The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People opens with an explanation of why many people who have achieved a high level of outward success still find themselves struggling with an inner need to develop personal effectiveness and grow healthier relationships with other people.
Covey, the author, believes the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. And to change a given situation, we must change ourselves, and to change ourselves, we must be able to change our perceptions. In his book, Covey touches on seven habits that can help you change your perception and that have helped me align my Individual Leadership with my Bigger Future.
The 7 Habits
- Be proactive
- Begin with the end in mind
- Put first things first
- Think win-win
- Seek first to understand, then to be understood
- Sharpen the saw
My favorite habit is seek first to understand, then to be understood. This habit is an area I continue to strive to better myself at. According to Covey, when you listen to genuinely understand a person, you’ll compel them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. I have occasionally found myself ready to offer solutions before TRULY understanding the problem, both on a personal and professional level. As we all know, communication is one of the most important skills in life! At Siegfried, communication skills are one of the professional attributes our clients rate us on.
“You’ve spent years of your life learning how to read and write, years learning how to speak. But what about listening?” – Stephen Covey
Putting concepts into practice
After reading this book, I feel more equipped with the tools I need to be an effective listener. I plan to continue to put into practice three concepts Covey writes about:
- Ethos: your personal credibility. It’s the trust that you inspire, your emotional bank account.
- Pathos: the empathic side. It’s the alignment with the emotional trust of another person’s communication.
- Logos: the logic. The reasoning part of the presentation.
I highly encourage others to not only read this book, but to be intentional about putting into practice each of the 7 Habits Covey teaches.
See what other books we’ve been reading at Siegfried!