The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Summary

The seven habits of highly effective people are:

  1. They take initiative. “Be proactive.”
  2. They focus on goals. “Begin with the end in mind.”
  3. They set priorities. “Put first things first.”
  4. They only win when others win. “Think win/win.”
  5. They communicate. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
  6. They cooperate. “Synergize.”
  7. They reflect on and repair their deficiencies. “Sharpen the saw.

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Highly effective people take the initiative. They are proactive. They don’t impose limits on themselves that prevent them from acting. They recognize that they have the freedom to determine the kind of character they will have because they can decide how they will act. They may not be able to control their circumstances, but they can decide whether to use those circumstances or be abused by them. They live by the “principles of personal vision.”

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Begin by drafting a personal mission statement that outlines your goals and describes the kind of person you want to be. Think carefully about this mission statement. Examine yourself. See yourself as you really are. Are you self-centered? A workaholic? Money-grubbing? Decide what you need to change and what you want to become. Write the statement. Make a commitment to yourself. Keep that commitment.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

Don’t think about cramming a lot of business into your schedule but rather about making sure that you spend the necessary time on important things. Think of your various roles as a spouse, a parent, a manager, or a community volunteer. Give each role an appropriate allotment of time on your schedule. Don’t rob Peter to pay Paul; make sure each role gets its due.

Habit 4: Think Win/Win

Highly effective people strive for win/win transactions, which make it profitable for everyone to cooperate because all the parties are better off in the end. Any other kind of transaction is destructive, because it produces losers and, therefore, enemies and bad feelings, such as animosity, defeat and hostility.

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

Communication is a two-way street. To develop win/win relationships, find out what the other parties want, and what winning means to them. Don’t assume you know. Listen. Always understand what the other party needs and wants, and why. Then, when you outline your own objectives, put them in terms that respond directly to the other party’s goals. That is acting upon the “principles of empathetic communication.”

Habit 6: Synergize

Cooperation multiplies the power of one.  Cooperation and communication are the two legs of a synergistic relationship. Listen, reflect, respond and actively cooperate.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Highly effective people take the time they need to sharpen their tools, which are, in fact, their bodies, souls, mind and hearts. It’s time for “self-renewal.”

Effective people take care of their bodies with a program of exercise that combines endurance, flexibility and strength.



Excerpts from : summary of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.




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