Even most good listeners stop at the third level of attentive listening.
Covey is a self-improvement book. In order to change a given situation, we must change ourselves, and in order to change ourselves, we must be able to change our perceptions.
We all want to succeed. And one path to success is identifying the habits that can help us on our journey. The book opens with an explanation of how many individuals who have achieved a high degree of outward success still find themselves struggling with an inner need for developing personal effectiveness and growing healthy relationships with other people.
Covey believes the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. In studying over years of literature on the concept of "success," Covey identified a very important change in the way that humans have defined success over time.
In earlier times, the foundation of success rested upon character ethic things like integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, patience, industry, simplicity, modesty, and the Golden Rule.
But starting around the s, the way people viewed success shifted to what Covey calls "personality ethic" where success is a function of personality, public image, attitudes and behaviors. These days, people look for quick fixes. They see a successful person, team, or organization and ask, "How do you do it?
Teach me your techniques! We must allow ourselves to undergo paradigm shifts -- to change ourselves fundamentally and not just alter our attitudes and behaviors on the surface level -- in order to achieve true change.
Habits 1, 2, and 3 are focused on self-mastery and moving from dependence to independence. Habits 4, 5, and 6 are focused on developing teamwork, collaboration, and communication skills, and moving from independence to interdependence. Habit 7 is focused on continuous growth and improvement, and embodies all the other habits.
Be Proactive Quick Summary: We choose the scripts by which to live our lives.
Use this self-awareness to be proactive and take responsibility for your choices. The first habit that Covey discusses is being proactive.
What distinguishes us as humans from all other animals is our inherent ability to examine our own character, to decide how to view ourselves and our situations, and to control our own effectiveness. Put simply, in order to be effective one must be proactive. Reactive people take a passive stance -- they believe that the world is happening to them.
They say things like: Reactivity becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and reactive people feel increasingly victimized and out of control. Proactive people, however, recognize that they have responsibility -- or "response-ability," which Covey defines as the ability to choose how you will respond to a given stimulus or situation.
It is our willing permission, our consent to what happens to us, that hurts us far more than what happened to us in the first place.
The positive energy we exert will cause our Circle of Influence to expand. Reactive people, on the other hand, focus on things that are in their Circle of Concern but not in their Circle of Influence, which leads to blaming external factors, emanating negative energy, and causing their Circle of Influence to shrink.
Practice Success Habit 1: Challenge yourself to test the principle of proactivity by doing the following: Start replacing reactive language with proactive language. Convert reactive tasks into proactive ones.
Begin with the End in Mind Quick Summary: Start with a clear destination in mind. Covey says we can use our imagination to develop a vision of what we want to become and use our conscience to decide what values will guide us. Most of us find it rather easy to busy ourselves.Anxious, overconfident, curious, indifferent, angry, amused, lonely, hopeful, embarrassed, empowered, afraid, excited, diminished—teachers have seen all these.
The purpose of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to help you lead your life in a truly effective way. They represent a proven process of personal and interpersonal growth that can have an immediate and lasting impact.
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