Coup de foudre and 7 Habits

It’s fair to say I have started 2016 with a live changing coup de foudre! And not the good kind.

It really is the darkest moments that test your emotional and physical reserves, that force you to (with help) get up off the floor, wipe your tears, dig deep and reconnect with all that is good in your life.  And if you are fortunate, there is so much good energy & kind people in your life to support you in your time of need.

When cleaning out some items over the break I was drawn to a copy of Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’.  It has been maybe two decades since I first picked this book up. At the time I was a little … meh.  I’ve returned to with some maturity since and found it useful when coaching people with time management problems and while I have some issues with the book, I never fail to find a passage to underline/highlight or ‘memefy’.

What I took on board with this reading was when Covey says ‘the way we see the problem is the problem’ and while this seems simplistic given the complex problems we face, he starts with an ‘inside-out’ approach.  If you want more/better/positive … be more pleasant/cooperative/responsible/helpful … And if you think this is a load of bumpkin – smile your way through tomorrow and notice how people respond.

The 7 habits are not so much habits but a stepwise approach to being more personally effective.  It starts with being more proactive, and by using his time management approach, spending more time in the areas that enrich you, rather than procrastinating, putting out fires and being reactive.  I wonder what he thought about the 7 hours a week we spend on Facebook?

The second habit is beginning with the end in mind and being the creator and producer of your vision.

Putting first things first is the third habit and while it focuses on where you spend your time, I see it as keeping what is important uppermost in your mind.

The fourth habit is Think Win/Win and it is the one that has most resonated with me. Identifying with the other party and devising a mutually acceptable agreement isn’t limited to the board room table.  It’s an approach we can take when problem solving most disagreements in our life.  His key thoughts in this realm revolve around integrity: working within our value paradigm; maturity: the ability to express our feelings and convictions whilst taking into account those of the other party; and the abundance mentality: ditching the fear of lack, being aware of our own self-worth and appreciation of sharing results, recognition, decision making, finances, opportunities etc.

The fifth habit centres around seeking to first understand, then be understood.  Pause.  Listen.  And listen some more. Listen to understand.  Then convey your point of view.

The sixth habit, synergise is the energy associated with your more open mind and approach to opportunities that you create.

The last habit, sharpen the saw, is a recognition of self-renewal and taking time out to recharge, whether it be through diet, exercise, meditation, movies, friends, reading, walking, planning etc.

Have you read the 7 Habits?  What resonated with you and why?

2 Comments
  1. Really like the win win concept, so enriching
    And the first understand the other person
    Really they are all brilliant and I wish I could be better at applying them more. Only improving very slowly
    Another book to maybe put on your reading list is the art of possibility by the Zanders. One of the few books I read twice..

  2. I’ll add this one to my reading list. Thanks for stopping by Heike.

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