Would you like to more effective and successful in your life? “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is a highly influential book by Stephen Covey, an American leadership consultant. Although the book is mainly aimed at business managers, the habits it advocates really apply to everyone. So whilst reading the whole book is highly recommended, it’s good for everyone to have some knowledge about the seven habits that Covey advocates:
1. Be pro-active
Being effective begins with acknowledging that it’s up to you to take control of your own life – and to decide how you are going to react to the world around you. As Covey says: “It’s not what happens to us but how we respond to what happens to us that hurts us”. This is also the core principle of coaching.
2. Begin with the end in mind
Knowing what you want in life is the first step towards achieving it. This seems obvious but it is amazing how many people can’t answer the question “What do you want to happen?”. They know what they find annoying and that they want things to be better – but can’t say exactly how they would like things to be.
3. Put first things first
This is all about distinguishing between things that may be urgent but are not very important (answering every e-mail as soon as it arrives) and things that may not be urgent but are very important (such as planning your next career move). Being busy is very different from being effective!
4. Think win/win
Lots of people live their lives on the principle that that they can only regard themselves as a winner if they “beat” others along the way. But Covey argues that the most effective people are those who think we can all be winners when we work together and recognise each other’s strengths and aspirations. The best leaders want the people they lead to all feel successful.