The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families

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Overview

In his first major work since The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven R. Covey presents a practical and philosophical guide to solving the problems—large and small, mundane and extraordinary—that confront all families and strong communities. By offering revealing anecdotes about ordinary people as well as helpful suggestions about changing everyday behavior, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families shows how and why to have family meetings, the importance of keeping promises, how to balance individual ...

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Overview

In his first major work since The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven R. Covey presents a practical and philosophical guide to solving the problems—large and small, mundane and extraordinary—that confront all families and strong communities. By offering revealing anecdotes about ordinary people as well as helpful suggestions about changing everyday behavior, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families shows how and why to have family meetings, the importance of keeping promises, how to balance individual and family needs, and how to move from dependence to interdependence. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families is an invaluable guidebook to the welfare of families everywhere.

"The author, called one of America's 25 most influential people by Time magazine, explains how families can use the principles he presented in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This smoothly written book provides excellent advice."

Publishers Weekly

 

"His message ... is written with sincerity and simplicity, and even the most career-driven individual should feel passionate about family after reading this book."

Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307440853
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 66,615
  • Product dimensions: 9.44 (w) x 11.08 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven R. Covey—recognized by Time magazine as one of America's twenty-five most influential people—is chairman of FranklinCovey Company. He and his wife, Sandra, have three children and live in Provo, Utah.

Biography

Stephen R. Covey writes in his blockbuster self-improvement tome, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, about the "social band-aid" effect of much recent success literature, the tendency to create personality-based solutions to problems that go deeper. "Success became more a function of personality, of public image, of attitudes and behaviors, skills and techniques, that lubricate the processes of human interaction," he wrote. Covey acknowledges the importance of the "personality ethic," but he sought to go deeper and emphasize the "character ethic," something Covey saw as a fading concept. He went back further and found inspiration in figures such as Benjamin Franklin, Thoreau, and Emerson.

Indeed, everything old is new again in Covey's works. The author himself would admit that nothing he is saying is terribly new; but Covey's synthesis of years and years of thinking about effectiveness resulted in a smash personal growth title -- one that continues to be a top seller nearly 15 years after its first publication. The title, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, makes it sounds like a quick-fix path to power, but Covey's philosophy is rooted in exactly the opposite notion: There are no quick fixes, no shortcuts. He is writing about habits, after all, which can be as tough to institute as they can be to break. His list: Be proactive; begin with the end in mind; put first things first; think win-win; seek first to understand, then to be understood; synergize; sharpen the saw.

Covey's subsequent titles are based in some way or another on this seminal book. First Things First offers a time-management strategy and a new way of looking at priorities. Principle-Centered Leadership is an examination of character traits and an "inside-out" way of improving organizational leadership. Covey, a Mormon, also wrote two religious contemplations of human effectiveness and interaction, The Spiritual Roots of Human Relations and The Divine Center. These were Covey's first two titles; his esteem for spirituality is not absent from subsequent work but appears as just one more tool that can be applied in self-improvement.

Like Spencer Johnson's Who Moved My Cheese?, 7 Habits has been able to achieve astonishing sales success by espousing ideas applicable beyond an office setting. Covey's books are about self-improvement more than they are about corporate management, which has enabled him to create a successful version of the philosophy for families (entitled, of course, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families) in addition to attracting people who just want to be more efficient in their lives, or bolster that diet.

Most attractive about Covey is his versatility in conveying his ideas. His books are structured in appealing, number-oriented groupings ("Three Resolutions," "Thirty Methods of Influence," four quadrants of importance in time management) and big umbrellas of ideas, but within these pockets Covey draws from a wide range of resources: anecdotes, business school exercises, historical wisdom, and diverse metaphors. Sometimes, Covey uses himself as an example. He knows as well as anyone that practicing what he preaches is tough; but he keeps trying, which makes him an inspiring testimonial for his own books.

Good To Know

Covey is married to Sandra Merrill Covey. They have nine children.

Covey is co-chair of FranklinCovey, a management resources firm based in Provo, Utah. He has also been a business professor at Brigham Young University, where he earned his doctorate.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has sold more than 12 million copies in 33 languages and 75 countries throughout the world.

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    1. Hometown:
      Provo, Utah
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 24, 1932
    2. Place of Birth:
      Salt Lake City, Utah
    1. Date of Death:
      July 16, 2012
    2. Place of Death:
      Idaho Falls, ID

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 14 of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2004

    Read it before you get married!

    I got this book because I wanted to 'fix' my family. My kids are approaching their teens and we seemed to be going in all directions, but never really being a family. My husband and I are happily married but we weren't putting what we should into our relationship. Instead of fixing my family, I immediately saw that I needed to fix me first. I wish I had read this before I got married. The first year of marriage would have been much easier and I would have been better prepared when the kids came along.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2002

    You CAN create more peace and cooperation in your family

    Covey encourages every parent to do some soul searching to become aware as to what really is priority in life. Then, he suggests we put ¿first things first.¿ I believe that most parents would admit that they do wish to have "FAMILY" comes first--above all else. But, in today's busy, often stressful daily routine of life, accomplishing that goal is often "easier said than done". Covey clearly points out the essentials...such as establishing effective communication lines through family meetings and one-on-one talks with the kids. He makes so much sense as he describes with personal anecdotes how love, values, morality, and empathy for others is a process of teaching and learning from "the inside out"...in other words from within the family rippling out to society at large. He talks about establishing a family mission statement and helps to direct moms and dads to find the courage and the skills to make changes for the better. Covey's book creates the mindset and the outline. If you have young kids like me, I recommend a perfect compliment `how-to book¿ with Covey¿s ¿ called ¿THE POCKET PARENT.¿ This little book is loaded with compassion and humor along with hundreds of specific tips and skills to try. It literally trouble-shoots many of the problem behaviors we deal with daily¿such as Angry outbursts, Bedtime, Mealtime and Clean-up refusals, Tantrums, Disrespectful attitude, the ¿Gimmes¿, Morning ¿Crazies¿, Whining, Sibling fights and many more. These 2 books (one more theoretical, the other more "hands on" practical) have changed our lives. We now have more peace and cooperation in our family---and that gives us more time to enjoy each other. Consider both books!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2001

    Seven Habits Better Than Seven Wonders

    Having attempted to read 'Seven Habits of Highly Effective People', I wondered how reader-friendly this book would be. Since I believe that the original Seven Habits are good, I thought I'd try reading the family version. Once I started reading, I was hooked: even a 'functional' family such as my own can learn and grow from incorporating the information found in this book. Easy to read and also easy to teach to other family members: at the end of each chapter is a guide to teaching either teenagers/adults or children/toddlers. My children range in age from 12 to 2, and there are teaching strategies that helped each family member to enjoy and--I hope--learn from each chapter's 'lesson'. I'm thinking of giving copies to everyone I know for Christmas!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2014

    I¿ve resisted the Stephen Covey bandwagon: his particular presen

    I’ve resisted the Stephen Covey bandwagon: his particular presentation doesn’t appeal to me. His books – to me – read a bit too much like tracts. And the sappy stories and drawings kind of freak me out. I have an overall sense that he is restraining his desire to preach, to lead me to salvation, to shout ‘AMEN!’ But I won’t for one single second deny that he has an unusual insight and wisdom pertaining to success and purpose.

    So I read The Seven Habits for Families. There is a lot in here. So much so that I think this is almost better used as a reference book – something to page through every now and then to mull over for a few days. From my vantage the real value of the book comes in the first few chapters when Covey explores the stimulus-pause-response cycle. Something happens – a child breaks a vase or a dad gets a bonus and we have an inclination to act. Act now. To be in the moment, so to speak. Covey takes some pages to show that this space between action and response is where we are able to direct our futures. Our decisions about how to respond set up our future circumstances. It’s a cycle that we can use to point our lives in a direction of our choosing.

    Through the rest of the book he focuses on the Seven Habits with applications for families: priorities, relationships, family and personal growth. He spends a good amount of time on the family business plan: putting together a real document that outlines a family’s core principles, priorities, and goals. Take this with a grain of salt and adjust it to your family situation. Other reviewers point out that a family is not a business or a sports team. True enough. But the truism sums it up: it’s easy to get there when you don’t know where you are going. The family plan is an opportunity to talk about what is important and to set common goals. Nothing has to be written in stone. Real business plans certainly aren’t. They set goals and develop plans for how to reach them and then, at regular intervals, assess how they are doing and make requisite changes. I was impressed that Covey stresses that this is not something that is to be churned out in a weekend by dad – it’s not a rule book. He cautions that everyone in the family must be able to take the time they need to think hard about how they and their desires fit into the family. It’s clear to me that the plan is well in play when you simply start thinking about it.

    The book settles nicely into Covey’s folksy, ah shucks writing style. It’s easy to read and easy to digest. Some will call it wishful thinking – this is the new millennium after all. Families look different, entertainment looks different, you can have an electronic pet if you prefer. But I think Covey would say that we still want the same thing: parents want their children to grow up to be kind and respectful. We want to enjoy meaningful time with our family and friends. Children want to be understood and listened to. Though the times change human nature remains the same.

    People come to these kinds of books with different expectations. For some the book will provide a few useful tips for navigating your family toward a known goal. Others will find it a godsend of wisdom. I find it hard to imagine a family that couldn’t benefit from a reading of the Habits for Families.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2002

    7habits to family

    it is good for some one who need a good family and need to enjoy with thier life

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2002

    Good guide

    Any help we can get these days to strengthen families is a great thing. This book is an excellent tool to help families get to that place where the family nurtures and strengthens the child.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2000

    A set of tools for building and strengthening families

    In introducing '7 Habits for Highly Effective Families,' Covey writes that societal forces have changed, and that we can no longer rely on a family-friendly society to help us with our families. That approach, which he termed the 'outside-in' approach was useful in the middle of the 20th century. But at the turn of the century, when societal forces are combining to undermine the family, Covey argues that we need an 'inside-out' approach, where we take greater care as parents to create a family culture that encourages goodness, morality and love. <p> With that premise in mind, Covey applies the 7 Habits to family life. I'm not familiar with the 7 Habits as they are applied to individuals, but as I've tried to apply them in my family I've been impressed by the results. As a husband and father, I feel as if I now have a set of tools to build and strengthen my family, and an understanding of how to use them.

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    Posted February 28, 2010

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    Posted April 20, 2010

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    Posted August 20, 2010

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    Posted December 30, 2008

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    Posted August 28, 2010

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    Posted January 12, 2009

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    Posted October 13, 2010

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