The Eight habits of highly effective people
Based on the work of Stephen Covey:
The seven habits of highly effective people
The 8th habit
The presentation at a glance
Important to be effective; effectiveness can be learnt
Focus on developing character, not personality.
Habits shape us, so adopt productive habits.
Build trust in relationships.
Balance the different roles.
Allot time to attend fairly to the various responsibilities
Think positive and show empathy
The Eight Habits of highly effective
1. They take initiative. (“Be Proactive”)
2. They focus on goals. (“Begin with the End in Mind”)
3. They set priorities. (“Put First Things First”)
4. They only win when others win. (“Think Win/Win”)
5. They communicate. (“Seek First to Understand, Then to
6. They cooperate. (“Synergize”)
7. They reflect on and repair their deficiencies. (“Sharpen
8. They find their voice and help others find theirs.
Character vs Personality
Much of the business success literature of recent
decades has focused on developing a good personality.
Developing a sound character is more important.
Character lays the basic foundation.
Personality can emerge naturally when character is
rooted in and formed by principles.
Forceful display of a personality that is inconsistent with
our character is like wearing a mask. It is deceptive,
manipulative and ultimately destructive.
Certain basic principles and values make people more
They are fairness, equity, integrity, honesty, human
dignity and worth, excellence, a spirit of service,
patience, perseverance, caring, courage,
encouragement and positive thinking.
The person whose character grows from these classic
principles is a true leader who can inspire and help
Character is habit.
Habit 1: “Be Proactive”
Highly effective people take the initiative. They are
They do not impose limits on themselves that prevent
them from acting.
They recognize that they have the freedom to
determine the kind of character they will have.
They may not be able to control their circumstances,
but they can decide how to make the best use of
Habit 2: “Begin with the End in Mind”
Effectiveness is not just a matter of reaching a goal
but rather of achieving the right goal.
Imagine ourselves sitting in the back of the room at
our funeral. Imagine what people could honestly say
about us based on the way we are now.
Do we like what we hear? Is that how we want to be
If not, we must change it. We must take hold of our
We can begin by drafting a personal mission
statement that outlines our goals and describes the
kind of person we want to be.
Habit 3: “Put First Things First”
We should never let our most important priorities fall
victim to the least important.
We spend our time reacting to urgent circumstances and
emergencies, and never invest the necessary effort to
develop the ability to prevent emergencies in the first
We confuse the important with the urgent. The urgent is
easy to see. The important is harder to discern.
We must spend more time on planning, avoiding pitfalls,
developing relationships, cultivating opportunities and
We must focus on “important but not urgent” activities.
Habit 4: “Think Win/Win”
Highly effective people strive for win/win transactions.
They try to ensure that all the parties are better off in
They know that any other kind of transaction is
destructive, because it produces losers and, therefore,
enemies and bad feelings, such as animosity, defeat
A Win-Win mindset can help us multiply our allies.
Habit 5: “Seek First to Understand, Then
to Be Understood”
To develop win/win relationships, we must find out
what the other parties want, and what winning means
We must always try to understand what the other
people want and need before we begin to outline our
We must not object, argue or oppose what we hear.
We must listen carefully, and think about it.
We must try to put ourselves in the other party’s
Habit 6: “Synergize”
Effective synergy depends on communication.
We often don’t listen, reflect and respond but, instead,
we hear and react reflexively.
Our reactions may be defensive, authoritarian or
We may oppose or go along — but we do not actively
Cooperation and communication are the two legs of a
Habit 7: “Sharpen the Saw”
We must take care of our bodies with a program of
exercise that combines endurance, flexibility and
We must nourish our souls with prayer, meditation, or
perhaps by reading great literature or listening to great
Mental repair may mean changing bad habits, such as
the habit of watching television.
We must work to develop our heart, our emotional
connections and our engagement with other people.
Habit 8 : “Finding your voice and helping
others find theirs.”
“Voice” is the unique personal significance each of us offers,
and can bring to bear at work.
The 8th habit is all about moving from effectiveness to
Finding our unique voice means fulfilling our innate potential.
Finding our voice, involves the four elements of a whole
person: mind, body, heart and spirit.
Mind = Vision
When the mind is fully developed we gain vision, the ability
to discern the highest potential in people, institutions,
causes and enterprises.
Body = Discipline
We need discipline to transform vision into reality. Discipline
comes by combining vision and commitment.
Heart = Passion
When we develop a wise heart we will feel the passionate fire of
conviction, the flame that sustains the discipline needed to
achieve the vision.
Passion flows from finding and using our unique voice to
accomplish great things.
Spirit = Conscience
Developing our mental identity will lead us toward knowing the
right fork in the road, toward an inward moral compass that will
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