Becoming more effective
Stephen R. Covey gives advice on effectiveness and personal management in his book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’.
Firstly, he advises people to be proactive, saying that acting reactive diminishes freedom. Reactive people often find themselves in a ‘victim position’ where outside factors seemingly deny them the way to success. However, proactive people take responsibility for their actions and shortcomings and find a way to change them.
His second advise is to always have a clear goal since this provides perspective. Identifying your own values can help make the path to the end goal more clear and working towards it will make decisions more effective.
Thirdly, he claims that setting priorities is important and concentrating on the most urgent task is vital for good personal management. Saying no to other activities can help make room for the important things, however Covey also says scheduling can help make this process more effective.
The first three principles are interesting because they focus on self-improvement and gaining more independence.
As a fourth principle, Covey say that it is important to think of everyone and success should not be at the cost of other people. Creating win-win situations is beneficial for everyone and helps build better relationships.
The fifth principle that Covey mentions it understanding and being understood. Truly understanding things thoroughly is the key to successful communication according to Covey. Listening emphatically is imperial for this and helps avoid misunderstandings.
The sixth advice that Covey provides is to create synergies, which come from positive cooperation between people and increase the overall creativeness compared to working alone. It is also a win-win scenario where people not only value their differences but embrace them. It helps with out-of-the-box thinking.
The previous three habits all focus on communication and team work, which are important parts of being effective. Working alone can be good but working in a team is something that is unavoidable in the long run so it is good to focus on learning good communication and collaboration skills.
The last thing Covey advises is to take time to recharge since it is vital to good and effective performance. This can be done by eating healthily, getting enough sleep and getting plenty of exercise. For the mental aspect of well-being Covey suggests meditation, communicating with nature or enjoying art.
They last habit is a about self-improvement and how to make it a lifestyle, not just a phase. It has elements of all the other habits and is integral to being effective.
What is interesting about the book is that Covey thinks people perceive the world very differently and outward success does not mean someone is effective. In order to achieve success, people should not take shortcuts since these will not leave long-lasting effects but are simply a short-term solution for a bigger issue.
I personally liked that his tips are easy to implement for everyone there is no explanation needed as to why a certain habit would make you more effective. Implementing Covey’s habits could be beneficial for everyone; however, it is not a guarantee to automatically work better and more efficiently. The things he suggests are helpful but not a miracle cure. However, they could definitely help people become better.