Life and Culture: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

In this episode from Perfect English Podcast, our topic is life and culture and we will talk about Stephen Covey’s book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. You can check your understanding of the episode by taking a short quiz after you listen.

Perfect English Podcast Episode 23 Audio

Perfect English Podcast Episode 23 Quiz

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Which of the following belongs to the language of initiative and responsibility?

Please select 4 correct answers

Correct! Wrong!

What is the closest meaning of synergize?

Correct! Wrong!

What does Stephen Covey call the habit when effective people take initiative?

Correct! Wrong!

What does Stephen Covey call the habit when effective people set priorities?

Correct! Wrong!

What is the biggest problem with television.

Correct! Wrong!

What does Stephen Covey call the habit when effective people reflect on and repair their deficiencies?

Correct! Wrong!

What does Stephen Covey call the habit when effective people focus on goals?

Correct! Wrong!

Who was Victor Frankl?

Correct! Wrong!

Which is the following statements are true according to the book?

Please select 2 correct answers

Correct! Wrong!

Which of the following are from the seven habits of highly effective people?

Please select 3 correct answers

Correct! Wrong!

Perfect English Podcast Episode 23 - Life and Culture: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Quiz
Perfect English Podcast Episode 23 - Life and Culture: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Quiz

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Episode Transcript

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Welcome to Episode 23 from perfect English podcast, and today’s topic is going to be about life and culture. And for this reason, I have picked for you a very special book which we are going to talk about in this episode. The book is The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Now this book was a publishing phenomenon in the early 1990s. And it deserved to be Stephen Covey managed to repackage an ethical and moral tradition thousands of years in development and make it meaningful to a late 20th century audience. You will find in this book wisdom package from a lot of philosophers of old but it’s not a philosophy book by any means. It is a practical book that anybody can read and benefit from in their daily lives. So let’s jump right in and talk about The main ideas of this book now since this book is about the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, what are these seven habits to start with? These seven habits according to Stephen Covey, our habits effective people do all the time. The first one is that they take initiative, which he calls be proactive. The second one, they focus on goals, which he calls begin with the end in mind. The third habit is that they set priorities which Stephen calls put First things first, the fourth habit is that they only win when others win. And Stephen calls that think Win win. The fifth habit is that Highly Effective People communicate and Stephen calls it seek first to understand then to be understood. The sixth habit is that Highly Effective People cooperate. And Stephen calls it synergize and the seventh and the last habit is that highly effective. People reflect on and repair their deficiencies, and Steven calls that sharpen the saw. Now let’s talk about the first habit, be proactive, Highly Effective People take the initiative. They are proactive. They don’t impose limits on themselves that prevent them from acting. They recognize that they have the freedom to determine the kind of character they will have, because they can decide how they will act. They may not be able to control their circumstances, but they can decide whether to use those circumstances or be abused by them. They live by the principles of personal vision. Viktor Frankl was a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. His entire family except for one sister was murdered in the camps. As horrific as his circumstances were Frankel recognized that he was free because he could decide How he would think and act in the midst of the horror, even when he was a starving prisoner. He visualized himself lecturing in a classroom, telling students about the horror and what he learned from it. His mental discipline made him stronger than the camp guards. He inspired fellow prisoners and even some of the guards themselves. Frankel was proactive. He took the initiative and accepted responsibility for his fate. He recognized that his fate was his to decide he didn’t have the power to walk away from the camp, but he had the power to master it. Now begin to be proactive by speaking the language of initiative and responsibility. Not I can’t do anything, but let’s think about some possibilities. Not that’s just me, but I can change the way I am. Not he drives me up the wall, but I can choose how I let him affect me. Not I can’t or I have to, but I will decide and I will choose. Proactive people operate in the realm of the possible they see what they can do and do it. By taking responsibility and acting, they expand the realm of the possible they get stronger as time passes, they become able to do more and more. They begin by committing to change something interior and may eventually change the world around them. So that was about the first habit and that was be proactive. Now let’s move to habit to begin with the end in mind. I think carefully about your goals.

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Many people spend a lifetime pursuing a goal that proves meaningless, unsatisfying or even destructive. You see them on the covers of tabloid magazines rich, famous busted for drugs or watching their marriages fall apart. power, money and fame are the goals that They wanted and achieved, but at what price? effectiveness is not just a matter of reaching a goal, but rather of achieving the right goal. Imagine yourself sitting in the back of the room at your funeral. Imagine what people could honestly say about you, based on the way you are now. Do you like what you hear? Is that how you want to be remembered? If not, change it. Take hold of your life, implement personal leadership. Begin by drafting a personal mission statement that outlines your goals and describes the kind of person you want to be. Think carefully about this mission statement. Examine yourself, see yourself as you really are. Are you self centered, a workaholic, money grubbing, decide what you need to change and what you want to become? Write the statement, make a commitment to yourself and keep that commitment. And this is in brief what Stephen Covey says about The second habit begin with the end in mind. And how about habit number three, put First things first, you have the power to change who you are. But that means changing how you act. Never let your most important priorities fall victim to the least important. Many people spend their time reacting to urgent circumstances and emergencies and never invest in the necessary effort to develop the ability to prevent emergencies to exercise personal management. they confuse the important with the urgent, the urgent is easy to see. The important is harder to discern. Emphasize planning, avoiding pitfalls, developing relationships, cultivating opportunities and getting adequate recreation. Don’t think about cramming a lot of business into your schedule, but rather about making sure that you spend the necessary time on important things. Think of your various roles as a spouse, a parent, a manager, or a community volunteer, give each role an appropriate allotment of time on your schedule. Don’t trop Peter to pay Paul make sure each role gets its do so put First things first. And now for habit for think Win win in marriage, business or other relationships, exercise interpersonal leadership to make both parties winners to wins makes everyone better off to losses places everyone in a worse situation. A win lose relationship creates a victor and leave someone injured. Highly Effective People strive for Win Win transactions which make it profitable for everyone to cooperate because all the parties are better off in the end. Any other kind of transaction is destructive because it produces losers and therefore enemies and bad feelings. Such as animosity, defeat and hostility. Highly Effective People become highly effective by multiplying their allies, not their enemies. A good Alliance is win win. So we don’t only seek to win for ourselves, and we don’t care about others who lose. When everybody wins, we all become a greater force, and we get a step closer towards achieving our goals in life. So that was think Win win. And now for habit five, seek first to understand then to be understood. Communication is a two way street to develop Win Win relationships. Find out what the other parties want, and what winning means to them. Don’t assume you know, listen, always try to understand what the other people want and need before you begin to outline your own objectives. Don’t object argue or oppose what you hear Listen carefully and think about it, try to put yourself in the other party’s shoes. Good lawyers make it a practice to write the strongest possible case they can from their opponents point of view. Only when they understand the best possible arguments for the opposition do they begin to craft the case from their clients point of view, this tactic is equally valuable in personal relationships or business arrangements, always understand what the other party needs and once and why, then when you outline your own objectives, put

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them in turns that respond directly to the other party’s goals that is acting upon the principles of empathetic communication. So habit five, seek first to understand then to be understood. And when you practice the first five habits then you can get to habit six, which is synergize. Cooperation multiplies the power of one element Act creative cooperation may yield a force greater than the sum of the parts. Just as an arch can support a greater weight than two pillars can hold. The arch multiplies the power of both pillars. The buzz word to describe this kind of relationship is synergy, which means bringing together a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. Effective synergy depends on communication. Many people make synergy impossible by reacting from scripts. They don’t listen, reflect and respond, but instead here and react reflexively. their reactions may be defensive, authoritarian or passive. They may oppose or they may go along, but they don’t actively cooperate. cooperation and communication are the two legs of a synergistic relationship. Listen, reflect, respond and actively cooperate. And now we get to the final habit of this Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and that is habit seven sharpen the saw. And here’s a story Stephen tells in his book which is very interesting. In an old yarn a man is sewing log. The work is going slowly and the man is exhausted. The more he saws the less he cuts a passer by watches for a while, and suggests that the man should take a break to sharpen the saw. But the man says he can’t stop to sharpen the saw because he’s too busy sewing adult saw makes the work tiresome, tedious and unproductive, highly effective, people take the time they need to sharpen their tools, which are in fact their bodies, souls, mind and hearts. It’s time for self renewal. Effective People take care of their bodies with a program of exercise that combines endurance, flexibility and strength. It’s easy to plan such a program and you don’t have to join a gym. To implement it effective people care for their souls with prayer and meditation, if they are inclined to a religiously grounded spirituality, or perhaps by reading great literature, or listening to great music, never neglect this spiritual dimension, it provides the energy for the rest of your life. Mental repair may mean changing your habits such as the habit of watching television, television watching encourages passive absorption of values, attitudes and dispositions that dull the mind. Read work puzzles, do math or engage in some challenging activity to keep your mind alert, active and engaged. And the heart refers to emotions, which depend greatly on others. work to develop your heart, your emotional connections and your engagement with other people. Communicate, listen and be undemanding in everything you do try to make others better off and put them first By doing so, you will transform yourself into a highly effective person. And that was a brief summary of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. But I’m telling you that this is definitely not enough. The story Stephen tells in his book and a lot of more details than the ones I just mentioned, are what make the book rich and the reading experience of the book fruitful and pleasing. As for our podcast, that was everything I wanted to tell you today in our life and culture episode. Thank you very much. I’ll see you next time.

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