Jason’s Ranting & Raving

Those who don’t read have no advantage over those who can’t.

Book Review: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Posted by jaystile on November 19, 2008

I finished reading Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. The content of this book is very good and worth a read. I’ve been told it is the alpha and the omega as far as self-help books are concerned. Covey makes a distinction between his book which focuses on individual growth, that leads to healthy relationships with family, friends, and organizations versus books like “How to win friends and influence people” which focuses on manipulating people to achieve what you want. And from what he has written it is true.

As I said, there is a lot of good content in the book and it would be hard to write up all the interesting notes about it. Here are some of the highlights. Have a mission statement that reflects who you want to be and how you want people to remember you. This leads to a set of principles that you base all your decisions off from. I was going to post mine on the blog, but it is a little too personal. But if you show me yours, I’ll show you mine. 😉 The next is to focus on understanding people first before you interject your experiences and advice. He calls this empathic listening (like Deanna Troy from Star Trek). You repeat back to people not only what they said but how they seemed to be feeling. For example, “Honey, I don’t want to make dinner tonight.” you respond, “You don’t want to make dinner tonight and you feel exhausted and need some companionship”. (This is a bit obtuse for an example, but hey if you want better ones read the book).

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