7 Habits of Highly Effective People

date Jun 16, 2007
authors Stephen Covey
reading time 5 mins
  • Book Title: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Author: Stephen R. Covey
  • Year written/published: 1989
  • Book Source: Amazon
  • My Comment: A great book… written in an organised and inspiring manner. Really loved the way he built up the 7 habits in a cohesive manner.
  • Contents page:
  1. Inside-Out
  2. Habit 1: Be Proactive - Principles of Personal Vision
  3. Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind - Principles of Personal Leadership
  4. Habit 3: Put First Things First - Principles of Personal Management
  5. Habit 4: Paradigm of Interdependence
  6. Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood - Principle of Empathic Communication
  7. Habit 6: Synergize - Principles of Creative Cooperation
  8. Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw - Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal

Some quotations found in the book that i really loved…

  • What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • Thing which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least ~ Goethe
  • The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of. ~Pascal
  • The greatest battles of life are fought out daily in the silent chambers of the soul ~David McKay

Begin with the end in mind…

 To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you are going so that you better understand. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.

activity trap

It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busy-ness of life, to work harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall. It is possible to be busy - very busy - without being very effective.


How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and, keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most. If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster. We may be very busy, we may be very efficient, but we will also be truly effective only when we begin with the end in mind.

Several centres or core paradigms people typically have for a better understanding…

  1. Spouse Centredness
  2. Family Centredness
  3. Money Centredness
  4. Work Centredness
  5. Pleasure Centredness
  6. Friend/Enemy Centredness
  7. Church Centredness
  8. Self-Centredness
  9. Principle Centredness

on emotional bank account

Our most constant relationships, like marriage, require our most constant deposits. With continuing expectations, old deposits evaporate. If you suddenly run into an old high school friend you haven’t seen for years, you can pick up right where you left off because earlier deposits are still there. But your accounts with the people you interact with on a regular basis require more constant investment. There are sometimes automatic withdrawals in your daily interactions or in their perception of you that you don’t even know about.

6 major emotional deposits:

  1. understanding the individual
  2. attending to the little things
  3. keeping commitments
  4. clarifying expectations
  5. showing personal integrity
  6. apologizing sincerely when you make a withdrawal

6 paradigms of human interactions..

  1. win/win
  2. win/lose
  3. lose/win
  4. lose/lose
  5. win/win or No deal

dealing with win/lose (i win, you lose) people…

Dealing with win/lose is the real challenge of win/win. Rarely is win/win easily achieved in any circumstances. Deep issues and fundamental differences have to be dealt with. But it is much easier when both parties are aware of and committed to it and where there is a high Emotional Bank Account in the relationship.

a paradigm of Win/Lose

When you are dealing with a person who is coming form a paradigm of Win/Lose, the relationship is the key. The place to focus is your Circle of Influence. You make deposits into Emotional Bank Account through genuine courtesy, respect, and appreciation for that person and for the other point of view. You stay longer in the communication process. You listen more, you listen in greater depth. You express yourself with greater courage. You aren’t reactive. You go deeper inside yourself for strength of character to be proactive. You keep hammering it our until the other person begins to realise that you genuinely want the resolution to be a real win for both of you. That very process is a tremendous deposit in the Emotional Bank Account.

4 autobiographical responses after listening…

Because we listen autobiographically, we tend to response in one of the 4 ways. We evaluate- we either agree or disagree; we probe - we ask questions from our own experience; we advice - we give counsel based on our own experience; or we interpret- we try to figure people out, to explain their motives, their behaviour, based on our own motives and behaviours.

seek first to understand, then be understood

The early Greeks had a magnificent philosophy which is embodied in 3 sequentially arranged words: ethos, pathos and logos. I suggest these words contain the essence of seeking first to understand and making effective presentations.

Ethos is your personal credibility, the faith people have in your integrity and competency. It’s the trust that you inspire, your Emotional bank Account. Pathos is the empathic side - it’s the feeling. It means that you are in alignment with the emotional thrust of another person’s communication. Logos is the logic, the reasoning part of the presentation.

Be quadrant II focused…