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By Diane Braun – July 7, 2020 –

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which has sold over 30 million copies in over 40 languages, is one of the most significant business books of all time.  Dr. Stephen Covey’s lifelong mission was to “unleash the human potential.”  The 7 Habits are the accumulated wisdom he blended into a comprehensive framework that allows one to be effective in their work and personal life.

The 7 habits have the ability to not only introduce skills like goal setting, organization, time management, team work, conflict management, collaboration and communication, but those already familiar with the habits can also strengthen these skills.

There are steps to help create habits that help you personally, and there are other steps that help you deal with and understand others. Ultimately the hope is that the participant will experience renewal – knowing that to be your best you need to feel your best mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.   

The 7 habits were developed to help people deal with issues that can hamper their productivity, creativity and personal health.  But can they also apply to dealing with the coronavirus? Let’s examine the 4th habit—THINK WIN-WIN.

Before we can truly have a win-win attitude, we need to have mastered the first three habits, known collectively as the “Private Victory.”  If we’re insecure and feel threatened by other people’s success, it will be hard for us to ever feel happiness for someone else or share recognition and praise.

We need to remember two things. First, competition can be healthy. It drives us to improve, to reach and stretch. Without it we might never know how far we can push ourselves. Competition becomes dark when you tie your self-worth to winning or use it to place yourself above others. Second, comparing ourselves to others is always a bad idea. We’re all on different levels—socially, emotionally, physically. 

The benefit of thinking win-win is that it creates a foundation for getting along with others. It begins with the belief that we are all equal, that no one is inferior or superior to anyone else.  Most of us can remember being in a win-lose situation where someone else got the glory and although we did our best, we didn’t get recognized for it with an award or praise. There may be a time where we know we can’t handle a situation and have a lose-lose attitude, which means that if I’m going down, I’m taking you with me.  Or knowing that we never seem to be the best at something, we may feel we’re definitely the loser so we allow others to go ahead and walk all over us.

You can feel the shift in thinking when ALL OF US can win in any situation.  Given the world’s current concerns, how can we have a win-win attitude?  If I just stocked up on toilet paper and my sister needs several rolls for her family, do I say no? Should I perhaps arrange a trade? How can I share and feel like I didn’t lose in this? How can I take care of myself and my family and still make sure others have that same security? 

A quote by author George Elliot sums up habit 4: “What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?”

By Diane Braun – June 10, 2020 –

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which has sold over 30 million copies in over 40 languages, is one of the most significant business books of all time. Dr. Stephen Covey’s lifelong mission was to “unleash the human potential.”  The 7 Habits are the accumulated wisdom he blended into a comprehensive framework that allows one to be effective in their work and personal life.

The 7 Habits have the ability to introduce skills like goal setting, organization, time management, team work, conflict management, collaboration and communication. Those already familiar with the habits can also strengthen these skills.

There are steps to create habits that help you personally, and there are other steps that help you deal with and understand others. Ultimately the hope is that the participant will experience renewal – knowing that to be your best you need to feel your best mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

The 7 Habits were developed to help people deal with issues that can hamper their productivity, creativity and personal health.  But can they also apply to dealing with the coronavirus? Let’s examine the first habit – BE PROACTIVE.  

Being proactive simply means being a “Can Do” person instead of a “No Can Do” person.  A “Can Do” person takes initiative to make things happen, thinking about options and solutions, and most importantly, acting.  The “No Can Do” person waits for something to happen to them, always thinking about the problems and barriers waiting to be acted upon.

In your mind visualize two bottles, one containing soda (reactive) and one containing water (proactive). If you shake them up, what happens?  The soda reacts by fizzing, bubbling, and if opened, showering everything in sight.  The water doesn’t change.  It remains the same with no threat if the lid is opened. 

Proactive people can brush things off without getting offended and take responsibility for their choices. They think before they act and bounce back if something bad happens. They always find a way to move forward. They focus on things they can do something about and don’t worry about things they can’t control. 

Part of this habit is recognizing the “Circle of No Control.” Simply put, we can’t control everything that happens to us. What we CAN control is how we respond.

Right now everyone is being forced to think ahead.  Do we have enough food, toilet paper, books and games to get through the next week or two and not keep running to the store?  Do we have our mask and hand sanitizer with us before we leave the house? We’re hearing stories of people sharing resources, planting gardens and raising chickens—all examples of thinking ahead and making a plan on how to keep going.

We can all strive to be proactive for those around us, using language that is positive.  I’ll do it, I can do better, let’s look at all the options, there’s got to be a way, I’m going to keep trying.

Being proactive and setting a positive example can truly help get people through any situation, including a worldwide pandemic.