Thursday, April 5, 2012

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Got an opportunity to read Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". Stephen speaks about the basic principles and habits that will make you effective and help you achieve your goal.

Just trying to scribble the essence of the great book....

1. Be proactive

The first habit, being proactive is perhaps deeply embedded into the management psyche. It is important to focus on the long-term goals and think about the long-term consequences of our actions. Having a proactive attitude is a state of mind which makes a positive difference to almost every situation.

2. Begin with the end

For many, being successful at their chosen career does not bring any sense of real satisfaction. According to Covey, this comes because they do not begin with the end. Beginning with the end means to define the purpose of life. Only when you are clear about what you want (as your ultimate goal) you can be happy. Otherwise, you may spend your life in the pursuit of happiness.

3. First things first

‘First things first’ is nothing but time management. To get on with this, it is essential to first define what is important. Your work can be divided into the four categories – urgent and important, important but not urgent, not important but urgent and finally not important and not urgent. Completing your work according to your priority list will automatically help you manage your time.

4. Think win-win

‘Think win-win’ is again an attitude of the mind. This trains your mind to always find solutions that will truly benefit both sides of a deal/argument. The more you practice this habit, the more committed you will become to find solutions which would benefit both the parties. Stephen Covey has slightly amended the wording as Think Win-Win or No Deal. This attitude works well because it liberates people from the effort of trying to persuade the opposite party or compromise. Rather, it helps to strike a deal that will benefit both the parties.

5. Seek first to understand

‘Seek first to understand’ is not just about letting the other person speak first; it actually is the effort to understand what is being said by others. We often tend to misunderstand and misinterpret what others say. Therefore, it is important to carefully listen to and apprehend what is said in a meeting or a discussion to work on the right path.

6. Synergize

The word synergy means joint work and cooperative action. Therefore, the sixth habit talks about joint meetings and discussions between the heads of each of the parties in order to creatively brainstorm on a problem. Finding a synergistic solution means finding a solution which is better than what an individual party would have proposed. A synergistic solution can only be found if both the parties commit to the idea of working out a solution that would benefit all parties involved. In such a scenario, investing time and effort to come up with a joint solution proves fruitful.

7. Sharpen the saw

According to the seventh and the last habit, you are the saw. To ‘sharpen the saw’ is to become better, keener and more effective. Highly effective people always take time to ‘sharpen the saw’ that is to engage in activities that would enhance the different human conditions - the mind, the body and the soul.

Great book - Another must have in your library.