Summary of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

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lIn “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen Covey helps people become more effective when dealing with the significant challenges of life. In details, Stephen Covey provides guidelines for managing time and balancing studies, social life, job, and other priorities. The first three habits are focused on personal victories. They teach how to develop self-mastery and dependence. Those three habits are: Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, and Put First Things First. Habits four, five, and six address interdependence, the success in working with others. Habit four: Think Win-Win, habit five: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood, and habit six: Synergize. The seventh habit: Sharpen the Saw, talks about building one’s personal production capability through self-renewal and continual improvement. After reading this book, I was encouraged to think about what I can do to develop myself and become the best of me. Therefore, I have decided to take the following steps to improve myself: improve my communication and teamwork skills; keep myself focused on what matters the most; be being proactive; and take the time to renew myself and nurture my body, mind, heart, and spirit. My first recommendation to myself is to improve my communication and teamwork skills. Habit four: Think Win-Win and habit six: Synergize, made me realize the importance of teamwork. Habit four taught me that teamwork and long-term relationships require cooperation by seeking mutual benefit. For every problem, there exists a solution that allows everyone to succeed. According to the book, most people learn to base their self-esteem on comparisons and competition with others. They regard their success as the failure of someone else. If they win, others lose. Other people are the opposite. They think if they lose, others win. They accept loss just to make other people happy. People with such mentalities, find it hard to share the recognition and power of others. They cannot be happy for the successes of others even those closest to them. However, a person with win-win mentality is respectful and assertive at the same time. “It’s not you or me. It’s both of us. It’s not a matter of who gets the biggest piece of the pie. There’s more than enough for everyone. It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet.” The other habit that encouraged me to improve my communication and teamwork skills is habit six. It showed me how people produce more together than the sum of what they could produce separately. This habit mainly says teamwork and trust should be built by creatively cooperating with other people and identifying the contributions of them which is synergizing. There are several examples of the synergetic situations. Stephen Covey gives a couple of them. One example is about two politicians being able to get 1 million votes each, but when working together they are able to get 2.5 million votes. This example represents the classic 1+1 = 2.5 equation. Another example is about two people who are too short to pick apples from a tree. But when working as a team with one on the shoulders of the other, they can pick many apples. Stephen Covey also illustrates how to create a synergetic model. To produce a synergetic climate one needs to assess three specific habits: have a win-win attitude (habit 4), seek to understand before to be understood (habit 5), and believe you can achieve more together than alone (habit 6). Moreover, valuing the differences is the essence of synergy. To synergize, one needs to acknowledge and appreciate the differences between people. To believe that those differences are not annoying, but they are precious and there is much to gain from accepting them. After realizing how important teamwork is, habit 5 teaches how to develop a powerful communication skill: listening. Habit 5: Seek to Understand, Then to Be Understood, helped me to understand the concept of listening. Seeking first to understand requires getting inside the talking...
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