Review: The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People

Review: The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People

It’s no doubt you’ve heard of “7 Habits” if you haven’t read it yet, it MAY NOT be time to read it now.

I am of the opinion you can’t or shouldn’t read it until you’re ready. Let me explain:

I read it in 1993 when I was 20. If I had read it when I was 19, I would have gotten nothing out of it. To be honest, when I did read it, it really was an answer to my prayers.

There are concepts in this book that are so powerful, that even just reading them (without consciously putting them into action) changed how I live.

For example, I continuously found myself comparing what was happening in my life to what I had just read. If someone said an insulting thing to me, my initial feeling would be anger, but on the heels of that thought would come something I’d read in 7 Habits. I’d think, “Hey! That reminds me of when Covey wrote about ___________.” And by the time that thought was gone, so was the negative situation.

Thinking became a whole lot of fun!

Even the first 3 Habits were enough to get me incredibly excited about interaction with others. You could live 1000 years and not come up with these concepts on your own.

The 4th habit was my favorite. It’s called “Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood.” I wish I did this more…now that I’m married! However, back then, this helped me to become a very good “Speaker.” I could talk to people and help them not “drown for psychological air” around me. People want to be understood. If you argue your point all the time, no one feels understood and ideas are harder to be put into action. ANY IDIOT CAN ARGUE! The whole world seems to place a huge importance on debate…and being able to destroy other people’s points of view with your logic and wit.

However, that’s not strength. Like I said: any idiot can argue. Not 1 in 1000 people can REALLY consider another person’s opinion as being the right one. Even fewer can actually stop and say to themselves: “I’m positive that I’m 110% right and the other person is wrong, but who knows? Maybe I am wrong. Let me consider their point and listen to what they need to express.”

Now that is real strength.

I once shared this concept with an opinionated individual. They started yelling at me and saying I was wrong and that if you know you’re right; you need to stand up for yourself and prove the other person is wrong. With a grin on my face, I replied, “Maybe you’re right.” LOL! They didn’t even pick up on the fact I had just done to them what I was advocating.

It’s amazing what happens to people when you state back to them what you think is the point they’re trying to make. You’ll end up starting a lot of your sentences with: “…so, what you’re saying is….”. Once you begin to show the person you’re not there to argue, their backs go down; the urgency in their voice drops; they calm down, and then they listen to your point without fighting.

As Covey explains, the best way to influence others is…to be INFLUENCED.

It’s such a good book, and it’s filled with principles that will help you in all your dealings, but I find you have to be in a position in your life to put it into action. It will work great if you can practice it every day in a setting as:

  • a family member dealing with difficult situations
  • a manager
  • a salesperson

…or anyone who needs to deal with people day-to-day. If you feel a strong need to know how to deal with others more effectively, maybe you’re ready for this book now.

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