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How to Apply the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to Your Workplace

How to Apply the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to Your Workplace
Stephen Covey’s bestselling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People¹, was first published over 25 years ago, but the lessons it contains are as relevant and applicable to today’s leaders as they were when he wrote the book. Covey’s examples and lessons on good communication habits in the workplace continue to benefit organizational leaders in the 21st century.


Habit 1: Be Proactive - take responsibility for your life and your choices. Some people blame circumstances, genetics or their upbringing for their behavior. Proactive leaders realize they have control over their responses, no matter what happens to them.

Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind - make a conscious effort to envision what you want in life. Challenge yourself to create a mental blueprint for who you want to be, to develop a personal mission statement.

Habit 3: Put First Things First - take action to realize the blueprint or mission you created in Habit 2. Decide which things on your list are most important to you, and then prioritize to do them first.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win – whether addressing conflict or opportunity, seek solutions and agreements that are mutually beneficial. Practicing win-win at work requires you to have maturity, integrity, and an “abundance” mentality. 

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood - overcome the human tendency to “listen” while simultaneously formulating a response, or comparing your experiences to what the other person is describing.

Habit 6: Synergize - be open to others’ influence. Team members achieve more effective and innovative results working together than they do alone. 

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw - keep yourself “sharp” by practicing self-renewal in four areas: physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual. Your ability to perform Habits 1-6 depends on it.

It’s easy to see why effective workplace leaders are those who embrace and live principles such as those identified by Covey so many years ago.  These leaders are driven by a clear sense of purpose…they respect and protect those with whom they work and respect and protect themselves. They bring out the best in everyone.

The best leadership development programs teach a range of behaviors that fall into these categories of Strategy & Vision, Interpersonal Communication, Developing Others, and Personal Effectiveness. One such leadership development curriculum is LEAD NOW!.  Learn more about LEAD NOW! here.

We also recommend training that enhances these skills by building awareness in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion.  See our top DEI courses here.

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