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Thursday, July 25, 2013

CAREER STARTER BOOK #1: THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE

A few weeks ago, I had a post about a book and made reference to the fact that I would have loved to have read it when I first started coaching.  In fact, it would be in my Top 10 books that I think could've impacted me greatly as a young coach just starting out.  I have since received a great number of requests asking for the complete list and so each day, over the next few weeks, I will list a book that I think young coaches would benefit from reading as they start their coaching journey.  I would imagine that many will be looking for X&O books -- just as I did when I first started coaching -- but instead you will find a list of books that will not only make you a better coach, but a better person. Books that concentrate on teaching, goal setting, communication and leadership.

 Book #1

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen Covey

HABIT #1: BE PROACTIVE
“Look at the word responsibility—’response-ability’—the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.”

 “The commitments we make to ourselves and to others, and our integrity to those commitments, is the essence and clearest manifestation of our proactivity.”

HABIT #2: BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND
“Begin with the end in mind” is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.”

"We may be very busy, we may be very efficient, but we will also be truly effective only when we begin with the end in mind."

Covey's example of visualizing our own funeral is a great exercise for us all.

HABIT #3: PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST
In Goethe’s words, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”

"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities."

Covey Quadrant chart is a great learning tool to understand how to prioritize.
 
HABIT #4: THINK WIN/WIN
"Win/Win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions.  Win/Win menas that agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial, mutually satisfying."

"Win/Win is a belief in the Third Alternative.  It's not your way or may; it's a better way, a higher way."


HABIT #5: SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND
"If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of interpersonal relations, it would be this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood."

"Communication is the most important skill in life."

Covey explains empathic listening in this chapter and how it takes us to a higher level of communication.


HABIT #6: SYNERGY
“When properly understood, synergy is the highest activity in all life -- the true test and manifestation of all of the other habits put together.”

"What is synergy?  Simply defined, it means that the whole is greater than the sum its parts."

HABIT #7: SHARPEN THE SAW
The habit of self-renewal.

"This is the single most powerful investment we can ever make in life -- investment in ourselves, in the only instrument we have with which to deal with life and to contribute."
 
Other blog posts on Stephen Covey