7 Habits of Hightly Effective People (Covey)

Discussion Questions 
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Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

1. Talk about the difference, as Stephen Covey describes it, between Personality and Character ethics. Does that distinction have relevance to your life? According to Covey, what is the disadvantage of relying solely on the Personality ethic?

2. Discuss the "absolute" principles that Covey believes exist in all human beings, those basic assumptions underlying the Character Ethic.

3. What does the experiment using drawings of a younger and older woman tell us about individual perception? Talk about how personal conditioning colors perspective in your own experiences. How difficult is it to achieve objectivity—in life generally...and in your own life?

4. What is Covey's "inside-out" approach to effectiveness?

5. Discuss Covey's definition of "habits" and the role they play in our lives. What are habits, as Covey defines them?

6. Talk about the stages that habits help us move through—Dependence...Independence...Interdependence. Why is Independence not the optimal model to follow in personal or professional environments?

Now move on to the 7 specific habits:

7. Be Proactive: What does it mean to be proactive? What qualities are needed to be proactive? Can you discern in your own life the difference between what you can influence and what you cannot? How proactive are you in your job...in your daily life?

8. Begin With the End In Mind: How do you define your own personal principles? Have you established a mission statement? What would (or does) it consist of? If you haven't already, develop your personal mission statement.

9. Put Things First: What are the key roles you take on in life? How can you integrate those into your mission statement?

10. Think Win/Win: What is win/win, and why does Covey believe it is important? Give an example from your own experience where you achieved (or not) a win/win situation?

11. Understand/Understood: why does Covey consider this principle so important? What does he mean by it...and how is it relevant to your life?

12. Synergize: What does synergy mean and how does it apply to personal effectiveness? How does it differ from the Win/Win principle? Can you think of how synergy might work in your own life—personal or professional?

13. Sharpen the Saw: How does this habit relate to personal renewal? What does Covey mean by achieving "balance"? How does one maximize producing vs. the capacity to produce? Can you apply this principle to your own situation?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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