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7 habits of highly effective people - Book summary

posted Feb 19, 2017, 4:48 AM by David Khorram   [ updated Feb 19, 2017, 5:48 PM ]
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7 habits of highly effective people  by Stephen R. Covey 
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Habit 1: Be Proactive
1) Genetic determinism (you are who you are because of your genes)
2) Psychic determinism (your childhood and upbringing shaped your personality), and
3) Environmental determinism (the things around you make you who you are)

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Everything is created twice: first in a mental creation, then as a result becoming a physical creation.
If you don’t consciously choose to control the mental creation, the vicissitudes of your life are created by default, shaped by random circumstances and other people’s expectations and agendas.

Habit 3: Put First Things First
1) Notes and checklists (reducing your cognitive burden in the present).
2) Calendars and appointment books (looking ahead to better arrange your future time).
3) Daily planning, by means of goal-setting and prioritization. Most people never get beyond this level.
4) Categorization of activities and purposeful focus on and/or exclusion of certain ones.

Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 3 is the second creation – the physical realization of Habits 1 and 2. Habits 1 and 2 are best characterized as “leadership,” which must come first, while Habit 3 is where we begin discussing “management.”

Habit 4: Think Win/Win
1) Win/lose (authoritarian or egotistical)
2) Lose/win (being a pushover)
3) Lose/lose (when two win/lose people interact)
4) Win (focused solely on the results you get for yourself)

1) Clear identification of desired results
2) Specified parameters within which to achieve those results
3) Resources to be used to accomplish the results
4) Accountability by means of specific standards of performance and times for evaluation
5) Consequences of the results of the evaluation

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
If you want to interact effectively with people and influence them, you must first understand them.
It may be common sense, but it stands in direct contrast to most people’s modus operandi, which is to be first concerned with being understood.

1) Ignoring
2) Pretending to listen
3) Attentive listening
4) Empathic listening

In contrast to empathic listening, we tend to listen from our frame of reference (even if we are listening attentively) and have these “autobiographical responses”:
 
1) Evaluate (agree or disagree)
2) Probe (ask questions from our own frame of reference)
3) Advise (give counsel based on our own experience)
4) Interpret (explain people’s actions based on our own motivations)

Habit 6: Synergize
Despite being entitled with the business world’s most eminently cringeworthy king of buzzwords, this chapter offers enormous value if you can grasp the principle. Covey is not referring here to the type of “synergy” that occurs when two companies merge and become better together by cutting down on administration costs. He’s not even referring only to the simple act of working together to accomplish more than what you could accomplish on your own.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Remember, these are all intended to be habits, which means they have to be practiced repeatedly. In order to be able to practice these things, you need to take the time to renew yourself.

1. Mental (reading, visualizing, planning, writing)
2. Physical (exercise, nutrition, stress management)
3. Emotional (service, empathy, synergy, intrinsic security)
4. Spiritual (value clarification & commitment, study & meditation)