What else to know about the seven habits of Stephen Covey? Let us take a look, examine and compare them for better understanding and personal development.
When presenting the seven habits to the world, Stephen Covey has very clearly stated that if a person has to be highly effective, then all the seven habits need to be employed, and in a way that he has mentioned.
In short, there is no way that you can pick and choose your favorites here. You will have to implement all of the seven habits if you want to see your life heading in a better direction than where it is placed currently.
But, why is that important? If you have paid attention to the previous chapter where I laid out the seven habits for you in detail, you may have seen that the seven habits stand quite well individually as well.
Here’s the link if you want an overview of Stephen Covey’s Timeless Model.
Each of them on their own makes perfect sense, and actually speaking, none of them wants the support of the other for implementation. You can implement each habit on their own merit.
So, why shouldn’t we do that?
The reason is that Stephen Covey has a very particular pattern in arranging these seven habits. Let us look at this pattern first and then you will understand why these habits have the greatest strength when they are put into one collective whole.
|1||Be proactive.||Habit of personal choice|
|2||Begin with the end in mind.||Habit of personal leadership|
|3||Put first things first.||Habit of personal management|
|4||Think win-win.||Habit of interpersonal leadership|
|5||Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.||Habit of interpersonal communication|
|6||Synergize.||Habit of interpersonal collaboration|
|7||Sharpen the saw.||Habit of personal enhancement|
Examining the Seven Habits
The first habit, as you can see in the above table, is a habit of making the best personal choices.
You are empowered to make the right choices among various options.
This habit makes you a person in better control of what is going on with you. You are responsible for yourself; you do not rely on anyone else to make your decisions for you.
The second habit puts more emphasis on yourself.
From merely making the right choice, you get promoted to the right leadership qualities.
You are basically a leader because you think about the end and then lead yourself and others to fulfill those goals. Whether or not you have the title of a leader, you are certainly acting as one.
The third habit teaches you the virtues of managing your personal assets and requirements.
It tells you how you can do the best with the resources you have.
It communicates us how to put everything in place so that you can get to your achievements in the best possible manner. Incorporating this habit can make you a highly efficient and self-sufficient person.
The fourth habit trains you in interpersonal leadership.
It takes the second habit one step further. It doesn’t just tell you how you can be a leader, how you can guide people towards the accomplishment of goals, but it actually tells you how you can collaborate with the right people and get to where you want to go.
It is not just about the improvement of your own ideals, but it is about success for everyone. This habit teaches you how you should seek the best in everybody and create a highly constructive force that is difficult to experience when you are working alone.
The fifth habit makes one equipped in interpersonal communication.
It tells you what the right communication strategies are. It tells that communication is not just about talking, but it is also about listening.
In fact, it tells that the greater emphasis should be on the listening part because that is what provides the input of knowledge.
The sixth habit is about collaboration.
When we learn to synergize, we are learning to focus our energies in the most constructive manner. We are gathering our forces together and partnering with the right people, benefiting in the mutual pool of talent that we create and move on towards success. Thus, the sixth habit takes the fourth habit one step ahead.
The seventh habit is again personal. It is about personal development.
It tells that until and unless we do not take care of the resources that we have with us, we will not be able to make anything of our achievements, however, big or small they may be.
It tells us that we have to preserve our health—both physical and mental—if we are to take ourselves in a positive direction. It speaks of the futility of achievement if we cannot take care of our bodies.
In conclusion, our body is the most important asset, something that validates our existence and gives meaning to whatever accomplishments we make while we are on earth.
Comparing the Seven Habits
What is noteworthy for us to see now is how Stephen Covey has brought together various aspects of our individual and social life and formulated a beautiful model out of them, a model that is sure to lead us to greater glories in life.
We see here a perfect blend of habits for both personal and interpersonal development.
The first, second, third and seventh habits are about different aspects of personal enhancement. If these four habits are implemented, then we will be able to make our choices in life in a better way.
We will be able to be better leaders, we will be able to manage our resources in a better manner and we will be able to preserve our resources in a better way, which includes our own bodies.
The fourth, fifth and sixth habits are about interpersonal development. We are not lone beings on this planet, and neither can we hope to live alone. We have to live in society.
It is for this reason that the development needs to be interpersonal. If we want to evolve as better human beings, then we should be able to create a mutual talent pool and dip into it whenever possible. This is what we learn through these habits.
Here, we are taught how we can be better collaborators with other people, how we can lead collectively with other people and how we can be great at communicating our thoughts and expressions to other people and understand what they intend to say as well.
Thus, when all the seven habits are in place, it is a certainty that the different aspects of our lives—personal as well as interpersonal—will go through an enhancement.
Our lives can be taken to a whole new level of success. The plan is all out there. It all fits neatly like a jigsaw puzzle, all of whose pieces are intact. Only, the implementation of the plan is what is needed.
This is what we shall be talking about in the further pages. In the pages that follow, you shall learn how to implement Covey’s seven methods in different aspects of your life—personal relationships, family, career building, wealth management, health, etc.
It was mentioned earlier about the seven habits being perfect. It is only that many people miss out on the basic meaning of these seven habits. They fail to see the larger picture; they fail to realize that the seven habits can be implemented to more aspects of their lives than they think.
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