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Menlo Book Club: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

White book with red text: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
White book with red text: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is one of the most influential books on personal change. Our team recently read the book and discussed each habit in depth. Here are some of our biggest takeaways for each habit:

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Covey starts the book by discussing the importance of being proactive. He asserts that we have the power to choose how we respond to external stimuli. Proactive people strive to expand their circle of influence by keeping their commitments and looking for solutions. Those who are proactive also focus less on what they have and more on who they are becoming.

At Menlo Group, we believe all experiences can be learning experiences, and we use a tool to reflect on professional experiences we have. We have found that making proactive choices in one aspect of our lives influences other areas positively as well. Our proactivity can also have a meaningful impact on other people.

Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind

To make improvements in our lives, we must know where we are going. Habit 2 encourages readers to first envision and then do. Covey also stresses the importance of principles to guide our actions.

Menlo Group is proud of the culture we have built around our core values. Each year, we host planning sessions for our team members to outline and track their goals. Our goal is to help them reach their full potential.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

This habit deals with priorities. Our team discussed the difference between being productive and being busy. We must focus our time on tasks and projects that are most important, though they may not always appear to be the most urgent. Prioritizing may require delegating tasks, and successful delegation requires trust between team members.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win

Effective human interaction and leadership seeks mutual benefit. Win-win scenarios are achievable when relationships, agreements, systems, processes and character work together. Character involves integrity, maturity and an abundance mentality.

For successful commercial real estate transactions, we must have a mutual trust, a clear picture of what a win looks like for each person, and clear expectations on how we will achieve those outcomes. Covey uses the analogy of “Emotional Bank Accounts” to describe how to build relationships, and we related that concept to the Languages of Appreciation.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

We tend to respond to others in one of four ways: evaluate, probe, advise or interpret—all of which turn the focus back on us. We need to seek understanding by improving our listening skills.

Habit 6: Synergize

The author teaches that high trust and cooperation leads to synergy. As we are vulnerable and value our differences, we can find creative solutions. Menlo Group holds quarterly team building activities, which leads to better synergy when we’re back in the office.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Habit 7 was one of our favorites. We should focus on being well-rounded in the following areas:

  • Physical: exercise, nutrition, stress management
  • Spiritual: prayer, meditation, music, nature
  • Mental: reading, writing
  • Emotional/social: service

These actions create an upward spiral that helps us build good habits to reach our goals.

We enjoyed The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and our team discussions. Covey outlines a lot of great ideas, and now it is up to us to start implementing those changes into our lives, so we can become the people we want to become.

Menlo Group meets twice a month for our book club. Check out what else we’ve been reading or sign up for our Virtual Book Club to receive discussion questions and insights right to your inbox.

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