|The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People|
Help employees apply timeless principles of effectiveness to improve interpersonal communication, take initiative, establish greater trust, strengthen relationships, increase influence, and balance key priorities.
HABIT 1: BE PROACTIVE®The habit of personal vision. Each person has the power to make his or her own
decisions. When individuals use this power to choose their responses according to self-determined values, they are proactive. In other words, proactive people use a margin of freedom to make choices that best apply their values. As they work on things they can control (their Circle of Influence®) in lieu of reacting to or worrying about conditions over which they have little or no control (their Circle of Concern®), they use positive energy to influence conditions and increase their Circle of Influence.
HABIT 2: BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND®The habit of personal leadership. The most effective people shape their own futures. They benefit from beginning with the end in mind in all areas of life. Instead of letting other people or circumstances determine their results, they carefully plan who they want to be, what they want to do, and what they want to have, and then they let their mental plan guide their decisions. This mental plan for their life’s purpose expressed in written form is called a mission statement. A person who has a mission statement and uses it to guide decisions will live in harmony with his or her self-determined purpose.
HABIT 3: PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST®The habit of personal management. What are first things? First things are those things that we, personally, find most worth doing. They move us in the right direction. They help us achieve the principle-centered purpose expressed in our mission statement.
First things are always important and are sometimes urgent:
• Important. An activity is important if you personally find it valuable—if it contributes to your mission, values, and high-priority goals.
• Urgent. An activity is urgent if you or others feel that it requires immediate attention. When we graph these two elements and their opposites, four quadrants emerge which describe the activities we engage in (see graphic). These quadrants form the Time Management Matrix™.
The best use of our time focuses on the quadrants that emphasize importance. Of these two quadrants, our primary focus should be on Quadrant II, through which we can pursue excellence in our work and in our relationships.
HABIT 4: THINK WIN-WIN®The habit of interpersonal leadership. Think Win-Win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-win means everyone wins because agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying—all parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan.
A win-win person possesses three character traits: integrity, maturity, and an Abundance Mentality®. People of integrity are true to their feelings, values, and commitments. Mature people express their ideas and feelings with courage and with consideration for the ideas and feelings of others. People with an Abundance Mentality believe there is plenty for everyone.
HABIT 5: SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD®The habit of communication. When we listen with the intent to understand, our interpersonal communications are more effective. We quit sifting everything through our own paradigms and stop reading our autobiographies into other people’s lives. By setting aside autobiographical responses and caring about what the other person is trying to communicate, we are better prepared to listen empathically—with an intent to understand.
The second part of the habit, seek to be understood, takes courage and skill. You need courage to express your true feelings and be open. You need skill to clearly and accurately express your point from the other’s frame of reference.
HABIT 6: SYNERGIZE®The habit of creative cooperation. Redwoods, whose root systems are shallow, grow close together. Their roots interlock and keep the trees from toppling when heavy winds come. Two working cooperatively have the potential to multiply the results of each working separately. This principle, Synergize, also holds true in social interactions. Two people, creatively cooperating and interacting interdependently, will be able to accomplish more than the sum of what they could accomplish separately. As they value each other’s differences, open themselves to new possibilities, practice Think Win-Win, and build trust, they reap the benefits of synergizing.
HABIT 7: SHARPEN THE SAW®The habit of self-renewal. Dulled by use, a saw’s serrated edge can no longer cut through wood. The blade is not in the proper condition to saw effectively. To function effectively, people need to Sharpen the Saw. In other words, they need to preserve and improve themselves. The key to sharpening the saw is to regularly and consistently work on all four dimensions of renewal: physical, social/emotional, spiritual, and mental. Bodies and minds exerted on a regular
basis are prepared for exertion. Conscience, consistently listened to and followed, becomes increasingly sensitive. Relationships, loyally attended to, grow. As individuals balance and sharpen all four dimensions, they improve their effectiveness in all of the habits. In so doing, they grow, change, and improve.