7 Habits of Effective People

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7 Habits of Effective People

Postby Dennis Ng » Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:37 pm

some people are skeptical about self-improvement books. However, personally I have learned alot and benefitted from some of the ideas shared in self-improvement books.

One of the books that had a big impact on my beliefs and actions is by Stephen Covey, this book entitled 7 Habits of Effective People. Ideas such as first things first, begin with the end in mind and think Win/Win form the cornerstone of what I do for myself personally and for my business.

What are these 7 habits? Here they are. I'm sure you will benefit by applying some of these habits like I have personally experienced.


Dennis Ng

Famous seven habits
THE 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was the book for which Stephen Covey is most famous. The habits represent, he says, 'a complete framework of universal, timeless principles of character and human effectiveness'.

? Habit 1: Be proactive
This means more than just taking the initiative. It means taking responsibility; our behaviour is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. All of us have a wide range of concerns - our work, our health, our children, the national debt, nuclear war, whatever they may be. If you put them inside a circle you could call it your 'circle of concern'. Within that circle, there are some things over which you have no control. But there are others you can do something about. The latter group you can call your 'circle of influence'. Being proactive means widening your circle of influence - working on the concerns you can do something about.

? Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind
This is based on the principle that 'all things are created twice': first in the mind, and then in reality. Before you construct a house, you have a clear image of what you want to build. Before you go on a trip, you determine your destination and plan the best route. Before you give a speech, you create it in your mind or on paper.

? Habit 3: Put first things first
This is the fulfilment of Habits 1 and 2.

? Habit 4: Think win-win
Seek to promote mutual benefit in your interactions. It's a superior outcome to win/lose ('I get my way, you don't get yours') or lose/win ('I lose, you win'') or lose/lose ('when two determined, stubborn, ego-invested individuals interact') or just 'win' ('it's irrelevant if anyone loses as long as I get what I want'). In some situations (like a football match) a desire for win/lose is appropriate. However, most situations involve interdependence and win/win is the only viable option.

? Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood
The first part of this habit involves 'empathic listening' - the highest form of listening, in which you listen with the other person's frame of reference, rather than your own. This provides you, as listener, the most accurate data to enable true understanding. Only then can you focus on influencing or problem-solving. It's like a doctor diagnosing accurately before prescribing. The second part of Habit 5 - to 'be understood' - involves presenting your own ideas clearly, specifically, visually, and contextually, thereby enhancing their credibility.

? Habit 6: Synergise
The essence here is to constantly try to create new alternatives, which were not there before through creative cooperation. Two pieces of wood together can hold much more than the total of the weight each can hold separately. You achieve synergy by communicating synergistically and opening yourself to new possibilities and options. The key to achieving synergy lies in valuing the mental, emotional and psychological differences between people and recognising that people see the world not as it is, but as they are.

? Habit 7: Sharpen the saw
Ensure that you preserve, enhance and constantly renew your own personal assets - physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual - which makes it possible for you to practise the first six habits.

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
Dennis Ng
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