The textbook selected for critical analysis is 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. The author highlights the habits that people need to acquire to be interdependent. The society currently teaches people to be independent and follow their dreams which seems less likely as we live in a society that is interdependent (Covey, 2013). People rely on one another to achieve their goals because doing things on our own seem futile. The reason why I have selected this book is that the contents had piqued my interest. Covey has presented seven habits that people need to acquire to become highly productive citizens in a society. By reading this book, I will be able to improve my habits and change some of my attitudes.
The book is based on seven habits as illustrated by Covey on how to become interdependent. Covey starts off by drawing a line between principles and values. He presents three stages through which people can move from dependency to independence and lastly to interdependency. The author describes the different steps in the book that focus on specific habits which the audience has to acquire to be highly efficient. In stage one, the author has given three patterns that help a person assess his capabilities and also help him define a balance between things that need to be done first. In stage two, Covey talks about three more habits that focus on making a friendly environment in the workplace. Covey advises his audience to sympathize with others as it shows that they are mature people. He also asserts that arguments should only be carried out if they are beneficial. He then moves onto the next habit and says that people should develop effective listening habits. Instead of providing a diagnosis first, people should access the situation of the other person and then move on to providing a solution for the problem. He proceeds to say that people should know how to end their differences to maintain peace among themselves. Lastly, he says that to be effective people need to keep a balance in their life.
The key lessons that the author wants his readers to take away are that people need to change their attitudes to thrive for success and be useful in working environments. We cannot work effectively and produce better results if we do not assess our capabilities first. Most often people tend to do more than they can handle without knowing their limits. The result is a disaster and a waste of our energy. Therefore, the author asserts that we need to look at ourselves first and evaluate our abilities before we can begin working towards any goals. Also, the author focuses on making a clear picture of whatever mission we want to achieve. It is best to strategize the whole thing before starting out on anything. Key lessons are essential as they help us in identifying the areas that we need to focus on and work on to become productive employees as the author suggests in the book. Some of the key lessons that the authors wants his readers to have are character based ethics, being sympathetic to others, ending differences, maintaining a balance between personal life and work.
Key lessons are essential in the field of business as they allow the employees to work efficiently. Knowing work ethics helps the employees in achieving their goals. Being sympathetic to others and acting maturely keeps a peaceful environment in the workplace. Understanding the difference between values and principles helps people in doing what they believe in instead of working on the words of others. People need to learn to be active listeners so that they can help others in time of need. To be an active listener, people need to set aside their judgments and quietly listen to what the other has to say. Letting others speak without interrupting them helps them in trusting the other person more. Being a part of a workplace, people need to be an active listener to help colleagues and solve their problems. Communicating with others allows an individual to look at things from various perspectives.
The principles that I can apply in my life are being proactive and knowing what things I am capable of doing so that I can influence others instead of being affected by external forces. Keeping everything in order and knowing how to do things correctly will help me achieve my goals. Thinking through everything and coming up with a strategy will help me in the long term. Knowing how to end differences and not arguing unnecessarily will keep me from ending up in a dangerous situation at the workplace. Being an active listener is beneficial in the long run as it will allow me to look at things from various angles. Presenting a solution without listening to the other person will not do any of us any good.
To be able to achieve long term goals and success, we should all practice the habits that the author has mentioned in his books. Covey urges his readers to not focus on working alone instead we should work together so that we can complete our missions and attain success. Building strong relationships at workplace helps in creating a peaceful environment. Trust is an important factor when working with people and that can only be produced if everyone works together and sympathizes with each other.
Covey, S. R. (2013). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Powerful lessons in personal change. Simon and Schuster.