Saturday, February 20, 2016

Of Habits and Understanding



This week we discussed Dr. Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The seven habits are:

1.      Be proactive
a.       Take charge. Act instead of be acted upon. Take responsibility.
2.      Begin with the end in mind
a.       Have an end goal then live in a way that will take you there.
3.      Put first things first
a.       Prioritize. Stay in the “Important and Non-Urgent” quadrant.

“Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things.”
-          Peter Drucker & Warren Bennis

4.      Think win/win
a.       Seek mutual benefit for each party, not just yourself.
5.      Seek first to understand, then to be understood
a.       Listen to understand, not to respond. Empathy.


“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”
-          Goethe

6.      Synergize
a.       The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 1+1= anything greater than 2.
7.      Sharpen the saw
a.       Don’t be so busy sawing that you don’t notice your saw is dull. Renewal.


Two concepts that really stood out to me were Habits 5 and 7.

Communication is vital in relationships and work life. Most people, when they listen to another person – aren’t listening to understand - they are listening to determine how to respond. They are more concerned with their part in the conversation than they are in what the person is actually saying.

The key to good judgment is understanding. If we judge firstwe will never fully understand.”

The first item listed in sharpening the saw is physical exercise. This is something I need to do. I am caught in the endless cycle of being too tired to get up an hour earlier to exercise; however, if I don’t, my health won’t carry me to what I want to accomplish in life. I feel like I am doing pretty well with the other three items: spiritual, mental, and social/emotional.

I look forward to experiencing what Dr. Covey states will come from 30 minutes of daily exercise: improved quality of the remaining hours every day, preserved and enhanced capacity to work and adapt and enjoy, and a paradigm shift of my own self-image.

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier – not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased.”
-          Emerson




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