All About Sean Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens Part 2

Monday, June 27, 2016

After covering the aspect of “private victories” in a previous blog post, this one now aims to discuss the latter part of Sean Covey’s bestselling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens”. Particularly, the “public victories” will now gain the spotlight – what are they, how can they be achieved, and what can they do for us?

The importance of these habits should really be taken into account as any student will find them handy. Whether they are studying in a traditional, private, or international school in the Philippines, opting to adapt the 7 habits will be able to help them develop their self-image, achieve their goals, get along better with their peers and parents, and much more.


Habit 4: Think Win-Win  

Life is an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet | Everyone Can Win

Pride gets no pleasure out of something, only out of having more of it than the next man.” – C.S. Lewis

There are four main paradigms on how a person can approach life. They are:


The Totem Pole

This mentality is one that is filled with pride. People with this type of mindset hold a belief that someone must always win at the expense of others; that competition is everything and that having more of a certain thing than others is the key to winning. While sometimes this may work, those who have this method of “winning” may eventually find themselves at their goal – though alone and friendless.

The win-lose strategy can be seen in everyday life. Classmates who claim the work of others as their own in order to gain their teacher’s approval are a prime example, as are people who are fond of spreading gossip to bring their peers down and make themselves look better are no different.


The Doormat

While peace and harmony is an important thing to have when dealing with other people, sometimes it can go a bit too far. Overcompensation on one person’s part in order to please the other is not a healthy way to solve arguments – one must never always bow down to another. Those with this attitude will find themselves always being taken advantage of, thus making them always set low expectations while also compromising whatever standards they may have.

Unfortunately, this too is a common occurrence. Some “friendships” are built on dysfunctional relationships like this wherein one is overly dominant; those who experience this should get out of it immediately as these tend to never get better.


The Downward Spiral

“If I can’t have it, so can’t he.” This saying is a perfect example of how this mentality works. Of course, this attitude should be avoided at all costs; not only do people not like losing, but doing it so that everyone does is simply detrimental to any group no matter the circumstance.

An example of this is the act of getting revenge. While it may seem like a good idea to get back at another for their past wrong doing, in the end it will not solve anything.


The All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet

People who believe that success is not exclusive to oneself are those who have a “win-win” mentality – the mentality that should be observed by everyone. Those who believe in this are the people who want others to experience success too—not just themselves. They think of life as this all-you-can-eat buffet wherein everyone can have a share of the good stuff.

How to think win-win:

  • Win the private victory first, as this can only begin with you.
  • Avoid comparing yourself to others, as different people grow at different rates. Focus on yourself and what you can do.
  • Take part in healthy competition, but be sure to keep it that way.
  • Take pleasure in seeing others win too.


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

You Have Two Ears and One Mouth… Hel-lo! | Listen Before You Talk

We have two ears so that we can listen, and we have one mouth so we can speak. Genuinely listening and communicating well is the foundational process in order to understand and then to be understood. Here are the 5 poor listening styles which should be hopefully avoided as much as possible when communicating; these are known as spacing out, pretend listening, selective listening, word listening, and self-centered listening. Mirroring words is also an additional no-no. These kinds of listening show that you do not fully understand what the other person is talking about, possibly resulting to the most common root of conflicts: miscommunication. Instead, be understanding in knowing that communicating is a two-way street by genuinely listening and speaking properly to people everyday.

Habit 6: Synergize

The “High” Way | Together is Better

Creating synergy is the process of actively cooperating with others while allowing compromise. It builds on the win-win mentality wherein everyone should “win”. Winning here, however, is defined as achieving a certain goal as a team and individual victories take a back seat.

Here are the steps to synergizing with others:

Define the problem. Knowing what it is that needs to be solved and identifying the group’s goal is the first step. After all, synergy cannot be achieved if there is no common goal to work towards.

Find the root cause of the problem. The answer to solving any problem lies within its cause. Finding out how a problem started or what caused it initially can help point the solution out.

Brainstorm. When the problem’s cause is clear, the next step is to come up with a solution that is agreeable with everyone. While doing so, try not to criticize others’ ideas. Build upon them instead.

Take the “highway”. The last step is the execution of the proposed solution. This last step ensures that the problem is truly solved and that the win-win mentality is observed – everyone gains something (or at least not lose anything).


Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

It’s “Me Time” | Balance Feels Best

The last step to being an effective teen is learning how to take care of yourself: body, mind, soul, and heart. First of all, take care of your body, as it is your “home”. Eat healthily, exercise, and sleep as needed. Also, don’t forget about your mind as it is the one controlling your body. Read often – about anything and everything – to keep it sharp. Or play word games online or with friends to practice your memory. Your heart is important, too – give yourself enough time to do activities that you like. Indulge in your hobbies and visit new places! Staying happy is also a part of health, after all. Lastly, manage your soul too. Reflect on your life, your choices – are they truly leading you to your goals? Doing so will give you that sense of security that you really are going in the right direction.

Now that all of Sean Covey’s 7 Habits for Highly Effective Teens have been covered, incorporate it into your life today and watch yourself develop personally – both for your own benefit and those around you. In addition, these life skills will help you prepare for the challenges of life both in the present and the future.


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