I just finished the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. What a fantastic book. I've heard of the book before but never took the time to actually read through the 380 pages or so. The book really helped me reflect and understand what I'm doing right and what I can approve upon in life.
The book deals in seven habits that fit into three different different areas of our live. Being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, and first things first fit into our independence. Essentially, what we can control in our own life. Then thinking about win-win, seeking to understand, and synergizing all fit into the interdependence of building relationships. Finally, there's sharpening the saw in the continuous improvement section. The final habit has four personal areas of renewal: physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional.
As I read through the book here are some of quotes that resonated with me:
Really seeking to understand another person is probably one of the most important deposits you can make, and it is the key to every other deposit. You simply don't know what constitutes a deposit to another person until you understand that individual
I've seen success with this approach in implementing security.
Integrity also means avoiding any communication that is deceptive, full of guile, or beneath the dignity of people. "A lie is any communication with intent to deceive," according to one definition of the world. Whether we communicate with words or behavior, if we have integrity, our intent cannot be to deceive.
I have a pair of sunglasses that I had etched with the word "integrity." It's a word that I've always believed in and try to practice in my daily life.
So I recommend reading literature, such as the inspiring biography of Anwar Sadat, In Search of Identity, and seeing movies like Chariot of Fire or plays like Les Misérables that exposes you to models of Win/Win.
Win/Win is something that I've practiced before but never realized I was actually doing it. Win/Lose, Lose/Win, and Lose/Lose are the other variations that I've practiced and never realized. I intend to continue to study Win/Win scenarios and applying it more in my daily life.
Apparent learner disability was nothing more or less than teacher inflexibility.
I've always wanted to teach. I thought it would be High School history or something, but now I realize teaching is something we do daily with the people we interact with. As teachers we need to find more creative and interesting ways to get our message or teachings across. If students aren't picking up on it, that's on us. Not them.
One of the things I loved about this book is that Covey focused on some of his own failings. In self-help books, authors often focus on successes in implementing self-help advice or strategies. Which of course makes trying to apply those practices frustrating when they fail. Reading about the failures and the lessons learned from helped me to understand that application will take time and that it's a continuous process.