According to Covey, being proactive is to take accountability for ourselves. We assume the responsibility to get things going. Profoundly proactive individuals perceive that duty.
Proactive individuals work on the things they can take care of – their Circle of Influence.
Make a promise and keep it. Set an objective and work to accomplish it.
Start with small commitments.
BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND
What is the end goal? What do you want to accomplish? Keep that in mind.
If we want to have a successful enterprise, we need to clearly define what it’s trying to accomplish. We have to take control of this in order to improve our habits. Develop a personal mission statement and focus on why you want to do what you want to do. Depending on how well we have the end in mind will govern whether or not we succeed.
PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST
In order to effectively manage everything, set your priorities. Differentiate between the urgent and important tasks. Urgent are the ones that require immediate action, whereas important are the ones that make a significant change to results. Effective management deals with the important things first.
There are four key features of effective management set out by Covey:
It defines our unique mission, including values and long-term goals.
It helps balance our life by identifying roles, and by setting goals.
Thinking Win/Win comprises of mutual learning, impact and advantages. It is a philosophy used in leadership. The planning system, communication system, budgeting system, information system and compensation system, all have to be coordinated with the same fundamentals for win/win. Covey depicts three characteristics in win/win:
Integrity- Our worth.
Maturity- The combination of courage and consideration.
Abundance mentality- The belief that there is enough for everybody.
SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD
Empathic listening is ground-breaking since it gives us precise information to work with. Rather than projecting our own point of view, sentiments, intentions and understanding, we're managing the truth inside someone else's head and heart. Just listen to the words that come out of someone’s mouth and repeat them. Next, rephrase whatever we repeated and put it in our own words. How must the other person be feeling about that? Reflect the feelings and make an effort to understand.
To be understood, place your perspective in a way that the other person can do the same easily and understand how you are feeling.
Valuing the mental, emotional and psychological differences between people is the essence of synergy. When we communicate synergistically, we are opening our mind and heart to new possibilities, new alternatives and new options. We need to value the differences in our perceptions and value each other. The differences in thinking can be considered as stepping stones in order to reach a conclusion.
'SHARPEN THE SAW' PRINCIPLES
"Sharpen the saw" signifies practicing every one of the four elements of our tendency: Physical, Spiritual, Mental and Social/Emotional, routinely. The actual measurement includes really focusing on our actual body: eating the correct food, getting adequate rest, and practicing consistently. It is all about enhancing ourselves.
The spiritual dimension is your core, your center, your commitment to your value system. It’s a very private area of life and a supremely important one. The social and emotional dimensions of our lives are tied together because our emotional life is developed out of our relationships with others.