Mind Map: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Summary, Richard Covey

Book Worm • 22 March 2018

One Sentence Summary

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has become so representative of increasing personal effectiveness that it has almost become a cliché, even to the point where it is derided as representative of the inauthenticity and shallowness of many who claim to practice it.


Best Quotes

"Treat them all the same by treating them differently."

"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply."

"I teach people how to treat me by what I will allow."


Key Takeaways

  • Habit 1 – be proactive

The author defines proactivity as exercising your freedom to choose self-awareness, imagination, conscience, or independent will in between stimulus and response. Being proactive means understanding the reality of a situation but understanding the reality of a situation also means understanding the reality that you can choose your response to your circumstance.

  • Habit 2 – begin with the end in mind

Beginning with the end in mind means approaching any role you have in life with your values and directions clear. Because we are self-aware, we can realize when we are acting in a role that isn´t in harmony with our values or isn´t a result of our own proactive design.

  • Habit 3 – put first things first

Effective management means putting first things first and doing the things that other people don´t want to do. From Habit 1 and 2, you must have burning “yes” inside you that allows you to say “no” to other things that don´t align with your principles and goals.

  • Habit 4 – think “win/win”

This is another buzzword-type title that will require you to put aside your perception of the term in order to grasp Covey´s meaning. As opposed to some kind of unrealistically happy and friendly attitude, the author defines thinking win/win as a mindset that is always looking for a third alternative to the “me or you” decision.

  • Habit 5 – seek to understand, then be understood

The skill to develop here is empathy. Empathy is not sympathy. Sympathy is a form of agreement, a judgment. The essence of empathic listening is not that you agree with someone; it´s that you fully understand him, emotionally and intellectually.

  • Habit 6 – synergize

What the author means by synergy is something that may be impossible to understand unless you have experienced it. One way to describe it is when a group of people enter a simultaneous and cooperative state of flow – the “peak experience” of group interaction.

  • Habit 7 – sharpen the saw

These are all intended to be habits, which means they have to be practiced repeatedly. In order to be able to practice these things, you need to take the time to renew yourself.


About author

  • Stephen Richard Covey (born October 24, 1932) was an American educator, author, businessman and keynote speaker.
  • He was a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University at the time of his death.


Mind Map Summary: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Mind Map Summary: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


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