Covey’s Steps to Success
We all want to succeed and reach our full potential in life. A popular path to consider is “The 7 habits of highly effective people” by Stephen Covey. His book discusses each habit in detail and is well worth the read! To get you started, we have summarized a brief overview below.
HABIT 1: Be Proactive
We are the authors of our own story. Although there are uncontrollable variables in life, we decide how to respond to each situation. It is therefore our responsibility to take ownership of our choices and their outcomes in a proactive manner.
Reactive people take a passive stance on life and believe that the world is simply happening to them, beyond their control. Proactive individuals recognize that that they have response-ability, being the ability to choose how you will respond to a certain stimulus or situation.
“It is our willing permission, our consent to what happens to us, that hurts us far more than what happened to us in the first place.” – Stephen Covey
HABIT 2: Begin With The End In Mind
Covey suggests that we use our imagination to develop our vision, and our conscience to decide on the values that will guide us. But before us as individuals or organizations can determine and achieve our future goals, we must first consider our necessary framework values.
“It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busyness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover that it’s leaning against the wrong wall” – Stephen Covey
HABIT 3: Put First Things First
In order to manage ourselves effectively, we must adopt a consistent level of discipline in order to prioritize actions in our daily lives. To maintain our discipline and focus on achieving our set goals, we need to align our priorities with our values, and harness our willpower to follow through, rather than give in to our impulses and desires.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey
HABIT 4: Think Win-Win
Covey explains that for us to establish effective interdependent relationships, we must strive towards a Win-Win situation outcome. This encompasses a mutually beneficial relationship for both parties involved which forms the basis for positive and effective productivity.
To achieve Win-Win, the focus must be geared towards the results and not the methods; on problems and not people.
“To go for Win-Win, you not only have to be nice, you have to be courageous.” – Stephen Covey
HABIT 5: Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood
For one to genuinely and effectively offer true and sincere guidance and solutions for another, we must first seek deep understanding of each person and their perspective through empathetic listening. This requires a fundamental paradigm shift involving listening with the intent to understand both intellectually and emotionally.
“Seeking to understand requires consideration; seeking to be understood takes courage.” – Stephen Covey
HABIT 6: Synergize
In striving towards a deep understanding of one another, we thus value each other’s difference in perspective, creating an opportunity for synergy. Combining all 5 habits paves way for creative collaboration and ultimately creating new possibilities and Win-Win outcomes resulting in effective interaction.
“The key to valuing differences is to realize that all people see the world, not as it is, but as they are.” – Stephen Covey
HABIT 7: Sharpen The Saw
Habit 7 focuses on the renewal of our physical, spiritual, emotional and social dimensions. We are required to devote consistent and continuous time to developing each dimension in a balanced manner.
Furthermore, we should aspire to inspire others to follow their individual path of true self actualization and encourage them to be proactive.
“The more we see people in terms of their unseen potential, the more we can use our imagination rather than our memory.” – Stephen Covey