Stephen Covey in his 7 habits of highly effective people talks about the 7 habits exhibited by effective people. These habits are highlighted below:
1. Be proactive: The world is made up of proactive and reactive people. These two classes of people focus on two different. By choosing to be proactive, you are changing your life – you are becoming more effective. Your circle of influence will be widened. Stop being reactive; be proactive. The question is ‘how do I become proactive?’, stop focusing on the things you can’t control, as thinking about them will not change anything. Always focus on the problems you can influence. Being proactive talks about taking the initiative to choose the right response to situations. Everyone is responsible for his own choices and everyone has the freedom to choose.
2. Begin with the end in mind: Focus on the things that matter to you. Think about what your loved ones think about you. Life is about relationships try not to hurt people. Fill your day with a positive mindset. If you think it and if it is positive, go for it. A personal mission statement helps you to achieve things that matter to you. What will you like to be remembered for? This talk about your core values, therefore create a vision and develop a clear path to reaching your destination.
3. Put first things first: Use the urgent versus important matrix for prioritization. Every activity falls into two of four sections. Urgent, Not urgent, important and not important. Putting first things first is correctly allocating tasks into the right quadrant. However, you need to be careful of cognitive dissonance, which simply means that you are spending time on things that are not the things that not the most important to you. It is highly unhealthy. This is the habit of managing your time and life. Deal with procrastination, do the important things first. Organise things around priorities. Determine one thing that you could do on the regular basis that would make a tremendous positive difference in your life.
4. Think win-win: Another person does not have to lose for you to win. This is a symbiosis kind of relationship. If it is not a win-win, then it will be a parasitic or a selfish relationship. Avoid Win-lose/lose-Win and lose-lose relationships. There are other selfish relationships, the solely win and no deal relationship. Always seek to work together with people to gain mutual benefits. Remember, life is not a competition.
5. Seek first to understand and then to be understood: Synergy is a virtue; look for opportunities to create synergy. Learn to listen carefully to other people, everyone else has their own opinions, seek to understand other people, then you will be understood. Communication is one of the most important skills of life. Try not to project your experiences to other people’s life. It is easier to judge other people, why not give them a chance to be heard. There are 5 levels of listening:
· Selective hearing
· Attentive listening
· Empathic listening
These levels of listening will be unpacked in a future blog. Try to always diagnose before you advise.
6. Synergise: Little things matter, little improvements matter. This talks about the interaction of two or more parts whose outcome far exceeds the sum of their individual parts. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Combining efforts enhances efforts, so synergise.
7. Sharpen the saw: Apply this principle to your life. Embrace self-development activities to continually developing you to become a more effective person. This is all about improving your skills. Don’t judge a book by its cover; accept the journey of an endless goal.
In conclusion, effectiveness is a foundational requirement for achieving great results. Effectiveness is also a continuous endeavor. The more you continuously improve your self in an area, the better you become in that area. I encourage you to read Stephen Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people, you will be glad you did.
Thanks to Olusegun Sanyaolu for his input.