“The seven habits of highly effective people”, by Stephen Covey, offers a holistic approach to life. It has stuck a crucial chord with a perplexed manager who works in turbulent times. These habits are addressed not only to the managers, but also to the members of a family and as a spiritual, social sporting and thinking individuals. It offers a life transforming prescription that calls for a rethink of fundamental assumptions and attitudes.
Responsibility is an obligation that shows an individual’s readiness to bear the effects of their actions. The effects of activities done by an individual generally come into the limelight in the future. A responsible person is a person who endeavors to offer an acceptable response to questions that come up. The response that they often give is reflected in their actions. In order for an individual to meet his challenge, talent and ability, a responsible behavior is needed alongside.
Cultivation of virtuous morals and habits often result to individuals of being personal leaders in their lives. The characteristics of an individual often comprise their habits that are powerful influencers of a person’s life, moreover, they are composed in an individual’s subconscious, where they behave or act without actually having to think about it.
A habit is the intersection of skill, knowledge and desire. Skill is the ability to perform a duty well. New skills and knowledge are not essential in the acquisition of new and better habits. The essential part for an individual is to change their thought’s processes or mental map. There are principles that help in bringing about a new mind that create new habits for effective living. They include the following:
Being proactive, it shows that individuals are being responsible for their own lives. It demonstrates that a change occurs within an individual. Highly efficient individuals make the decision to better their lives through the things that they offer influence on rather than by reacting to external situations. Productivity refers to one being solely responsible for what happens in their lives. Blame games should not occur for choice taken. When proactive people make a mistake, they not only recognize and acknowledge it, but also correct it where possible.
The second habit towards future responsibility urges individuals to develop a personal mission statement that is significant for them. It shows a beginning in the end of mind. It advocates for control, guidance and rules. Individuals should try to imagine their funerals and imagine what the eulogist would say about them. This will aid them to discover the things that matter most in their life. Hence, they are able to use this frame of reference to make their daily decisions and work towards meaningful life goals.
The next steps involve doing the most essential things in life rather than being distracted with the minor things. It involves managing oneself by paying close attention to results rather than on ways in prioritizing within each compartment of work and life. For an individual to manage their life effectively, they need to keep their missions at heart. They need to maintain a balance between what they produce on a daily basis and their ability to produce in the future.
They also need to focus on arguments and relationships that are mutually beneficial. If all the parties start to work together as a one team and begin their operations in a better way that has not been thought of yet, then a great success can be achieved. Interdependence between different individuals often occurs in cooperation.
Individuals should also seek to understand others first and then to be understood by others. This involves listening and understanding in the first instance, before they try to be understood. Most individuals rarely listen. They often devise a rejoinder to what is being said, and then dive into the conversation. A more effective relationship with people occurs if one tries to understand them fully before trying to make them understand one’s view.
The next habit involves synergizing. The essence of this habit is whereby two individuals, each having a different agenda, value each other’s differences. Synergy lacks in people who are insecure about themselves. These people either clone or try to stereotype others. Individuals should also look after themselves and achieve a work life balance. They must be in a position to use creative cooperation in their social interactions. Therefore, they should be able to value differences; since creative solutions are mostly made from the clash between these differences. They should also develop a habit of self-renewal. This habit has four elements. The first is mental, which includes visualizing, planning, reading and writing. The second is spiritual, which shows value clarification and commitment, undergoing through study and meditation. The third element is the social/emotional feeling. This stresses that management includes service, synergy, empathy and intrinsic security. The final element is physical that includes exercise, nutrition and management of stress.
The above seven habits develop a fundamental efficiency in every body. Participants are able to gain on experience, applying different principles that result in yielding of greater productivity, strengthened relations, increased influence and improved communication. These principles enable one to learn how to take initiatives, develop a mission and vision within their organization, they are able to learn how to balance key objectives, improve their interpersonal communication skills and apply principles that will aid them in achieving a balanced life.
Agreements and Disagreements with the Assigned Reading
From the focus of habits one, two and three, we observe that an individual’s real respect come dominion over self, from true independence. Independence is a choice that is only made by independent people. Unless real independence is established, it is unwise to develop human relations skills. The techniques and skills that make a significant difference in interactions with human beings are those that have a natural flow from a truly independent character. Interdependence opens up worlds of possibilities for meaningful associations.
As one learns to listen deeply to other people, they discover that they have tremendous differences in perception. They begin to appreciate the impact that these different perceptions have as they work together in interdependence situations. The fifth habit is at the middle of an individual’s circle of influence. Many causes in interdependent situations are often at an individual’s circle of concern. Problems, circumstances, disagreements among others fall in this category. Problems caused by ineffectiveness cannot be resolved by the same ineffective thinking that caused them. The seven habits of effective thinking have provided a pathway to lead individuals into effective thinking and effective decision-making.
No claims disagreements or arguments are weak or inaccurate. I agree with Covey, Stephen’s arguments on “the seven habits of highly effective people.”
Relevance of the Assigned Reading to My professional Context
Performance is a goal accomplishment. It is a quantitative and qualitative measure of activities and operations, which an individual achieves efficiently and effectively within a specified time limit. “The seven habits of highly efficient people” has explained about the different factors that influence a person’s desire to perform. The need based theories explained these needs and hence importance of motivation. Motivation is a fundamental instrument that regulates work behavior.
The importance of self-efficacy in a successful work performance should not be underestimated. Beliefs in one’s own capability are crucial to the development of not only an individual but also the family and an organization at large. Self-efficacy shows the capabilities of an individual in executing the best course of action. It affects an individual’s choice on behavior, perseverance and facilitative patterns.
Individuals, who lack confidence in their skills, are not performing well in the tasks in which they can use their skills. They will therefore give up more quickly and easily. Intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy and job satisfaction are essential elements in attaining optimal productivity of workers. Attainment of competence and commitment boosts the morale of workers. These fundamental elements have clear explanations in “The seven habits of highly effective people.”
In conclusion, the responsibility for the future is a complex way of thinking. It is also a complex line of social actions. In order to transform responsible thinking into actions, individuals, educators and instructors have a crucial role to play. The society ought to be oriented and motivated to practice responsibility for the future in both their individual and social choices. Self-development should be supported and opportunities that can either benefit us at present or in the future time taken.