"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Steven Covey

effective change starting from the inside

In this Siminar, you will use Steven Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" to discover how effective change starts from the inside and works its way out.

In this free Siminar, you will use Steven R. Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to discover how effective change starts from the inside and works its way out. This program is both personal and interactive; we encourage you to keep a journal for reflection and various assignments, and also to share your thoughts with your classmates through discussion questions.

Steven Covey's principle-centered approach to a better way of living can be utilized in business, as well as in personal and relational matters. Whether you are working to understand and improve your relationship with your children, or develop a more effective culture in your workplace, Covey's 7 Habits, along with this Siminar, will guide you on your journey of personal change.

Throughout the Siminar we will suggest things to do to apply the 7 Habits. While we don't assign all of the application suggestions, feel free to choose which questions you would like to complete.

Facilitators

Featured Book

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

R., Stephen

Published: 2004-11-09 by Free Press. 384 Pages. ISBN: 9780743269513

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Syllabus

1 Inside-Out

Learn about the Personality and Character Ethics, and how these paradigms influence our lives. Understand the "power of a paradigm" and how important it is to shift these paradigms based on our deepest values.

  1. Read Part I through the section titled "Seeing and Being": The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. Watch the video "Paradigm Shift"
  3. Read this article: "Concerning Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography"
  4. Review the problems posed by confidants of Covey at the beginning of the "Inside Out" section. Which of them do you identify with most? Write a journal entry about your current situation that you would like to improve. Ideally, what would you like to get out of this Siminar?
  5. What paradigms so you feel you can or need to shift? Why?
  6. What influenced you to partake in this Siminar and to learn about the "7 Habits?"
  7. Can you see the influence of the Personality Ethic in your behavior? In your relationships? In the behavior of your coworkers?

2 Principles, Paradigms, and an Overview of the Habits

This section addresses how to move from dependence, to independence, to interdependence. We must shift our paradigms and focus on principles in order to achieve personal change.

  1. Begin at "The Principle Centered Paradigm" (p. 32) and finish Part I: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. Plan to share the knowledge you gain from this Siminar with someone you know. Whether it is just one person, or many people, make an active effort to be the teacher as well as the learner.
  3. Stephen Covey - Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
  4. Can you see any habit or paradigm that you have that you would like to work on? Which part of this habit do you feel you need to work on - the knowledge (what or why), the skill (the how), or the desire (the want and motivation)? Reflect on this in your journal.
  5. Where do you lie on the maturity continuum? Do you feel you are independent, or do you feel dependent on any outside forces?
  6. Based on the overview of the habits, where do you anticipate you will run into the most difficulty?

3 Habit 1: Be Proactive (Part 1)

Proactivity means that we have responsibility for own lives. We are a product of our decisions, not our environment. We have the power to choose positive responses to our situations. We have to learn to have control over what we can influence, and accept what we cannot.

  1. Read "Habit 1: Be Proactive" up to the end of the section "Act or Be Acted Upon": The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. Read a summary of the philosopher Seneca's views on happiness
  3. What outside force tries to act upon you? What doable, practical things do you think you can do to deal with your "environment" more proactively, and with initiative? Reflect on this in your journal.
  4. Make an effort to take control of your happiness, and focus on being proactive rather than reactive.
  5. Stephen Covey Video - Choosing Success
  6. Be Proactive
  7. What do you think of Seneca's views of happiness? Do you see a connection with Covey's approach?
  8. Do you know any people like Carol, the woman with cancer? If so, how have people like her influenced you?

4 Habit 1: Be Proactive (Part 2)

There are many things in life that we are concerned about, but only some that we have influence over. Through proactivity, we can learn to focus on the things over which we have influence, and therefore reduce negative energy caused by reactivity.

  1. Finish "Habit 1" (pp. 78-94): The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. The Circles of Influence & Concern
  3. Read Viktor Frankl's "Where do values originate?"
  4. Make a Circle of Influence/Concern. Where do you focus your time and energy? What are your concerns? Think about which things you can control or influence and place them in your Circles.
  5. Do Application Suggestion #3: "Select a problem from your work or personal life that is frustrating to you. Determine whether it is a direct, indirect, or no control problem. Identify the first step you can take in you Circle of Influence to solve it and then take that step."
  6. What are some things you worry about that you cannot influence? How much time do you spend concerned over these things?
  7. Discuss the anecdote where Covey instructs a husband to just 'love her', when discussing problems he has with his wife. Do you think it is that easy?

5 Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind (Part 1)

In Habit 2 we learn "All things are created twice". There is always a mental or first creation before a second, physical creation. This is seen with leadership and management. We must accept responsibility for both in order to expand our Circle of Influence.

  1. Read "Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind" up to the end of the section "Writing and Using a Personal Mission Statement": The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. Stephen Covey: Habit 2, Begin with the End in Mind
  3. Read quotes from Anwar el Sadat's autobiography
  4. Do Application Suggestion #4 at the end of "Habit 2" (p. 144). Write one journal entry with your response. How would you like to change your center?
  5. Do Application Suggestion #5 at the end of the Chapter and record it in your journal: "Start a collection of notes, quotes, and ideas you may want to use as resource material in writing your personal mission statement."
  6. Do Application Suggestion #6 at the end of the Chapter and record it in your journal: "Identify a project you will be facing in the near future and apply the principle of mental creation. Write down the results you desire and what steps will lead to those results."
  7. Where is your "center" currently? Where would you like your "center" to be?
  8. What sorts of things would you put into your mission statement?

6 Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind (Part 2)

Continue learning about the value of a personal mission statement. Identify your roles and goals and how these will come into play in an effective mission statement.

  1. Finish "Habit 2": The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. Stephen Covey: Goals and Priorities
  3. Think of the visualization exercise you did on your funeral at the start of the "Habit 2" Chapter. Fill out the chart on p. 144 to organize your thoughts. In what areas do you feel confident in your visualization? Which areas do you feel have the most room for improvement?
  4. Write your own eulogy. Pay attention to which areas you feel you can write with confidence, and which you feel you need to improve in order for them to be true.
  5. Begin to work on a personal mission statement. This means finding the time to separate yourself form your daily duties, and visualize.
  6. Have you identified short term goals in order to get to your long term goals? What obstacles have you come across? Do you feel that identifying your roles and goals ahead of time would be advantageous in achieving your goals?
  7. Would you consider yourself "right brained" or "left brained"? Do you find it difficult to utilize the characteristics of both sides?

7 Habit 3: Put First Things First

Habit 3 focuses on organizing your life based on your values and goals, in other words, what is in your personal mission. Effective personal management is the ultimate message of Habit 3, using the Four Quadrants of Success. This allows you to prioritize and delegate.

  1. Read "Habit 3: Put First Things First" : The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. The 4 Quadrants of Success
  3. Answer the questions at the start of the chapter. Review what you wrote and organize them into quadrants. Classify them as important or urgent. Write a journal entry on your priorities, and which things you can put second in order to put more important, Quadrant II things first.
  4. Read "The Common Denominator of Success" by Albert E.N. Gray
  5. Begin to organize your life on a weekly basis. Acquire or create a fourth generation organizational system, and use it to identify your roles, goals, and priorities.
  6. Do you find it difficult to delegate? Why do you think this is?
  7. How can you implement the Quadrants of Success?

8 Paradigms of Interdependence and The Emotional Bank Account

Learn to use the Emotional Bank Account to preserve relationships and build trust. This is how you receive benefits of interdependence. Covey discusses the major deposits that can be made into this bank account.

  1. Read the Section "Paradigms of Interdependence" (pp. 185-203): The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. Which of the six major deposits do you see in your own life as needing improvement? How can you begin to work towards more meaningful deposits, and fewer withdrawals from your relationships? Reflect on this in your journal.
  3. Choose a relationship, work or personal, that you have withdrawn from more than you have deposited. Focus on the Emotional Bank Account and creating an interdependent relationship.
  4. What do you think of the Emotional Bank Account? How can you could use in your life?

9 Habit 4: Think Win/Win

Habit 4 discusses the spirit of Win/Win. This concept cannot survive in a competitive environment. Learn to seek mutually beneficial agreements and relationships, and consider the option of "No Deal" if Win/Win isn't an option.

  1. Read "Habit 4: Think Win/Win": The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. Do Application Suggestion #2 and record it in your journal: "Make a list of obstacles that keep you from applying the Win/Win paradigm more frequently. Determine what could be done within your Circle of Influence to eliminate some of those obstacles."
  3. Read Hrand Saxenian's article on emotional maturity (based on Saxenian's work referenced in the "Character" section of the Chapter)
  4. Do Application Suggestion #3 and record it in your journal: "Select a specific relationship where you would like to develop a Win/Win agreement. Try to put yourself in the other person's place, and write down explicitly how you think that person sees the solution." (con't)
  5. Discuss your experiences thus far with the Win/Win paradigm. Has it been successful for you? What did you do?
  6. Do you find "No Deal" to be a difficult alternative? If so, why do you think this is?

10 Habit 5: Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood

Effective listening is key to interpersonal interactions, but it is more than hearing the other person but in the frame of mind of your own autobiographical experience. Instead, we need to learn to listen empathically for both meaning and sentiment.

  1. Read "Habit 5: Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood": The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. Practice empathic listening in your next interactions. Did you notice a difference? Was it difficult? Was it effective? Reflect on this in your journal.
  3. Tim Sanders: Emotional Intelligence
  4. Stephen Covey: Indian Talking Stick
  5. Do Application Suggestion #1 at the end of the "Habit 5" Chapter and record it in your journal
  6. Try practicing empathic listening. What did you notice was difficult? How were you inclined to respond?

11 Habit 6: Synergize

Conflicts can often be solved better through the creative solutions of more than one person. "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts" and synergistic cooperation allows better solutions that what could be obtained by an individual alone.

  1. Read "Habit 6: Synergize": The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. Answer Application Suggestion #2 at the end of the Chapter and record the answers in your journal: "Make a list of people who irritate you. Do they represent different views that could lead to synergy if you had greater intrinsic security and valued the difference?"
  3. Do Application Suggestion #3 at the end of the Chapter and record the answers in your journal: "Identify a situation in which you desire greater teamwork and synergy. What conditions would need to exist to support synergy? What can you do to create those conditions?"
  4. Do Application Suggestion #4 at the end of the Chapter: "The next time you have a disagreement or confrontation with someone, attempt to understand the concerns underlying that person's position. Address those concerns in a creative and mutually beneficial way."
  5. Stephen Covey: Work and The 3rd Alternative
  6. In which situations do you feel you could benefit from synergy the most?
  7. Discuss your responses to Application Suggestion #2. Do you find it easy to value differences? Do you ever feel that differences are just too great to overcome?

12 Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

It is important to constantly and proactively work to renew the four dimensions of your nature: Physical, mental, spiritual, and social.

  1. Read "Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw": The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. Do Application Suggestions #1, 2 and 3 at the end of the Chapter. Record them in your journal. Try to do the Suggestions each week and record your results.
  3. Do Application Suggestion #4 at the end of the Chapter: "Commit to write down specific ‘sharpen the saw’ activities in all four dimensions every week, to do them, and to evaluate your performance and results."
  4. Do you feel you can commit to an hour a day of saw-sharpening? What will be your biggest obstacle?
  5. Which of the four dimensions do you focus on? Which do you tend to forget about?

13 Inside-Out Again

In his conclusion, Covey shares an experience in which he and his wife changed from the inside out. It is an example of how the habits can improve our relationships.

  1. Read "Inside-Out Again" in Part Four: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. Stephen Covey: Four Assumptions
  3. What is your opinion of Covey's experience in Hawaii?
  4. How will the 7 Habits help you in the future? How do you think you can improve your development of the 7 Habits?