in advance and make the best decisions with available resources;
  • Effective people achieve the right goal, not just any goal;
  • Win-win relationships must be established;
  • It is not enough just listen to people, we must listen empathetically, as this can bring innovative ideas;
  • You must constantly sharpen your habits, which are actually your body, soul, mind, and heart;
  • Creating synergy makes the union of two parts greater than the sum of these separate parts.

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[Book Summary] The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey

Be Proactive

After all, what is a proactive person? According to Covey, a person who is driven by values and able to make their own decisions in the scenarios to which they are subjected can be considered proactive.

These people share some well-developed traits, such as self-awareness, imagination, and free will.

When you develop these characteristics, you become much more resistant to everything you are exposed to. That is, you are less shaken by the scenario in which you are inserted, because only you can create a new scenario from the present moment, bringing responsibility to you.

For the author, one of the most effective ways to be proactive is through imagination and affirmation, that's right! You should stop being a reactive person who only lives immersed in the complaint and doesn’t take due responsibility because prefer to place the blame on others.

Sure, complaining about everything is much easier than acting, but that doesn't solve anyone's problem. So we have to be proactive and hard-working to focus on possible things over which we have control.

In this way, you model yourself, getting the ability to do something more, expressing the commitment, before internal, to more people.

Start with the goal in mind

Many people spend much of their lives doing meaningless things and don’t look for the right goal. This makes your wishes only dreamlike. To change it, you have to reach the goal and reach the right goal, otherwise, it makes no sense.

Have you ever wondered what you would like people to say about you at your funeral?

Stephen Covey discusses this question a lot in the course of this chapter, after all, it seeks to analyze what our real purpose is. For him, we must develop personal leadership because with it we can understand our real goals better.

In addition, Stephen suggests that we do the planning and only then the actions. A nice tip is to always visualize the result before the action.

To help you with this task, here we have some advice from the book:

  • Define your personal mission. It must contain your values, objectives, and principles;
  • Imagine and visualize the result before performing;
  • Memorizing your goal is critical because every day you have to wake up to do something that will help you achieve it;
  • Write down your goal and make a commitment to yourself.

First and foremost

Time is a scarce resource, so we have to manage it as best we can. Therefore, you have to be responsible for steering your boat towards your goal, clearly defining what the important priorities are.

A big common mistake is to say “yes” to everything and everyone. This ends up taking you closer or further from your goal. So learn to say no when you need it, that is, when something will not contribute to your ultimate desire.

Remember that being busy doesn’t mean being productive. To be productive and effective is to do things that bring us closer to our ultimate goals and are consistent with our mission.

Think Win - Win

If we stop to think, we come to the conclusion that most relationships or even negotiations we watch or do always end with two dissatisfied people or just one “winner”.

It is very rare to see both sides satisfied, and this is one of the characteristics of highly effective people, after all, an effective person doesn’t see a relationship as a competition.

Stephen Covey says to keep in mind that this action only brings gains to both sides, and you can establish strong allies for the future.

Seek first to understand, then to be understood

The author presents a very true scenario these days because with each passing day most people want to learn how to speak well in public and to communicate effectively.

But it is no use being a good transmitter if there are few who have the ability to hear and understand what the other person has to say. In most cases, we listen to respond and not understand.

So, try to listen first and then talk. And it is much more than just hear: you need to listen empathetically, with the ability to fully understand what they need and why.

That way, understanding both parties, you can help each other, create win-win solutions, also a win-win relationship, and outline the goals.

Create Synergy

Do you know the true meaning of synergy? It can be understood when the result of the union of the two parts is greater than the addition of these separate parts.

A good example is when we can achieve creative cooperation, causing differences between people to generate new results.

In this way, teamwork makes your weaknesses be supplied by the strengths of your teammates, their power is multiplied and thus we achieve a good result by combining the best parts.

So, treat people with understanding and respect, after all, they have different strengths and weaknesses.

Tune the Instrument

In this last step, the author Stephen Covey shows how much we need to pay special attention to our habits. To better understand, Stephen tells the story of a man who was sawing a log. The work progressed slowly, and the harder he worked, the less he cut.

Then one person suggested that he pause to sharpen the saw, but he said he was too busy and could not do it.

In fact, this happens all the time with our tools. Therefore, we need to be able to see when the time is right to stop to sharpen our habits. Many believe that overworking is the secret, but the secret is that you must work smart and better.

To sharpen your habits and get the best results from them, here are 4 key areas to focus on, according to the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”:

  1. Physical: Exercise often, at least 30 minutes a day, and have a balanced and proper diet;
  2. Spiritual: Praying, meditating, and listen to music, as well as being a good time to revise your values;
  3. Mental: perform activities such as reading, writing, and planning;
  4. Social / Emotional: Empathy, listening, and thinking win-win is critical.

These are small things you can do in your day to day life and the results are certain in the long run. Therefore, devote at least one hour a day to these 4 areas.

Books about development of habits and strategies

In the book Atomic Habits, James Clear states that major changes in habits are built by small improvements. From this, the book is grounded in the four laws of behavior change, which are: make the habit obvious, make the habit attractive, make the habit easy, and make the habit satisfying.

In What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School, Mark H. McCormack also talked about the win-win strategy. According to him, the ideal result for any negotiation is that both sides win because if one side is more satisfied than the other, the results of the negotiation are unexpected.

Finally, Charles Duhigg, in The Power of Habit, states that researchers have found that the brain begins to look at the reward that a habitual routine provides. Finding the right suggestion sends the brain a subconscious desire that triggers the cycle of habits, leading to routine and reward.

How can I apply the ideas from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”?

  • Be true to yourself in your actions, and be proactive;
  • Set goals that make you happy both personally and professionally;
  • Focus on your priorities and what brings the return to your goal;
  • The best negotiation is when both parties are satisfied;
  • Listen empathetically to people, and be able to fully understand what they need and why;
  • Two heads together are better than one: opt for creative cooperation;
  • Tune your instruments and habits so that you get better every day, after all, this process never ends.

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Now you know everything you need to do to be a highly effective person. Are you ready to become that person? Did you find this content useful? Leave your feedback in the comments!

In addition, if you got interested in the book’s full edition, don’t hesitate to click on the image below and get it:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey