Habits Of Highly Effective People |

Habits of highly effective people

/ 10:46 AM February 01, 2022

Stephen R, Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is one of the most influential business books ever. It contains some of the simplest yet most effective personal behaviors that everyone should follow. The 7 Habits were so useful that his son Sean Covey released it for children. He renamed it The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.

Stephen Covey’s original work came out in 1989, yet the 7 habits remain useful today. Businesses are adopting more tech tools and services, but they still rely on people. You will still need to know how to handle yourself and your team as a business leader. If you need some help with this, you can just look to the wisdom of Covey’s masterpiece.

I’ll start by going through each of the original 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. They’re rather simple, so we will have an easy time talking about each one. After that, I’ll discuss the lesson of its sequel named The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness To Greatness. The following is a quick overview of the topics that this article will cover:

  1. Be proactive
  2. Begin with the end in mind
  3. Put first things first
  4. Think win-win
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the saw

Habit 1: Be proactive

The first habit is perhaps the most straightforward out of the seven. Being proactive means focusing on the things you can control. It’s simple, yet many people fail to do this.

Stephen Covey coined the term Circle of Influence to classify such factors. You can do something to affect the ones inside, but you cannot do anything about the ones outside.

You may look to the people’s response to the coronavirus pandemic for the best example of this habit. If you’re just the average Joe, you cannot get rid of the virus.


You can say that COVID-19 is outside your Circle of Influence. Meanwhile, you can choose to get vaccinated and follow health guidelines so that you can protect yourself and others around you.

If you have a business, you could look for ways to keep it running even while the lockdowns are up. For example, you could allow staff to work from home.

If you have a restaurant, you might want to try turning it into a ghost kitchen for a while. Then, let people order from you via GrubHub or UberEats.


Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind

As a business owner, you know that planning is important. Every move your business makes often costs time and money, so you have to make sure none of that is wasted.

That’s why it’s also one of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey emphasizes the need to have a clear vision of what you want to do in the short term or long term.

Otherwise, you may feel like your company isn’t going anywhere. For example, a marketing campaign may seem like it isn’t working if you don’t know what results to expect.

This aimlessness can also affect your employees. If you don’t set clear goals for your team, they may not feel like working towards something.

In turn, you might see a dip in their output. Worse, they might burn out and leave your company for another. This is a major ongoing trend called the Great Resignation!

Read More: Start Your Day With The Best Uplifting Quotes! 

Habit 3: Put first things first

The root of the word “business” is “busy” because it’s supposed to have a lot of tasks. This is why you should know which one to do first. That’s also why it’s a highly effective people habit.

Stephen Covey divides these tasks into four quadrants. Each one belongs to an intersection of urgent and non-urgent and important and not important. Here’s how it works:

  1. The Necessity quadrant contains urgent and important tasks
  2. The Effectiveness quadrant has the non-urgent yet important tasks
  3. Distraction has the urgent tasks that are not important
  4. Waste has tasks that are not urgent and important

People must focus on the second quadrant because it needs more proactivity. That’s because they usually align with our long-term ambitions.

Habit 4: Think win-win

The first three habits focus on what individuals should do for themselves. The remaining habits of effective people deal with how a person interacts with others.

Thinking win-win means finding solutions that are mutually beneficial for you and others. It promotes an abundance mentality instead of a zero-sum mindset.

It’s easy to slip into a win-lose mentality when you’re competing with other businesses. Yet, serving customers means finding win-win solutions.

You want to earn from clients, but you have to satisfy their needs. You can achieve this by adopting new tech for your business, such as a shopping page.

Even better, your website can provide data that can help you improve your brand. This will make it easier for your customers to buy from you. In turn, it lets you earn more from them.

Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood

Have you ever watched pundits discuss a topic on the news? You’ll often notice how they want to talk over each other to get their point across.

As a result, they waste so much time refocusing their discussion, and their viewers end up confused. That’s why the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People includes empathic listening.

It involves listening to understand a person by entering their frame of reference. You just take in what they’re saying without judging or giving advice.

This will help you understand your employees to help solve their problems. In turn, they’re likely to perform better for your company.

This habit of effective people also helps you provide better customer service. Once you understand their concerns, you’ll be able to serve them better.

Habit 6: Synergize

Stephen Covey values people and their differences. He sees that everyone has something to offer, so we should find ways to work together. You’ll notice this in your workplace.

They may have similarities, such as having college degrees, but they have different skills and viewpoints. They can help you develop solutions that you couldn’t on your own.

In turn, your company can find more ways to adapt to the ever-shifting trends. The COVID pandemic caused changes that we’ve never seen before.

In response, you have to truly think outside the box to find out how to adapt and compete. You can come up with these solutions by synergizing with your employees.

Habit 7: Sharpen the saw

The Coveys begin discussing the last habit with the following quote from Abraham Lincoln: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”

They recognize that you should see yourself as your greatest asset. That’s why the final habit of effective people involves refreshing your body, mind, and soul.

This often means just resting once in a while. If you want to refresh your mind, you might want to jog around your neighborhood. You may also trek around nature for a change of pace.

You might want to meditate to refresh spiritually. Many people don’t know how that works, so there are many meditation apps nowadays. You might want to try those out.

Final thoughts

Stephen Covey saw that many people still feel lacking after achieving success. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People taught the philosophy of the Personality Ethic, but folks needed something more.

Covey realized that people needed to return to a Character Ethic. These are timeless and universal principles such as honesty, integrity, and fairness.

That’s why he released a sequel to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People called “8th Habit – From Effectiveness To Greatness. Perhaps you could check that out after reading 7 Habits!

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TAGS: B2B Marketing, habits, interesting topics, positive behavior
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