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Book Review - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (15th Anniversary Edition)

Posted 1259 Days Ago in: Book Reviews

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I put off reading Stephen Covey's book as I assumed (wrongly it turns out) that it would be another boring MBA textbook for those in the corporate world. Having read it, I now understand why it is so widely recommended and quoted.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (15th Anniversary Edition) by Stephen Covey

This book has been on my "must get round to reading at some stage list" as I had seen it quoted in so many places. I put off reading it as I assumed (wrongly it turns out) that it would be another boring MBA textbook for those in the corporate world.

Having read it, I now understand why it is so widely recommended and quoted. Apart from the recommendations to read it on numerous Coaching Academy Days, the frequent references to "sharpening the saw" or "first things first" on the course made me curious to learn what all the fuss was about.

Although the language can be a bit "wordy" and sometime the jargon can jar, the ideas and principles are as relevant and powerful as they were when the book first came out. The book is not a light read -at over 300 pages and slightly academic text, it took a bit of perseverance to get through. However, having done so, I had a clear understanding of what the seven habits were and why they can improve not only your efficiency but also your general satisfaction with life.

The most powerful bits of the book for me were the application suggestions at the end of each of the habit chapters -these and the quotes and introduction at the start of each chapter might be a good place to start if you don't like jargon or long explanations. Doing this metaphorical "tasting" of the book would give you motivation to read the whole thing.


The best bits:

• The seven habits-and ways to apply them

• The circles of influence and concern


The worst bits

• the complicated diagram of the seven habits--nearly put me off starting

• Jargon which I think were put in just to make it more attractive to the MBA folks two examples talking about P and PC tasks -read it to find out what this means. Principles of Empathetic Communication -"seek first to understand, then be understood" is so clear why not stick to that.

The good bits are well worth the effort of reading the whole book and it is worth doing it in chunks, taking notes for yourself, going away and thinking about it. It's a book to keep on your shelf and return to refresh your memory.

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