The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen R. Covey, in his work The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (2012), illustrates the vital importance of his principles, which wholesomely entail an effective individual or personality. Through it, Covey is able to present an integrated, holistic, and principle-centered approach, vital in the resolving of personal, individual, and professional problems.
Convey, through his utility of pointed anecdotes and effective insight, showcases a systematic structure, through which a person is able to adapt to a given context. This is crucial in enabling him/her to live with integrity, fairness, human dignity, and honesty. All of these qualities are vital in the positive enhancement of organizational behavior. Through these principles, people are able to adapt to change, which is inevitable in addition to gaining both the knowledge and power/capacity to take advantage of the various opportunities, which avail themselves in our dynamic society.
Organizational Behavior (OB)
Organizational behavior (OB) is vital for the effective and efficient functioning of any given social entity, firm, or group of individuals in a given context. Fundamentally, OB refers to both the study and application of knowledge provided of how people (individually or in-group formations) act within a given organizational setting. Essentially, it regards the prevailing and entrenched way of doing things within a given organization, rooted in the leadership present as well as the entity's goals, aims, and missions.
Regardless of the type of OB present, with this being present in varying ways according to the organization under study, leadership is of vital importance. It is through effective leadership skills that an organization is able to prosper, creating conducive atmospheres, in which it thrives. The impacts of individuals, groups, and the inherent structures within a given organization are essentially influenced by the knowledge, experience, and skills present, towards enhancing overall effectiveness.
Knowledge Gained and Importance within an Organizational Context
From the book, one is able to establish that an individual's life is able to grow positively and in a holistic/wholesome manner, especially if one achieves the greater integration of the seven vital habits. These are vital in reversing negative trends into positive actions and results, which are effective ways of enabling personal, group, and organizational growth. If one replaces old and destructive habits with the 7 habits, it will be possible to enhance the overall effectiveness and happiness of an individual and build relationships based on trust.
The Seven Habits
The seven habits are based fundamentally on existing natural laws, providing a case in point of their effectiveness in maximizing long-term benefits. These habits are inclusive of
- Being Proactive.
- Beginning with the End in Mind.
- Putting First Things First.
- Thinking in Win-Win Contexts.
- Sharpening your Saw (Tools, Knowledge, Skills, and Capacity).
- Seeking First to Understand, then later to Be Understood.
Through the utility of these, one is able to have a paradigm shift, which is vital in enabling an individual's inside and outside transformation. The reason is that different individuals perceive things differently. This is influenced by the presence of their own paradigms, which focus all things within such contexts, abate the limitations present. Hence, it is essential to have a dynamic paradigm shift, when striving to change and enhance one's life.
There is, therefore, a need for a change in how one views society, with the focus being placed on the improvement of both personal attitudes and behaviors inherent. I will focus on four of these habits, linking them to specific ideals and theories which were found during classroom studies while studying the book Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations.
The Essence of Being Proactive
Pro-activity regards the ability to think/conceive ideas as well as act on such ideas for the benefit of not only one individual but also the wider society. Through undertaking requisite initiatives, one is able to take full control of his/ her life. In this case, by being pro-active, I am able to take care of various problems, which I control while accepting the fact that other problems are beyond the reach of human capabilities.
Covey, therefore, suggests that I as an individual need to focus more of my time on what I am able to control competently. If I do so, I will be able to resolve my own problems, in addition to aiding the betterment of my group (team members), and organization at large. Regarding this, there is a need to delve into the aspect of Personality and Character Ethics.
The latter is regarded as a crucial aspect, requisite towards the foundation of success. There are the ideals of humility, integrity, temperance, justice, courage, fidelity, simplicity, patience, modesty, and industry. In addition, there is a need to include the "golden rule." Through the observance of these virtues, I am able to understand the basic principles of living effectively.
This, thereby, arises my chances of success and enduring happiness, both of which are achievable through both the learning and integration of these principles. Personality as an aspect takes either the Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) path, or the public and human relations techniques. Primarily Convey regards personality as the foundational basis and hence catalyst of success and future well-being.
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Thinking in Win-Win Contexts
Any organization is deeply rooted in the need for success and competitiveness, within prevailing contexts. This extends further to the group-entities (team members present) and finally to people within such organizations. By incorporating this mentality, I am able to work with other individuals towards gaining mutual benefits. Such an approach will help me consider other persons as cooperative rather than as outright competition within a given organizational setting.
Consequently, one can conclude that personal success ought to be achieved through cooperative co-existence instead of the expense of others' success. To become more efficient, and hence effective, I need to work with others, with the aim of gaining the advantage in terms of their strengths and abilities/capacity. This essentially will provide a foundation for future success, if persons complement each other.
Consequently, people are able to provide their best output for the success of the entire organization at large. Towards achieving this, there is need to incorporate both primary and secondary greatness, with regard to individual output. Primary greatness is inborn, i.e. talents and abilities. As for the secondary one, it is gained in time, i.e. gained knowledge, skill-sets acquired, and experience.
Towards achieving the aforementioned greatness, there is a need for a paradigm shift, especially regarding the win or lose (zero-sum) aspect of competition. As Thomas Kuhn famously epitomized, almost all significant breakthroughs, especially in the scientific field, was first epitomized through a break with tradition or the inherent (old) paradigms.
Seeking (as an Individual), First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
This fundamentally regards the need for an individual to gain a better understanding of what prevails within a given context. Convey proves that Communication is the most vital of life-skills that a person may acquire. Through listening, speaking, writing, and reading, I as an individual am able to implement the aforementioned theory as these form the basics of communication.
Essentially, the most vital of factors, with regard to good and effective communication, is the aspect of listening carefully to what others are saying. By improving this aspect, I am able to understand what others are saying, aside from what thoughts I intend to speak. To be effective, I am, therefore, required first to listen and comprehend what others are saying.
By understanding what others need, require, and expect from me, I am able to understand them and the prevailing situational contexts better. This, thus, enables me to act in the best interests of not only myself but also of all other pertinent individuals and group-entities. This aspect goes hand in hand with the principle of "Seeing and Being," which includes the need for the development and growth of personal character.
The aim is to enable me as well as others to enhance the perception from the old traditional paradigm to the new, more effective, and, therefore, workable avenues. It is closely connected with the Principle-Centered Paradigm. The latter regards the presence of character ethics founded on the core ideal of principles governing human effectiveness. These are natural laws, which are unchanging as based on reality.
The Enhancement of Synergy (to Synergize)
Synergy pertains to the greatness of a whole entity (wholesomeness), which is better than the sum-total of all parts available. Accordingly, this principle bases its ideal on the need for togetherness or co-operative coexistence within a given organizational structure. This is towards enhancing overall efficiency and effectiveness within such a context. Consequently, I am able to learn that towards enhanced effectiveness, there is a need to value the existing differences between individuals. The aim is to utilize such differences and create new opportunities, not only for me but also for others present within such organizational contexts.
Synergy, therefore, refers to the prevailing context, in which individuals collectively wish to cooperatively interact, with the aim of enhancing their productivity. It enables the creation of conducive environment, in which one makes improvements, creates novel ideals and products as well as broadens experiences. Through such avenues, both the Principles of Change and Growth are further enhanced.
By recognizing and effectively living in harmony with such principles, enables my ability to live in harmony with others in a given organizational entity, with the aim of not only surviving but also further enhancing collective output. It should be noted that individuality only goes as far as enabling personal growth and development, but it is irrelevant without cooperation with others in a given organizational setting. In tandem with the above, there is a need for observance and development of various principles, i.e. fairness, equity, and justice.
Additionally, such aspects as honesty and integrity are of cardinal importance; both of them are vital to the enhancement of trust. Trust, as I understand, is vital for the creation of environments favorable for wholesome development. This not only regards individual and group cooperation but also the positive prospects of enhanced inter-personal and personal growth and development.
Due to all the aforementioned facts, I have come to understanding and appreciating the necessity of implementing such measures. The aim is not only to enhance me but also to positively impact group and organizational growth and development. These habits are related in varying measures to the aforementioned book Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations.
I will delve into the presence of such an association in the following sections. It essentially prepares students to become successful and effective managers. This can be achieved through skills and a solid understanding of what entails the necessary steps, with regard to tackling the various management challenges, which occur with time.
Human Behavior: Influences, Effects, and Contributions
This is essentially rooted based on Organizational Behavior (OB), which as it has been mentioned above, regards the extensive study of human behavior within the contexts of an organizational setting. It refers to the interface between a given organization and human behavior, as expressed by employees present and provided through Organizational Theory. The thing is that an organization does influence and is in turn influenced by the individual, through his/her behavior.
This, therefore, provides the need to not only understand organizational behavior, with regard to a given organizational entity but also to the inherent presence of individuals within such settings. This is based on the fact that people do bring into a given organization unique sets of personal characteristics, background, and experiences. Management, therefore, necessitates the focus and development of each unique perspective, brought forth by existing employees within a given organization.
The aim is to better synergize all current employees as well as their individual and group capacities, experiences, skill-sets, and knowledge. This eventually enables the betterment of management, organizational productivity, and competitiveness. The key to the above would be the need to better learn and understand each individual, within such settings, with the aim of enhancing their output. Concentration should not only be focused on each individual present but also on their cooperative existence and functionality as a group.
Core to the above would be the need for management present, to consider how both the individual employee and the organization as an entity interact within given settings. By delving into the individual employee, the organization present, and the prevailing employee-organization interface, one is able to better grasp the importance of a positive and complementary organizational behavior.
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Organizational Behavior and Management
OB, by virtue of not being an area of business functionality or responsibility, cannot be managed, but rather, can be enhanced through requisite management skills and capacity. Through an understanding of the prevailing OB within a given organization, the management present perceives this by way of the tools and insights present. Through both understanding and appreciation, I am able to understand better the reasons why individuals within a given organization behave the way they do.
This is linked to the aforementioned habit of Seeking (as an Individual), First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. Regarding the above, there is a need to enhance employee motivation; ensuring the proper design and functionality of employee jobs; the evaluation of performance; conflict resolution, and the set-up of goals, with the presence of reward systems.
Pertinent to this is the need for my understanding of the existing organizational design, structure, and culture, in addition to issues of leadership, political behavior, and power inherent within a given organizational setting. Through management, I am able to utilize the gained knowledge of the prevailing OB, towards better understanding employee's feelings, needs, behaviors, and motivations.
This, in turn, provides an avenue of improvement towards enhancing decision-making capacities, in addition to controlling inherent stress. Additionally, there is the aspect of enhanced communication that is crucial in comprehending how career dynamics within a given organizational setting, unfolds.
The Management Process
Managerial work, while being both complex and unpredictable, is also rich in abundant opportunities and excitement. Core to this is the functions of planning, controlling, leading, and organizing in simultaneous incorporation. Essentially, this process is linked to the aforementioned habit of being Proactive (Pro-activity). This is vital to the pursuit of various objectives and goals within an organization, through the utility of various resources available. They are invariably categorized as four factors: information, financial, human, and physical resources.
All four are fundamental to the achievement of set organizational goals within an entity. Through a combination of these resources, management is able to effectively attain the set goals. In planning, I am able to determine the organization's desired future position, in addition to deciding on the best possible avenue of achieving this position.
Perception is vital for the enhancement of individual and group creativity, in addition to their motivation towards achieving set strategies, tactics, and goals. Through the organization, the basic framework or structure of the organization is enhanced by various processes. These entail the designing of jobs with the further grouping of these manageable units.
Adding to this is the presence of establishing hierarchical structures of authority, especially amongst groups of jobs and individual jobs. Leading is vital as the process motivates all members to present within an organizational structure, especially towards the attainment of set goals. This process entails the vital aspects of not only motivating employees but also managing prevailing group dynamics, in addition to the actual leadership process itself. Control entails both the monitoring and correction of actions within an organization.
Basic Managerial Roles
Management entails various roles, which are vital in the enhancement of the competitiveness of the organization. These ten roles are divided into three categories generally. First, there are interpersonal roles, which entail the social nature of management. Core to this is the aspect of relating to other individuals in specific ways, both personally and professionally. Serving as a figurehead, a manager is able to perform his/ her roles of hiring, training, and motivating employees.
In this aspect, thinking is crucial in win-win contexts, through enhanced interpersonal roles, which do involve behavioral processes. Informational roles include the characteristic of information processing. These roles are behavioral processes, educated by the fact that information is constantly exchanged between individuals. Decision-making roles comparatively integrate to the enhancement of synergy.
Through the initiation of change, i.e. new strategies or innovations, management is able to organize crucial fundamentals such as resource allocation (human and monies), in addition to what is to be done (organizational procedures and role-play). Negotiation enables better understanding that is vital in reaching agreements, both within the organization as well as with other entities outside. Interdisciplinary focus is vital in understanding inherent human behavior, especially in organizational contexts.
From all the aforementioned, the crucial thing is not that OB is essential in the good progression of a given organizational entity. Through the incorporation of the aforementioned seven habits, I am able to better understand the necessity of OB to any given organization. Pertinent to these are the aforementioned aspects of managerial roles; the management process; management and organizational behavior, and human behavior.
A manager's role is best-positioned, with respect to the individuals present within a given organization. By enhancing not only individual output but also group productivity, cooperation, and interaction, a manager is able to better serve the organization. Towards overall efficiency and effectiveness, there is a need to incorporate various measures vital in enhancing individual and group capacity.
In the end, it is through the incorporation of all essential aspects aforementioned; in addition to others not delved into that, an organizational entity is able to strive forward. This provides an optimal opportunity for both growth and development, in not only the individual context, but as a group of persons, and finally as an organizational entity.