Want to Become More Effective?

First of all, you might wonder what being more effective means?


Someone who is highly effective accomplishes their goals by doing the things that bring them the results they need. According to the late Stephen R. Covey who wrote and made infamous "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," effectiveness correlates with personal development. This personal development, according to Covey includes seven steps:


1.Be Proactive- be in control of your choices and realize there is always a solution to every dilemma or situation.

2.Begin with the End in Mind- in other words, in knowing the purpose, there is direction and direction equals success.

3.First Things First- learn to manage your time effectively.

4.Think Win Win- this includes fostering a positive attitude and learning to compromise.

5.Seek First to Understand, then be Understood- take the time to listen and really understand a situation before jumping in.

6.Synergize- in other words, finding creative solutions by working collaboratively with others.

7.Sharpen the Saw- by regularly engaging with your body, mind and spirit you will not only develop more as a person, but also become more effective.


Also, according to Covey our social expectations are strongly tied to our perception of the world. In essence, it is those social paradigms that dictate the way we "see" the world. It is only when we shift those paradigms through personal development, like the 7 habits described by Covey that we have an "Aha!" experience and begin to change our attitudes and behaviours, as well as begin our self education and growth. As Covey states, "admission of ignorance is often the first step in our education" (37).


When I first read "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" in College I looked at it as a boring book that was something to read, write a paper on and forget about. I never thought that years later Covey's sharing of knowledge would make a lot of sense and would be something that I would want to re-read , think about and share with others. All in all, Covey researched over 200 years of literature of successful people to recognize and share with his readers that the 7 habits are principles  typically already within us, but in order to be successful and effective we need to learn to develop and embrace these principles.


                Covey, R. Stephen. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1989.