Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


Explore Covey's perspective

Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

 The first three habits are all about our private victory - or our victory with ourselves.


Habit 1: Be proactive

The first habit, which helps toward our private victory, is all about being proactive. This means taking control of the things we can, and forgetting about the things we can't control. It also means taking personal responsibility for our actions and not waiting for, or being driven by, others. 


Habit 2 - Begin with the end in mind 

Covey explains that highly effective people know where they are going and what they want to achieve.  In short, you won't make a plan if you don't.


Habit 3 - Put first things first

Putting first things first means learning how to plan and how to manage your time so that what is most important gets done.


The next three habits focus on public victory - i.e. the victories we have in our relationships with others. This second set of habits help us to build interdependent relationships with other people and to be more effective in our interactions with them.


Habit 4: Think win-win

This means having an "everyone can win attitude". Thinking win-win means being creative and finding ways for both you and the other party to succeed. 


Habit 5: Seek first to understand

...and only then to be understood. 

Seeking first to understand means listening; try to see things from another's point of view before you start sharing your own.


Habit 6: Synergise

This means working together to achieve more. Synergy means that the sum total is greater than its individual parts. Celebrate difference, work as a team, find better ways 


Habit 7: Sharpen the saw

Covey teaches us that to be highly effective we need to keep our instrument fresh, alert and healthy.  Our instrument of course being ourselves.


Covey, Stephen R. (1990). The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Fireside Book, 1990. Print.