This is not the first time I’ve mentioned habits and I thought it appropriate to revisit because of the daily changes to procedure for each and every one of us. One of my favourite writers was Stephen Covey, who died a few years ago leaving a legacy of positive thoughts for proactivity. His leadership observations consisted of seven habits to which he later added an eighth some years later, which said that interdependence was more effective than independence. His seven habits were directed towards effective leadership and each had a definitive purpose. I make no excuse for listing these as a reminder for people who might be familiar with his work or those of you who could find inspiration from a first-time look. I don’t expect you to rush out and buy his book, but you might want to consider doing that sometime in the future. It could possibly assist you to know what the suggested habits are and how you could implement them in your self-improvement, should that be your aim.

Habit 1. Be proactive – meaning, to make things happen.

Habit 2. Begin with the end in mind – meaning, knowing where you’re going.

Habit 3. Put first things first – meaning, prioritising.

Habit 4. Think win-win – meaning, what’s in it for both of us!

Habit 5. Seek first to understand and then be understood – meaning, to actively listen.

Habit 6. Synergise – meaning, to keep an open mind.

Habit 7. Sharpen the saw – meaning, to keep on keeping on.

There are questions that relate to each habit.Habits by John Mulvey

  1. Are my actions based upon self-chosen values or upon my moods, feelings and circumstances?
  2. Have I written a personal mission statement which provides meaning, purpose and direction to my life? Do my actions flow from my mission?
  3. Am I able to say no to the unimportant, no matter how urgent, and yes to the important?
  4. Do I seek mutual benefit in all interdependent relationships?
  5. Do I avoid autobiographical responses (oh yeah, that happened to me etc.) and instead, faithfully reflect my understanding of the other person before seeking to be understood?
  6. Do I value different opinions, viewpoints, and perspectives of others when seeking solutions?
  7. Am I engaged in the continuous improvement in the physical, mental, spiritual and social/emotional dimensions of my life?

There are important pro’s and cons that will crop up and about which we all need to be aware. Covey talked about an emotional bank account with deposits and withdrawals, explaining that the deposits serve, and the withdrawals drain. He suggested, seeking first to understand being preferable to seeking first to be understood, whilst keeping promises considerably more valuable than breaking them. Kindness and courtesy much better than unkindness and discourtesy and clarification rising above jumping to conclusions.

Loyalty to the absent of course is far better than talking behind their back, and apologising always outshines pride, conceit and arrogance. Finally, inviting feedback was recommended as opposed to rejecting it. Plenty to think about I hope you agree and thank goodness for the likes of Stephen Covey.

Kind regards, John Mulvey 0411 541 899 – John@creativepresentations.com.au

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