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Being effective is learning to do thatwhich produces the desired result. Ifyou want to be extremely successful inbusiness ...
Now this notion that having a particular attitude of mind (which is really wherethis habit begins) can make such a huge an...
Be Proactive Begin With The End in Mind Put First Things First Think Win-WinSeek First To Understand Synergize Sharpen The...
Habit 4 - Think Win WinBe Proactive Begin With The End in Mind Put First Things First Think Win-WinSeek First To Understan...
Habit 5 - Seek First to Understandthen be UnderstoodBe Proactive Begin With The End in Mind Put First Things First Think W...
favourite techniques are those proposed by Edward DeBono - professor ofthinking and perhaps most famous for Lateral Thinki...
Making use of Jack Blacks House on the Right Bank is an excellent tool forcombining what is really guided meditation with ...
• The Deepest Desire of Your Heart by Will Edwards• 12 Habits that Prevent You Developing by Pete GrandThe 8th HabitSome t...
Covey says that the reality in business today is that there are very many peoplewho have not found their voices or perhaps...
Covey says that the reality in business today is that there are very many peoplewho have not found their voices or perhaps...
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7 habits of effective people & the 8th

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Transcript of "7 habits of effective people & the 8th"

  1. 1. Being effective is learning to do thatwhich produces the desired result. Ifyou want to be extremely successful inbusiness or very happy in life or achievesome large goal, then being effective isdoing the things that will bring about theresults you are after.Perhaps the best overall prescription forbecoming effective is contained inStephen Coveys best-selling book The 7Habits of Highly Effective People. Hisbest-selling book, published by Simon &Schuster, provides a useful, sequentialframework for understanding muchabout the process of PersonalDevelopment.Covey does not claim to have inventedthe 7 habits, but rather to havediscovered them and to have found asimple language for articulating them. Infact, he says that these basic principlesof effectiveness may be found in allworld religions; and it can be noted thatmany highly successful people seem tohave naturally developed these habits.Discover Your Unique Calling or VocationStay On-Track to Achieve Your MissionLateral Thinking for Overcoming ObstaclesGetting from Theory to Making it HappenProfessional Tips & ExercisesIdentify Your Most Important ActivitiesComplete System to Optimize Time &Ensure You Achieve Your GoalsClick Here for Immediate DownloadHabit 1 - Be ProactiveBe Proactive Begin With The End in Mind Put First Things First Think Win-WinSeek First To Understand Synergize Sharpen The Saw The 8th HabitThe first of the 7 Habits is - Be Proactive. It is perhaps a great compliment toStephen Covey that today, the substance of this first habit is deeply embeddedinto the management psyche. We are told, in business, that we should beproactive; and broadly what is meant by that is to focus our efforts and attentionon the long-term and to think in terms of the long-term consequences of ouractions.Covey contrasts being proactive or having a proactive mentality with beingreactive. Reactive people, he says, are those who are resigned to the truth thatwhatever they do in the present can have no effect on their circumstances. Andinterestingly, for reactive people, it really is a truth, for whatever we believe inour heart affects our thoughts, words and actions. If we really believe that we cando nothing about our unreasonable boss or the daily events in our lives, then wesimply do not make the effort.Proactive people, on the other hand, simply will not accept that there is nothingthat can be done about the unreasonable boss or the events of daily life - theywill point out that there are always choices. It is by the decisions we make, ourresponses to people, events and circumstances that proactive people can and doaffect the future. We may have no control over what life throws at us but wealways have a choice about how we are to respond.
  2. 2. Now this notion that having a particular attitude of mind (which is really wherethis habit begins) can make such a huge and positive difference to almosteverything we experience in life is foreign to those who have already internalisedthe opposite habit as a part of their personalities. For some people, the glass isalways half-empty and the feeling of melancholy is a pleasant reminder thatsomething is indeed missing. For such people, this habit represents a bitter pill toswallow - but, says Covey, it is also completely liberating.When we are finally prepared to accept full responsibility for the effects that aremanifest in our lives; when we have the strength of character to admit it whenwe make mistakes (even big ones); when we are completely free to exercise theoptions available to us in every situation; then it can be said that we have finallyinternalised this habit. The other six of the habits require that we first work onour basic character by becoming proactive and thereby transforming ourselvesinto men and women of integrity.Habit 2 - Begin with the End in MindBe Proactive Begin With The End in Mind Put First Things First Think Win-WinSeek First To Understand Synergize Sharpen The Saw The 8th HabitThe second of the habits is - Begin with the End in Mind. Many people in the westidentify with the frustration of success. Being successful at their chosen careerand committed to its progress they come to realise that it does not, in the finalanalysis, bring any sense of real satisfaction. The reason for this ultimatedissatisfaction is that they did not begin with the end in mind. For many people, itis not just that they did not begin with the end in mind; it goes a bit deeper -they did not ever get around to defining the end itself and so they simply couldnot begin with the end in mind. So what does all this mean? The end representsthe purpose of your life. Until you can say what that purpose is, with assurance,then you just cannot direct your life in the manner that would bring you thegreatest satisfaction.There are no short-cuts here. To engage in this habit, you need to have a dream,define your own vision and get into the practice of setting goals which will allowyou to make measurable progress toward the dream. If you practice a faith, thenyou will want to consider how this affects your purpose in life; if you do not, youwill still need to get involved in deep self-examination to find out exactly what itis that will bring you fulfilment. To help you with this, you may wish to obtain myE-Book The Deepest Desire of Your Heart; available from this site. The bookcontains some excellent self-reflection exercises you can use to focus your mindon what is most important to you in life.Until you have defined your vision - the big dream to which you will be working -you will be unable to move on to habit 3 which provides a basic framework foryou to re-align your efforts so that you will ultimately achieve your hearts desire.Habit 3 - First Things First
  3. 3. Be Proactive Begin With The End in Mind Put First Things First Think Win-WinSeek First To Understand Synergize Sharpen The Saw The 8th HabitThe third habit is - First Thing First. Following the amazing popularity of his workon The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey published a secondbook that deals with the 7 Habits; and the title of that book is also First ThingsFirst. Both the book and this habit deal with subject of managing your timeeffectively.Consider the simple 2 x 2 matrix shown below. It plots the concepts of urgencyand importance against each other; and represents where you are spending yourtime. To really understand and apply this habit, you need to have first done habit2 - that is, you should already have defined what is important to you. Withoutfirst doing this, habit 3 has no power because you simply cannot separate what isimportant from what is not important.This representation shows four categories of demand which may be made on yourtime. Quadrant 1 consists of activities which are both urgent and important - inother words, things to which you absolutely must attend. Why must you do thesethings? Because they are important - meaning that they contribute to yourmission; and they are urgent - meaning that they have some sort of deadlineassociated with them.Choices about where to invest your time really are made in the other categories;and most people - driven by the concept of urgency - get drawn into Quadrant 3;doing things that consume their time but do not contribute to their goals. HighlyEffective People (yes they all fit together you see) understand that the highleverage activities are all Quadrant 2 - important but not urgent. Planning,preparation, prevention, relationship-building, reading, improving yourprofessional knowledge and exercise are all examples of Quadrant 2 activity - notan exhaustive list, by any means.We all intuitively know that Quadrant 2 activities are the key to getting results;but you need to have internalised the first two habits before you can benefit fromthe high leverage this habit brings. In other words, you first need to havedeveloped the strength of character (proactivity) which allows you to be able tosay no to demands on your time that fall into Quadrants 2 and 3; and you alsoneed to have defined what importance means for you - otherwise the Quadrantsdo not exist.Put habits 1,2 and 3 together and you have the ultimate success formula. Statedsimply - get your mind right; define what is important; then organise your life tomaximise your Quadrant 2 efforts. By spending appropriate time on Quadrant 2activities, you will gain control over the circumstances of your life; Quadrant 1 willactually get smaller because you will have anticipated and prepared for muchQuadrant 1 activity. Concentrating on Quadrant 2 is absolutely fundamental toachieving success. You might like to take a look at the 4tm Spreadsheet,available from this site, which can help you to make this key adjustment in theuse of your time.
  4. 4. Habit 4 - Think Win WinBe Proactive Begin With The End in Mind Put First Things First Think Win-WinSeek First To Understand Synergize Sharpen The Saw The 8th HabitThe next of the 7 Habits is - Think Win-Win. This habit is again an attitude ofmind. It concerns fostering an attitude that is committed to always findingsolutions that will truly benefit both sides of a dispute. Solutions do not, ofcourse, exist in themselves; they must be created. And, even if we cannot seethe solution to a particular problem, it does not mean that no such solutionexists. The win-win idea is not based upon compromise - that is where mostdisputes naturally end. But compromise is the result of not properly perceivingthe possible synergy of the situation.The more you practice this habit, the more committed you will become as youfind solutions which truly do benefit both parties, where originally it looked as ifno such agreement might be reached. Covey has amended the wording of thishabit slightly in recent years to read: Think Win-Win or No Deal. This attitudeworks well because it liberates the individuals concerned from the effort of tryingto persuade the opposite party to shift ground or compromise. The effort isinstead spend on trying to understand, which is where habit 5 comes in - you see,they are also sequential.
  5. 5. Habit 5 - Seek First to Understandthen be UnderstoodBe Proactive Begin With The End in Mind Put First Things First Think Win-WinSeek First To Understand Synergize Sharpen The Saw The 8th HabitThe fifth habit is - Seek First to Understand. What most people do, naturally,when involved in some type of discussion, meeting or dialogue is exactly thereverse - they seek first to be understood. And, as Stephen Covey says, whenboth parties are trying to be understood, neither party is really listening; he callssuch an interaction, the dialogue of the deaf. This habit is an important key tointer-personal relationships and it seems to be almost magical in its ability totransform the course of discussions. Why? Because by making the investment oftime and effort required to understand the other party, the dynamics of theinterchange are subtly affected.This habit is not just about letting the other person speak first; it concernsactually making the effort to understand what is being said. It is aboutunderstanding that our natural habit of mind is to misunderstand. When we areengaged in conversation, error is always present. NLP tells us that we simplymake our own meaning based on our own experiences and understanding of life;and frequently we make the wrong meaning. You might like to take a look at theanswers given by school-children on history exams which illustrates this principle- we are no different!If however, we are prepared to invest the time and effort to really understand theother persons position; and to get into the habit of spending the first part of thediscussion doing so; then, when it is felt by the other person that you do indeedunderstand, the dynamic changes. People become more open, more teachable,more interested in what you may have to say and with the mutual understandingthat flows from this habit, you are ready to practice habit 6; which concernsfinding creative solutions.Habit 6 - SynergizeBe Proactive Begin With The End in Mind Put First Things First Think Win-WinSeek First To Understand Synergize Sharpen The Saw The 8th HabitThe sixth of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is - Synergize. This habitinvolves you putting your head together with the other party or parties in order tocreatively brainstorm a synergistic solution to a problem i.e. to find a solutionwhich contains win-win benefits. It can only be done successfully if you have firstpracticed habits 4 and 5. The well-known definition of synergy is as follows:Synergy - When the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.Finding a synergistic solution means finding a solution which is better than eitherparty might first propose. Such a solution can only be found if both parties trulyunderstand the other parties position - the fruit of habits 4 and 5. There havebeen many books written on successful brainstorming techniques; my own
  6. 6. favourite techniques are those proposed by Edward DeBono - professor ofthinking and perhaps most famous for Lateral Thinking.Putting habit 4, 5 and 6 together, you have a perfect model for humaninteraction. Put simply: first be mentally committed to the idea that a solutionthat will benefit all parties may be constructed; next invest the necessary timeand effort to really understand the other party and do that first; finally creativelybrainstorm a synergistic solution - a natural product of mutual understanding andrespect.Habit 7 - Sharpen the SawBe Proactive Begin With The End in Mind Put First Things First Think Win-WinSeek First To Understand Synergize Sharpen The Saw The 8th HabitThe last habit of the 7 Habits is - Sharpen the Saw. In this habit, you are thesaw; and to Sharpen the Saw is to become better, keener and more effective.Highly Effective People always take time to Sharpen the Saw. What is meant bySharpening the Saw is to regularly engage in the exercise of the three dimensionswhich make up the human condition: body, mind and spirit. Covey also adds afourth dimension - the inter-personal.Spiritual ExerciseLet us begin by considering Spiritual Exercise - this is the area which is perhapsthe most misunderstood. I believe that, in the west, we have become spirituallyblind. The progress of our science, education and technology has lead us toconstruct a view of the world and the universe that excludes the agency of God.Freud famously said that it was man that made God in the image of his father. Itis, of course, a very clever statement and not one I wish to here challenge -whether this statement or the reverse is true is for you to decide. However, asthe west has, by and large, abandoned faith in the creator God, so it hassimultaneously abandoned the idea that life has any meaning or purpose; and itis purpose and direction in life that this habit refers to as Spiritual Exercise. Ofcourse, if you are a religious person, then there will be a tie-up here with yourpersonal faith; however, if you are not religious, dont also abandon the idea thatlife holds a special purpose for you.To exercise spiritually, I recommend that you consider engaging in some form ofmeditation. Meditation involves regularly sitting in a relaxed position and thinkingabout nothing for a period of about 10 or 15 minutes. Why this practice shouldbring about any material benefits is an interesting question. You might considerthat you relax your mind quite enough when you sleep, but it turns out that wedont really relax our minds when we sleep. The brain is active during sleep -during REM sleep, the brain appears to be processing information. Though it isnot yet known exactly what it is doing, the brain is certainly not passive and sothe mind is not relaxed during sleep. Meditation is the practice of disciplining themind, It is difficult to do at first, but if you stick with it, positive health benefitswill follow.
  7. 7. Making use of Jack Blacks House on the Right Bank is an excellent tool forcombining what is really guided meditation with the practice of regularlyreviewing your mission, your roles and your goals; and that is what StephenCovey means when he talks about spiritual exercise - the regular, review andpreview of the things that are most important to you in life. These are the firstthings that you must define in habit 2 - Begin with the End in Mind.Physical ExerciseRegular aerobic, physical exercise is essential for health, energy and a feeling ofwell-being. Naturally, you should always consult your doctor or physician beforeyou embark upon any course of physical exercise; and it should be obvious thatsuch professional advice as may be given, should always be taken into account.To practice this part of Habit 7 requires that you commit to at least three sessionsof at least twenty minutes per week. If you are not already engaged in this sort ofexercise, you will find that after a period of about six weeks, you will feel muchbetter, much healthier and indeed your body will become more efficient atprocessing oxygen - which is the key to energy.Mental ExerciseAsk yourself these questions. What am I doing to sharpen my mind? Am Iengaged in a programme of education or learning of some kind? What am I doingto improve my professional knowledge?How you should go about this part of the habit is, of course, for you to decide,but you should ensure that you are reading regularly. What should you read?Naturally you want to put in the good stuff - so its not a case of reading for itsown sake; it is reading carefully selected material which allows you to broadenand deepen your understanding.You will naturally be paying particular attention to the important areas youdefined in habit 2, but you should also consider reading all the great works ofliterature and also ancient wisdom literature which includes books like The Psalmsand Proverbs..InterpersonalThis part is not really a discipline, as are the other three parts, it is really acommitment; and for me, I make the commitment during the spiritual part of thehabit, that is, during a meditation. It is simply to commit to approaching inter-personal relationships by making use of habits 4, 5 and 6.Even if people approach me making use of language, actions, or behaviour whichI personally believe to be inappropriate, my commitment is to not react, but touse my proactive capacity to engage in the exercise of habits 4, 5 and 6 which Ibelieve will lead to the best possible outcome in such circumstancesBooks Related to This Subject
  8. 8. • The Deepest Desire of Your Heart by Will Edwards• 12 Habits that Prevent You Developing by Pete GrandThe 8th HabitSome time ago, someone commented tome that I ought to write a book calledThe 8th Habit. That person was basicallysaying to me that the 7 Habits of HighlyEffective People book by Stephen Coveywas not complete because he did notreally address the matter of how you goabout developing a habit.At the time, my response was that the 7Habits framework was a completeparadigm and so I thought the idea wasa non-starter. Then - what do you know- along comes Stephen Covey with hislatest book, which is entitled The 8thHabit.So, if the 7 Habits framework is indeedcomplete, why do we need an 8th habit?Well it turns out that the 8th habit is notanother habit that was missed out of the7 habits book: the 7 habits of HighlyEffective People was all abouteffectiveness. The 8th Habit is aboutmoving from being effective to beinggreat.Discover Your Unique Calling or VocationStay On-Track to Achieve Your MissionLateral Thinking for Overcoming ObstaclesGetting from Theory to Making it HappenProfessional Tips & ExercisesIdentify Your Most Important ActivitiesComplete System to Optimize Time &Ensure You Achieve Your GoalsClick Here for Immediate DownloadFind Your Voice& Inspire Others to Find TheirsThe 8th habits is: Find your Voice & Inspire Others to find Theirs. The essence ofthis habit is that you will find your voice when you can say that you are 100%involved in what you are doing with your life. By 100% involvement, what ismeant is that your body, mind, heart and spirit are all engaged in the adventure -whatever that is for you.The idea is very simple. Whatever you are doing right now with your life, askyourself these questions. Is it serving my body, mind heart and spirit? In otherwords, is it serving your bodily needs: does it allow you to make a good living;does it more-than pay the bills; does it feed and clothe you and your family andprovide you with a lovely home?Secondly, is it serving your need for mental stimulation: do you find it trulystimulating, engaging and challenging? Thirdly, is it serving your emotionalneeds: do you just love it and are you passionate about it? Finally, does it serveyour spiritual needs: do you believe it is the right thing for you to be doing withyour life? If you can answer those four questions relating to body, mind, heartand spirit with a resounding yes, then it can be said that you have found yourvoice.
  9. 9. Covey says that the reality in business today is that there are very many peoplewho have not found their voices or perhaps they have lost their voices. The resultof this cane be seen everywhere. People may go to work just to earn money i.e.to serve their bodily needs but do not really put their creativity, talent andintelligence into the job.Perhaps the job is serving more than your bodily needs: perhaps it is alsomentally stimulating you but, if you won the lottery, you might immediatelyresign because it is not really what you want to be spending your time doing ifmonetary considerations were not present. Perhaps, most difficult to imagine ishaving a job that provides the money, is indeed stimulating and you love doing it,but it is still not the right thing for you to be doing. The cost to business ofemploying people who dont really understand or even care about the Vision andMission of the company is a loss of the voice of the organization.To find your voice, you need to examine your natural talent - you are good atsomething! Dont let anyone convince you otherwise. You have a unique talent; ora unique expression of a talent in the words of Deepak Chopra. You must findout what that is. Isnt it interesting that you may actually be carrying a talent thatis presently unknown to you! (I dont often use an exclamation mark, but thatpoint is I believe worth the punctuation.) You must find out what you absolutelylove to do. You must find out what really interests you. And you must listen to theconfirming inner voice of your conscience that tells you what is the right thing foryou.When you have found your voice, you can begin inspiring others to do the samething - that is the second part of the habit. I always remember Jack Black sayingthat following his seminars, at certain leading British companies, some peopleactually resign from their jobs. That is because they have been inspired to give upthe process of making a buck and really go for what excites them in life. I mightadd that not everyone resigns because some of them are indeed in the rightplace.Great leaders have always inspired us to find ourselves - to find our own voicesand to find the voice of the organisation - that is the essence of greatness.People and organizations who have truly found their voices go on to becomegreat. I hope that you will invest the time to discover your own greatness.
  10. 10. Covey says that the reality in business today is that there are very many peoplewho have not found their voices or perhaps they have lost their voices. The resultof this cane be seen everywhere. People may go to work just to earn money i.e.to serve their bodily needs but do not really put their creativity, talent andintelligence into the job.Perhaps the job is serving more than your bodily needs: perhaps it is alsomentally stimulating you but, if you won the lottery, you might immediatelyresign because it is not really what you want to be spending your time doing ifmonetary considerations were not present. Perhaps, most difficult to imagine ishaving a job that provides the money, is indeed stimulating and you love doing it,but it is still not the right thing for you to be doing. The cost to business ofemploying people who dont really understand or even care about the Vision andMission of the company is a loss of the voice of the organization.To find your voice, you need to examine your natural talent - you are good atsomething! Dont let anyone convince you otherwise. You have a unique talent; ora unique expression of a talent in the words of Deepak Chopra. You must findout what that is. Isnt it interesting that you may actually be carrying a talent thatis presently unknown to you! (I dont often use an exclamation mark, but thatpoint is I believe worth the punctuation.) You must find out what you absolutelylove to do. You must find out what really interests you. And you must listen to theconfirming inner voice of your conscience that tells you what is the right thing foryou.When you have found your voice, you can begin inspiring others to do the samething - that is the second part of the habit. I always remember Jack Black sayingthat following his seminars, at certain leading British companies, some peopleactually resign from their jobs. That is because they have been inspired to give upthe process of making a buck and really go for what excites them in life. I mightadd that not everyone resigns because some of them are indeed in the rightplace.Great leaders have always inspired us to find ourselves - to find our own voicesand to find the voice of the organisation - that is the essence of greatness.People and organizations who have truly found their voices go on to becomegreat. I hope that you will invest the time to discover your own greatness.

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