The much applauded and one of the best selling business books of all time is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People written by Stephen Covey. The lessons that can be learned from this book are probably more relevant and useful to many people today than they have being at anytime since it was first published over 23 years ago.
As quite simply it is easy to be effective or to lead when things are going well. However, with so much forced change being inflicted on individuals it makes it harder to be highly effective or to remain completely confident and focused. Stephen’s 7 habits outline a mind-set, skill-set and tool-set to help people to respond rather than react to change. In his book, Stephen identified some core principles that govern human behaviour and effectiveness, such as responsibility, vision, integrity, understanding, collaboration, and renewal.
Many important relationship’s both inside and outside of work are suffering because people have become increasingly anxious and are falling more frequently into negative ways of thinking which often manifests into the development of win-lose relationship with others (i.e. for me to win you must fail). These relationship arise out of fear and anger and they ultimately lead to home and workplace environments becoming increasingly toxic, where there exists little chance of the creation of mutual understanding or the development of respectful and synergistic relationships. Through engaging with the 7 habits you can achieve the exact opposite, by learning to think and act differently you will achieve better results.
Stephen’s 7th habit addresses the idea of renewal. A lot of people are increasingly feeling burnt-out as they feel too busy, anxious or simply overwhelmed. Stephen highlights four dimensions (mental, physical, spiritual and emotional) which if practiced consistently will enable people to feel more in control and less stressed.
Lastly, the 7 habits will not make a person’s problems go away however they will enable you to become more proactive and to focus primarily on what you can influence when faced with change and uncertainty. Practicing them will enhance your decision making capabilities by directing your levels of attention, energy and focus towards what matters most!