Thursday, May 28, 2009

Book review: The 7 Habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey

The 7 Habits of highly effective people – Stephen Covey

This book focuses on principles (or habits) that can help you build more effective relationships, learn to trust and be trusted, communicate better and become more efficient is your life. It is a self-help book that takes a look at your principles and values and whether they are effective or not.
The book opens by discussing paradigms and how we view the world. This leads on to the first habits that deal with ‘private victories’ or in other words, rising from a dependent person to an independent person. The later habits deal with ‘public victories’ or in other words, rising from an independent person to an interdependent person.
From time management skills to analysing paradigms of human interaction, the book looks at many different aspects of life and how you can improve those situations. The appendixes contain highly detailed information so the flow of the book isn’t disrupted.

What I gained from reading this book:
This is an incredibly detailed book that is full of useful tips and suggestions. The way the seven habits are described and how they connect are explained so well. I really enjoyed this book because it has no ‘quick fixes’ or gimmicks. The book follows a very logical flow: starting from analysing paradigms before moving on to the habits. The step by step flow of the chapters and the habits makes it very easy to understand. The main gain I received from this book would be the increased understanding I have on my own paradigms and what habits I need to improve.
When I first picked up the book and read the titles of each habit, I thought they sounded too obvious and the book would contain very general advice. I was surprised that this was not the case and the simple headings are very misleading for the quality of the information given. I realise now that the simple headings such as ‘Think Win/Win’ or ‘Be Proactive’ are simple to help you remember them.
I know that I will not become a perfect person and I am sure that I will fail many of these habits, but this book does give me a guide on what I should focus on and how to become more effective.

Very useful information that is based on solid principles: no quick fixes, fads or gimmicks. Very detailed discussion that clearly explains our perceptions and how we can change them. The examples and scenarios are extremely helpful in explaining points.

Some people may feel this book is too ‘idealistic’ or may even think it is all ‘psycho-babble’. The detailed explanations and discussion may be too ‘thick’ for some people.

Recommended for: Everybody
The principles in this book deal with all aspects of life whether it is personal or business. Nobody is perfect and we can all improve ourselves if we choose to and this book can help. People wanting to improve relationships or find out how they can communicate more effectively will benefit from this book.

Genre: Self-help

Overall rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Australians can buy the book by clicking the picture below:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
Where to from here:
I recommend the following book as it teaches sound principles in dealing with people:

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