Covey’s book has gained a great popularity as it sheds light on the important aspects of human nature. The book discusses human character through the person’s emotions, actions, and even language. Interestingly, it is highly valued by the psychologists. “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” can be easily perceived by the potential reader as it brings into focus simple explanations of human character with some deep insights into its nature. The most valuable Covey’s advice is nowadays reflected in the mirror of millions of people all over the world. However, I would like to concentrate upon the four particular insights from the book that helped me to understand how people become effective and what behavior is actually proper.
Most importantly, Covey draws the reader’s attention to the notion of “proactive people”. After running through the ideas about such types of people and the author’s speculations over stimulus and response, I came to realize that a human being is not marked with any stable reaction to the events as all of us have the power of choice and can make decisions. Covey gives definition of “proactive people” contrasting it with that of the “reactive” ones. It encompasses a tremendous variety of personal peculiarities that range from a person’s thoughts to his/her actions and language. Therefore, proactive people are driven by values and positive energy. It means that they take the initiative, carry their own weather with them, and realize that they have the freedom to choose. In this context, Covey attaches importance to Eleanor Roosevelt’s words: “No one can hurt you without your consent” (p. 79). These assumptions became very meaningful to me due to the reason that I understood that every person can make a difference and even overcome the genetic order. The insight into people’s proactivity gives background for a deep understanding of the nature of causes and effects where a person’s choice takes the primary position.
The next insight taken from Covey’s book that I would like to dwell upon concerns his interpretation of love. I have always thought about the nature of human relationships and encountered the problem of “the lack of feelings”. The author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”has entirely changed my interpretation of love and enhanced my strengths in feelings. The matter is that Covey defines love differently as he mainly sees it as a verb. Drawing the reader’s attention to a specific conversation with his friend, Covey delineates the peculiarities of love saying that “Love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is a fruit of love, the verb” (p. 87). Covey interprets it through the prism of actions – sacrificing, listening, empathizing, appreciating, affirming – that strengthen love. This particular conversation between the author and his friend became very meaningful to me as it answered my questions. The aspect of the human relationships that I understood concerns the assumption that a person should be taught to love, no matter how ridiculous it may sound.
The third insight that I gained in this particular book regards Covey’s statement that every person should find the center of his/her own life. The author distinguishes many of them and concludes that in order to find a center, one should look closely at his/her “life-support factors”. Covey focuses on the second habit “to begin with the end in mind”. Although it is very easy to provide the definition of this particular habit, it is really difficult to stick to it and implement it. Seemingly, “the end in mind” signifies a particular destination that a person should see. Presumably, every individual has already heard of the issue of destination. However, Covey brings into focus a detailed inquiry into this matter and fills every gap in my understanding of the destination problem. “Beginning with the end in mind” is based on the principles of personal leadership. Thus, reading this chapter of Covey’s book, I came to realize other peculiarities of highly effective people that strengthened my convictions about being a leader.
At last, the forth insight that I find remarkably interesting and helpful bares tangible relations to the principles of emphatic communication that are based on the habit that Covey puts forward: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” (p. 251). According to Covey, the above-mentioned principle is the most effective in interpersonal communication. Due to this reason, I decided to shed light upon its meaningfulness. The main drawback in the emphatic communication is the fact that people stick to selective listening and are obsessed with their own interests and rightfulness. To become a better speaker, one should become a good listener. However, the key idea in this context manifests itself in Covey’s assumption that emphatic communication is based on the principles of understanding. His example “diagnose before you prescribe” that sheds light on the peculiarities of family relationships is very suitable in this particular context. As these speculations attach the highest importance to the principles of communication; I consider them to be very meaningful as the parallels that Covey draws are highly understandable. They strengthen understanding because of their simplicity.
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To sum up the foregoing, the above-mentioned four insights that I gained in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” contributed to my understanding of the human nature in general and enhanced my strengths in overcoming weaknesses in interpersonal effectiveness. I gained understanding of human proactivity and reached some conclusions concerning love, destination, and emphatic communication.
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