Entries in 7 habits (7)

Sunday
Mar032013

Habits 6 and 7: Synergize and Sharpen the Saw - THE END!

Blogmother at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Expo- Sharpening the Saw!Whew Chile! Who would have thought it would take two months to read one book? WE FINISHED!

#ThankYouLawd! THis is our last post in our series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Steven Covey. I made a vow that no matter what random craziness went on at the beginning of 2013, I wouldn't veer off course until I finished this book. So. Glad. I. Did.

I have been given so many opportunities to practice the 7 Habits in the 8 weeks I've been reading it I don't know if the 7 Habits drew those learning opportunities to me or if i saw thos opportunities because I was reading the 7 Habits. In any case, I've learned some new things and have applied them to my daily interactions.

I would say Win/Win, Be Proactive, and Begin with the End in Mind have been my favorites up until this point. Habit 7 is the best  over all.

Habit 6 is Synergize - It basically means that when you cooperate with others you open yourself to infinite possibilities and the fact that someone is different from you  is a strength and not a weakness.

Valuing differences is what really drives synergy. Do you truly value the mental, emotional, and psychological differences among people? Or do you wish everyone would just agree with you so you could all get along? Many people mistake uniformity for unity; sameness for oneness. One word--boring! Differences should be seen as strengths, not weaknesses. They add zest to life. Steven Covey

 Around here, that should remind you of the Black Thought Police who seek to impose order by attempting to control what we do, say and even think. The beat out any differences and brand any dissent as heretitical. The irony is that the Black community ( and yes there is one) could benefit greatly from diversity of viewpoint, tactics and world views. Someone got miffed with me recently because the blog is called What About Our Daughters instead of What About Our Children - as if all children don't benefit from the interests of little Black girls being well served. We're different. That's a good thing. 

Habit 7 is Sharpen the Saw - Its about the need to constantly pause to renew yourself. To take care of yourself. Instead of hacking away at  a tree for hours, if you would take time to merely sharpen your tools you could finish faster and more efficiently. 

Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have--you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. Here are some examples of activities:

Feeling good doesn't just happen. Living a life in balance means taking the necessary time to renew yourself. Steven Covey. 

And with that I'm finished!

Along the way of reading this book I crushed my previous 5K personal record and completed my first half marathon at the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Orlando. If you missed all of the fun and festivities, we covered it thuroughly over on the WAOD Facebook Page. 

And now that this is out of the way, we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming. There is foolishness to be combatted!

Tuesday
Feb192013

Habit Number 5 Seek First to Understand and Then to be Understood. 

Whew, we’re on Habit 5 in our series about the 7 Habits of Highly effective people. I vowed not to post about anything else here until I finished this book.

I’ve always been a “strategist.” I’ve always tried to figure out what other people are doing thinking, contemplating, scheming conniving. Part of that was probably from trying to navigate some pretty treacherous waters as a child. Between avoiding burning in the fiery flames of Hell  (Thanks Church folk! )or trying to get the highest grade, or generally trying to outwit, outplay and outlast people who I thought were idiots or dangerous- my mind has always run at 100 mph. That’s a bad thing in most circumstances I’m learning :) If I was a general leading an army or a fighter pilot, the ability to run a dozen scenarios a second would be useful. When trying to pick out which socks to wear in the morning... not so much. 

 

So this series on the 7 Habits for Highly Effective People has been good for me because it slowed me down. Oh yeah and I finished my Become a Runner Class last Friday and ran my 5K on Sunday with my coach and classmates. I shaved 9 minutes off of my 5K time. Now I need to shave off 13 more minutes by December 31, 2013. 

 

So this week’s habit fits in with trying to outwit, outplay and outlast. It deals with the concept of empathetic listening and learning to see things from other people’s perspectives. Habit 5 is Seek First to Understand and Then To be Understood. 

 

Covey notes that most of us aren’t trained to listen.  

 

My take away what my need to diagnose before I prescribe: Before we can give people advice or counsel, we have to understand what their problems or needs are. 

Once I know what the problems or concerns are, I should speak to those problems or needs. 

 

If you are having a conversation with someone you want to influence, this makes a ton of sense. Otherwise...not so much. 

 

I guess those  church ladies that were concerned for my eternal soul probably more concerned for their own so they projected their fiery eternal damnation on me. The people who were idiots were probably just seeing things from another perspective and the people who were dangerous probably were dangerous in which case, i can’t be bothered to be empathetic.

 

But for real, I don’t know if its the 7 Habits or the running three times a week, but I’m definitely not responding as emotionally as I would have in the past. In some cases, I’m not responding at all. THAT’S huge for someone who always has SOMETHING to say.

 

HA! I guess I finally mastered prudence and tact... under limited circumstances.

 

Whew I’m almost at the end of this series. I may double up the last two habits because if you’ve been reading the Facebook Page, you know things are popping off.