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We spend our time doing things that are not important. That means that we neglect Quadrant II, which is the actually most crucial of them all. If we focus on Quadrant I and spend our time managing crises and problems, it keeps getting bigger and bigger until it consumes us.

These leads to stress, burnout, and constantly putting out fires. If we focus on Quadrant III , we spend most of our time reacting to matters that seem urgent, when the reality is their perceived urgency is based on the priorities and expectations of others. This leads to short-term focus, feeling out of control, and shallow or broken relationships.

If we focus on Quadrant IV, we are basically leading an irresponsible life. This often leads to getting fired from jobs and being highly dependent on others. Quadrant II is at the heart of effective personal management. We also need to be able to delegate effectively. We should always maintain a primary focus on relationships and results, and a secondary focus on time. Write it down and commit to implementing it. Create your own time management matrix to start prioritizing.

Estimate how much time you spend in each quadrant. Then log your time over 3 days. How accurate was your estimate?

How much time did you spend in Quadrant II the most important quadrant? In order to establish effective interdependent relationships , we must commit to creating Win-Win situations that are mutually beneficial and satisfying to each party.


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Agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying to both parties. When two Win-Lose people get together -- that is, when two determined, stubborn, ego-invested individuals interact -- the result will be Lose-Lose. What matters is that they get what they want. Win-Win or No Deal: The best option is to create Win-Win situations. With Win-Lose, or Lose-Win, one person appears to get what he wants for the moment, but the results will negatively impact the relationship between those two people going forward.

The Win-Win or No Deal option is important to use as a backup. When we have No Deal as an option in our mind, it liberates us from needing to manipulate people and push our own agenda. We can be open and really try to understand the underlying issues. In solving for Win-Win, we must consider two factors: Take a look at the following chart:. Another important factor in solving for Win-Win situations is maintaining an Abundance Mentality , or the belief that there's plenty out there for everyone.

When it comes to interpersonal leadership, the more genuine our character is, the higher our level of proactivity; the more committed we are to Win-Win, the more powerful our influence will be. As an organization, we need to align our reward system with our goals and values and have the systems in place to support Win-Win. Write down a list of what the other person is looking for.

Next, write a list next to that of how you can make an offer to meet those needs. Identify three important relationships in your life. Think about what you feel the balance is in each of those relationships. Do you give more than you take? Take more than you give? Write down 10 ways to always give more than you take with each one. Deeply consider your own interaction tendencies. How does that affect your interactions with others? Can you identify the source of that approach?

Determine whether or not this approach serves you well in your relationships. Write all of this down. Email is one place we all quickly build poor habits. Rather than wasting time by copying and pasting email templates that you use every day, we recommend using HubSpot's free CRM to easily send personalized email templates in Gmail and Outlook. Before we can offer advice, suggest solutions, or effectively interact with another person in any way, we must seek to deeply understand them and their perspective through empathic listening.

Unfortunately, we do the same thing in our everyday interactions with others. We prescribe a solution before we diagnose the problem. Habit 5 says that we must seek first to understand, then to be understood. In order to seek to understand, we must learn to listen. But what about listening? To listen empathically requires a fundamental paradigm shift. We typically seek first to be understood. Most people listen with the intent to reply , not to understand. When we listen autobiographically -- in other words, with our own perspective as our frame of reference -- we tend to respond in one of four ways:.

Ask questions from our own frame of reference. But if we replace these types of response with empathic listening, we see dramatic results in improved communication. What emotions are being communicated that might not come across through words alone? Was one person or the other more interested in the conversation? Write down what you noticed. Next time you give a presentation, root it in empathy.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Begin by describing the audience's point of view in great detail. What problems are they facing? How is what you're about to say offering a solution to their problems? The combination of all the other habits prepares us for Habit 6, which is the habit of synergy or "When one plus one equals three or more and the whole is great than the sum of its parts. For example, if you plant two plants close together, their roots will co-mingle and improve the quality of the soil, so that both plants will grow better than they would on their own.

PC stands for production capability, the ability or asset that produces the golden eggs. Condescending fake-friendliness masking resentment and loathing. For our purposes, we will define a habit as the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire. Knowledge is the theoretical paradigm, the what to do and the why. Skill is the how to do. And desire is the motivation, the want to do. In order to make something a habit in our lives, we have to have all three.

View all 49 comments. Pilgrims who think that vanity fair is no vanity. This was recommended reading following on from a course and I found it to be an odd mix of the homely and the disturbing. On the whole it's probably the dogmatic air of absolute certainty that I find disturbing, that and the way he describes how he reduced his son to tears over keeping the garden in good order. Reading this book is rather like having a very one-sided conversation with a particularly earnest and opinionated drunk who isn't shy to jab you in the chest with a fore-finger to underlin This was recommended reading following on from a course and I found it to be an odd mix of the homely and the disturbing.

Reading this book is rather like having a very one-sided conversation with a particularly earnest and opinionated drunk who isn't shy to jab you in the chest with a fore-finger to underline a point. That's not to say that the seven habits are bad, far from it. They are a quite reasonable and potentially useful set of habits. Whether effective people tend to have these habits or if having these habits will make you more effective is presumed but not proven by this book which is heavily anecdotal, but that is neither here nor there.

The power of the argument and the vast number of sales lies in how the seven habits tap into our moral beliefs about the kind of habits we want to be able to have to make us successful, and more to the point the kind of habits that we want to believe make people successful, and in the great tradition of self help books it asserts the primacy of the individual will over any and all other circumstances. No war, want, injustice, disease, political, economic or social structure can hinder the truly just man girt by the seven habits.


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Business in this account is a battlefield in the moral universe, the victor, a sage at least if not a saint. That's the meat of the book in one sentence. But equally perhaps we should remember that seven is a magic number, this really isn't a business book, it is a spiritual book.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People Summary:

The seven habits are to stand firm against the seven deadly sins. Life on Earth for Covey is a probationary period for the life ever after, since Covey was a Mormon being true to his faith was due to be rewarded with stewardship of an entire planet. Clearly one needs to demonstrate effective stewardship over the smaller business of mortal life to be judged ready for such a substantial reward.


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  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?

In turn this was another disturbing element to the book for me because this means that everything becomes functional. Having a picnic with your sweetheart isn't about enjoying life it is an important Quadrant II activity! This is a mechanistic view of the human experience and, sadder yet, a harsh one.

The path to life everlasting is a narrow one, beset with dangers while storms around do rage. Fear not, lonely pilgrim, for Covey illuminates the way with quadrants and diagrams. Yet there is optimism in his approach. Despite what he repeats about paradigm shifts he believes that everybody can come to see both alternative paradigms and appreciate their validity. Personally I suspect that every reader will be able to think of occasions when opposite points of view are not reconcilable.

Honesty and realism has to temper any reading of this book. Maybe my problem with this book is that everything is spelt out. It's a Sunday sermon and the pastor is going to read out every word and isn't going to be hurried on to his inevitable conclusions. Worth reading for a taste of the horror and the glory of late twentieth- early twenty-first century corporate life - but keep some salt handy. View all 24 comments. An okay book if you don't know how to manage your life it's probably really helpful but if you've thought about how to make yourself more productive or effective a lot of it's intuitive.

Also like a lot of these books can only tell you things you have to make the changes yourself which is always the hard part so. This one was better written than most which I appreciate. Oct 16, Kay rated it really liked it Shelves: Jul 21, Maddie rated it really liked it Recommended to Maddie by: Thank you Emma for the recommendation - this book so meant so much to me - I will keep the memories and the knowledge with me forever Thank you for being an awesome friend! View all 22 comments. Sep 14, Nora rated it did not like it Shelves: I read only the first twenty pages of this book, and that was enough to make me want to gouge out my own eyeballs.

It is so repetitive and the author just gives all these ridiculous, impossible analogies that you're supposed to relate to or learn something from. He goes on for pages about himself and his job and his wife and kids. It really is all just common sense stuff that you already know, but preached at you over the course of pages and pages of utter nonsense. For exam I read only the first twenty pages of this book, and that was enough to make me want to gouge out my own eyeballs.

For example, Covey writes that if you're not nice to your coworkers, you won't get far in your career. If you want to learn more, Mr. Covey has written you about 70 pages on the subject, so you're good to go. Believe me when I tell you that this book will most certainly NOT change your life in any way, shape, or form. I liken this author to that one uncle that will tell you his entire life story at every reunion, regardless of whether or not you're interested in hearing it. I should probably stop myself before steam starts coming out of my ears. I only have one thing to say to you, book.

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Jul 18, Michael Finocchiaro rated it it was ok Shelves: I found this book a bit condescending and with too much of a religious feel to it. It also felt a little insincere and manipulative. I remember that everyone was reading it and swearing by it and that the author must have made millions on seminars and the like, but I found it too close to a cultish mentality and was unsurprised when several adepts of the book later tried dragging me in to pyramid schemes like Amway. Empty platitudes are not really incredibly useful.

Aug 20, Stacey rated it did not like it Shelves: Oh my Gawd, how much did I hate this one. We had to read this the summer before a freshman college Intro to Business Class - perhaps I read it at the wrong age? When Steven Covey starts talking about his kid mowing the lawn and the motivation behind it Needless to say, I only got through about 2 of the 7 habits - I guess I'm not a highly effective person.

And I will not be purchasing any of Mr Covey's time management calendar systems either, thank you very much. View all 4 comments. Be a model, not a critic. View all 7 comments.

Jul 02, Greg rated it it was amazing Shelves: Inspirational, developmental, and practical -- what a combination! The principles of behavior covered in this groundbreaking and long-respected book are of great worth to anyone seeking success in career, family, or any other aspect of their life. Covey discusses first the actions we must take or habits we must develop internally first - getting our heads and hearts right first. These include being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, and putting first things first. These constitute the Inspirational, developmental, and practical -- what a combination!

These constitute the "private victory. Finally, he addresses the truth that we won't always be energetic and at our best in his discussion of personal renewal. Key to that is the idea of sharpening the saw Any serious athlete understands that principle. Outstanding book, especially when linked with his expanded discussion of Habit 3, putting first things first, in the book by the same title.

Another excellent complement to this book is "Crucial Conversations. Jan 15, Emma Sea rated it it was ok Shelves: I'm not able to rate this fairly as a reader coming to it in This was one of the first "personal development" books, and the other 4 thousand books I've read on the topic all borrow from it heavily. The thing is, they borrow from it, and then make it better in every way: This is a classic, but I don't recommend reading it.

View all 5 comments. George A simpler time? That is not a valid excuse. The truth is the book is not written well. The most overly hyped self help book ever Jan 01, Nisha Daniel Couldn't agree more, and I'm reading it ! Sep 15, Aug 21, Corinne rated it really liked it Shelves: I had to read this book for a professional development seminar. Then, I re-read it again, for personal reasons. When I rose above myself and did this, all of a sudden I was not the same person.

The book is worth just for this. I love his notion of synergy in creating values, but this is also the notion that pains me the most, because this is the least I see around me.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People [Book Summary]

His chapter on renewal convinced me to have a role and goal. It gave me a meaning to my life, for the first time. Nov 25, Rowena rated it liked it Shelves: This book was just alright. I was slightly disappointed as I have had this book recommended to me by countless people so I did expect better.

I felt it could have been condensed to a quarter of its size easily. The book was also written in the 80s and I could easily tell personally, I feel it's in need of a 21st Century update. I did give it 3-stars though because there were parts I found useful and interesting, especially the section about writing a mission statement for oneself.

I guess this This book was just alright. Lead teams that are motivated to perform superbly through a shared expectation and accountability process. Create an atmosphere of helpful give-and-take by taking the time to fully understand issues, and give candid and accurate feedback. Demonstrate innovative problem-solving skills by seeking out differences and new and better alternatives.

Tap into the highest and best contribution of everyone on a team by unlocking the total strength, passion, capability, and spirit of each individual. Sets the foundation for professional effectiveness - increasing productivity, restoring balance, and developing greater maturity and responsibility.