I had to listen The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen R. Covey for a professional development seminar. Then, I re-listen it again, for personal reasons. It’s a book that is rich and dense, but worth the time and energy.
The first notion that struck me was ‘the fundamental shift of perception’, which changes our perspective on things in matter of seconds. When I rose above myself and did this, all of a sudden I was not the same person. Quite a few things that I’ve been trying very hard to change for a long time, changed almost immediately.
A couple of things I’m mulling over after the second read:
-Moving beyond to-do lists, which can be a false sense of achievement
-Not letting work be the only place where goals are set
-Becoming a person who helps others achieve their goals
-Quadrant II (again)
The second was the statement ‘listen, not to respond, but to comprehend’. I realized I’ve been doing just the opposite, ever since I learnt to speak. All those other advices I’ve received on effective communication boiled down to nothing, because they all focus on how to make the other person listen! If there is one technique that has improved my relation with people, both personal and professional, it’s this: now I listen to understand, see things from the perspective of the other. The book is worth just for this.
I love Covey’s notion of synergy in creating values, but this is also the notion that pains me the most, because this is the least I see around me. May be it’s the human nature not to seek synergy, but, in any case, I’ve applied this in my personal relations, and that has changed my life.
His chapter on renewal convinced me to have a role and goal. It’s so basic, yet I had never taken the time to do it. It gave me a meaning to my life, for the first time.