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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

23 Apr

The 7 habits of highly effective people is a business and self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey first published in 1989. The seven habits are; 1. Be Proactive, 2. Begin with the end in mind, 3. Put first things first, 4. Think win-win, 5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood, 6. Synergies, 7. Sharpen the Saw.

Be Proactive: Take initiative, and responsibility for the actions you make and the consequences that follow. This statement rings true because as adults, our lives are in our own hands. This habit aligns with my personality because I understand I am in control of my own life. The decisions I make are my own responsibility as are the results. For instance, after a year off school, I decided it was time to go back. This was a decision I made on my own, followed by work I put in. My success or failure is completely determined by my own actions.

Begin with the End in Mind: Setting a goal or objective creates something to work for, an outcome you wish to obtain. Beginning with the end in mind makes moving forward that much easier because you know what you are working toward. Working backward from a goal helps me to stay on track and keep motivated.

Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: Genuinely caring about what another person has to say or their feelings is a vital communication tool. Empathy is an important personality trait we could all use more of. People can sense whether or not you are genuinely interested in what they are saying or not. To communicate efficiently, both parties must be empathetic and caring about what is being said. In the workplace I find it essential to always listen to other people’s concerns, give them my full attention and understanding, because I would expect the same respect.

Applying these habits to my educational career is of utmost importance because it will help make my goals attainable. Being proactive is vital to get started and to keep going. Taking initiative is the first step toward progress. Toward the end of the semester, when the assignments were building up along with the stress, remembering my goals and what I am working to achieve helped me to stay focused. Beginning with the end in mind is what helped me remember that I was moving forward toward that goal.

Any of these 7 habits could be applied to any and all aspect of your life. In the workplace however, some habits are more relevant than others. For instance, seek first to understand, then to be understood, this is a crucial habit because when working in a team or group you must always consider other peoples opinions, feelings or demands. Or to think win-win, because in the workplace, there are many other people and options you must consider and you always want to pick the option that will benefit everyone involved. Put first things first is another habit that is important to have in the workplace. One must be able to prioritize and understand which tasks are most urgent or important and which ones can wait, while keeping in mind deadlines and any other factors.