I am most honored to have a guest post up today at Alister Cameron’s blog that is based on Stephen Covey’s well-known book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” In the article, I take a look at how these principles can help bloggers to be more effective. Have you read the book? It’s a good one. Here are the 7 Habits as summarized by Wikipedia:
- Be Pro-active. Here, Covey emphasizes the original sense of the term “proactive” as coined by Victor Frankl. You can either be proactive or reactive when it comes to how you act about certain things. Being “proactive” means taking responsibility for everything in life. When you’re reactive, you blame other people and circumstances for obstacles or problems. Initiative, and taking action will then follow. Covey shows how man is different from animals in that he has self consciousness. He has the ability to detach himself and observe his own self, think about his thoughts. He goes on to say how this attribute enables him. It gives him the power not to be affected by his circumstances. Covey talks about ‘Stimulus and Response’. Between Stimulus and Response, we have the power to choose the response.
- Begin with the End In Mind. This chapter is about setting long-term goals based on “true-north principles”. Covey recommends to formulate a “personal mission statement” to document one’s perception of one’s own purpose in life. He sees visualization as an important tool to develop this. He also deals with organizational mission statements, which he claims to be more effective if developed and supported by all members of an organization, rather than being prescribed.
- Put First Things First. Here, Covey describes a framework for prioritizing work that is aimed at long-term goals, at the expense of tasks that appear to be urgent, but are in fact less important. Delegation is presented as an important part of time management. Successful delegation, according to Covey, focuses on results and benchmarks that are to be agreed in advance, rather than on prescribing detailed work plans.
- Think Win/Win describes an attitude whereby mutually beneficial solutions are sought, that satisfy the needs of oneself as well as others, or, in the case of a conflict, both parties involved.
- Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. Covey warns that giving out advice before having empathetically understood a person and their situation will likely result in that advice being rejected. Thoroughly listening to another person’s concerns instead of reading out your own autobiography is purported to increase the chance of establishing a working communication.
- Synergize describes a way of working in teams. Apply effective problem solving. Apply collaborative decision making. Value differences. Build on divergent strengths. Leverage creative collaboration. Embrace and leverage innovation. It is put forth that, when this is pursued as a habit, the result of the teamwork will exceed the sum of what each of the members could have achieved on their own. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
- Sharpen the saw focuses on balanced self-renewal. Regaining what Covey calls “productive capacity” by engaging in carefully selected recreational activities.
Stop on over and check out the post and then spend some time browsing around at Alister’s site– where you’ll find a ton of helpful and interesting information.