Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People treatise is said to be remarkable in setting inspirational standards to anyone who wants to live a good and purposeful life. These guidelines are recently more applicable owing to the need for persons to be always cautious in their actions. The first habit which is explained by Covey is that one ought to be proactive. This is described as the ability for one to control his or her environment but not allowing it to control them. It is also described as being self determined, having one’s own choice and also the power to make decisions on how to respond to stimuli, circumstances, or conditions. This habit can be said to be deeply embedded in psyche management. As a teacher, there is a need for one to be proactive and to focus his or her attention and efforts in the long-term results. Further, teachers should carefully consider their actions and the long-term consequences that may follow them. As a teacher, there is need to understand how one reacts or interacts with their students since teachers may find themselves not in the safe side should they blunder in this issue.
Convey describes being proactive or having the attitude of being proactive as not being reactive. He states that reactive persons are the ones who do not admit the truth that what they do now can have negative effects to them in the future. It is very interesting that the reactive persons have their thoughts, actions, and words affected by whatever they believe in. As a teacher, if one believes that they cannot make their students perform well in their examinations, then this attitude challenges the whole essence of becoming a teacher. On the other hand, proactive people will believe that whatever they do is their choice and they will have to do it as it is required. This is because they know that it will have effects in the future.
The second habit - known as beginning with the end in one’s mind - is also an essential habit of a personal leadership. It leads an individual towards what they consider to be their goals or aims. One should develop a habit which can guide them in concentrating on activities which are relevant and building a platform of becoming successful and productive by avoiding distractions. As a teacher, one needs to plan themselves with assurance so that they can feel that their life is equally important in their careers. To be engaged in this second habit, one should be having a dream - a clear definition of their vision - and put it into practice in setting their goals. This aspect allows one to progress towards their dream. As a teacher, if one has their vision defined and practices it with faith, then they will achieve their dreams.
The third habit is to give due priority to essential issues which is described by Covey as a habit which entails personal management. This is all about implementing and organizing the activities which are in line with the established aims in the previous habit. Habit two is said to be the mental creation whereas habit three involves physical creation. As per this habit, one should determine the things which he or she thinks are most important to him or her and attend to them first. As a teacher, one should attend to such issues first because their importance contributes to achieving one’s mission. Further, these issues should be associated with a deadline. The other important things to consider is planning and improving one’s profession so as to achieve one’s goals and mission.
The fourth habit is referred to as Think Win-Win. This is known as the interpersonal leadership habit which is extremely important since achievements largely depend on efforts of cooperating with others. This habit is based on an assumption that for everyone, there is plenty. In addition, it focuses on the notion that success naturally follows a cooperative approach rather than the 'lose or win' confrontation. This habit fosters an attitude that is always committed to finding solutions and that can really benefit both people involved in a dispute. The win-win idea usually does not have a basis on confrontation. Rather, it is just the results of perceiving the situation’s possible synergy properly. As a teacher, one needs to practice this habit since the work environment of a teacher is full of disputes arising from students and even fellow teachers. This phenomenon requires teachers to devise or find suitable ways of solving the problems. This strategy may be beneficial to the parties and make one comfortable in the work place. Moreover, a teacher is able to achieve their mission.
The fifth habit requires one to be able to understand the other people first before desiring them to understand them. This is a communication from Convey which is very powerful. As a teacher, one needs to first understand what people do naturally, especially when involving oneself in any type of dialogue. This concept applies even when holding discussions - a very common element in the field of a teacher. After a teacher has understood them, then the other people will be in a position to listen to the teacher and understand them. This habit is a very important in the interpersonal relations and it has the ability of transforming the discussion procedure. As a teacher, one can first look at the past papers of children and understand why the students are performing the way they are doing. This action will enable the teacher to understand since their students are not different with those in the past.
The sixth habit is known as the capacity to synergize. This is creative co-operation habit with a principle that a whole thing is greater than its parts summed up. This principle simply implicitly lays down the challenge of recognizing the potential and goodness of another person’s contribution. As teachers, there is a need to put your heads together and brainstorm creatively for any problem to synergize a solution. Coming to a synergetic solution means you have arrived at a solution which is beneficial and which neither of you could have solved more correctly alone. This solution can only be arrived at if both parties have a clear understanding about each other.
The last habit is known as Saw Sharpening. This is self renewal habit and it surrounds all the other discussed habits, thus encouraging and enabling them to grow and happen. The ‘self’ is interpreted by Covey as mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional aspect which all of them need to develop and feed. As a teacher, one is the saw and, in order to sharpen it, they have to become keener, better, and effective. In sharpening the saw, one needs to engage himself or herself regularly in the exercising of these four dimensions that construct the whole condition of human. As a teacher, one needs to commit themselves in the spiritual part of this habit so that they can have good meditation.
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