7 habits was first published in 1989, the book gives you 7 habits that teach you to be more effective in life and business.
For over 20 years this book has sat on many a shelf having sold more than 15 million copies,
Hopefully it has instilled some basic principles needed for success for those that have taken the time to read it.
The principles or ‘habits’ it teaches are still relevant today, especially in this ‘information’ age where this book can give us a framework of how to apply this information and be more effective.
In brief here is a quick summary of the 7 habits.
The first 3 habits and the last one are intrinsic to you as an individual to be successful, habits 4-6 look at how you relate to and work with others.
1 Be Proactive.
This habit encourages us to take action and take control of our lives rather than being reactive and passive to our environment. Essentially we need to learn how to create our own future and take action. Also the concept of circle of influence is discussed where we can learn to apply maximum effort to what we can influence.
2 Begin with an end in mind.
The second habit is all about goal setting, we always need clear goals in life otherwise we go round and round in circles.
Goal setting gives you focus to your efforts and direction, once you have decided to be proactive having a clear goal is essential.
3 Put first things first.
The third habit tells us to do the most important job first, this sounds obvious however it’s amazing how much time you can waste in your efforts if you don’t apply Pareto’s law doing what needs to be done first.
4. The fourth habit is think Win / Win.
Covey looks at ways we can find mutual benefit in all relationships so that we start to work together towards mutual goals.
5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood.
This habit is all about understanding the other person and their situation before we look to giving advice.
Understanding others and listening especially before answering is a key to not just building rapport but being able to work with that person for mutual benefit.
This is working with people in creative cooperation, where the end result of this collaboration is greater than the two parts.
We need to value differences in people and their varied insights in order to develop new approaches to problems.
7. The 7th habit is Sharpen the Saw.
A bit metaphorical yet it means to continually renew and keep in order your tools with self-improvement by looking after yourself, maintaining your skills and health and the ability to do what you have to do.
I found the book insightful, long-winded at 375 pages but worth the effort.