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Lifting your standards the Stephen Covey way

Lifting your standards the Stephen Covey way

Keeping our standards high while focusing on our daily tasks is never an easy thing to maintain. We may get distracted, interrupted or agitated by various circumstances. How do we change our mind-sets, and at the same time manage our daily workload? Is there a way for challenges to not daunt us?

Here are few simple yet remarkable tips from Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” on how we can lift our standards.

Habit 1: Be proactive

This is the ability to control one’s environment, rather than have it control you, as is so often the case. Constantly remind yourself that you have the power to decide your type of response to various conditions.

Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind

It is easy to be ensnared by difficulties, but these things shouldn’t dwindle your determination. To embrace wonderful things in your life, think about your aims.  By developing the habit of concentrating on relevant activities, you will build a platform to avoid distractions, and eventually become more productive and successful.

Habit 3: Put first things first

This is the habit of personal management. This is about organising and implementing activities in line with the aims established in Habit 2. Covey says that Habit 2 is the first or mental creation; Habit 3 is the second or physical creation.

Habit 4: Think win-win for everyone

It is important to nurture habits of interpersonal leadership because achievements are largely dependent on co-operative efforts. Win-win is based on the assumption that there is plenty for everyone, and that success follows a co-operative approach more naturally than the confrontation of win-or-lose.

Habit 5: Seek first to understand and then to be understood

This is one of the great maxims of the Modern Age. If you seek to develop and maintain positive relationships in your life, make it a point to walk in other people’s shoes. If you want to influence others, relate to them first.

Habit 6: Synergise

To lift your standards, one fundamental principle is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This principle implicitly lays down the challenge to see the good and potential in the other person’s contribution.

Habit 7: Sharpen the saw

Covey divides the self into four parts: the spiritual, mental, physical, and the social/emotional. Even the most accomplished individuals need to be renewed. Take some time off to feed and develop the critical aspects of your personality.

Contributed by Joanne Ng, Regional Business Support Manager, Appco Group Asia.