Franklin Covey and Stephen Covey
The First Habit- Being Proactive
As Life Coaches and Executive Coaches, we are big fans of Franklin Covey and Stephen Covey. It seems that there are so many new personal development books and programs, but the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is one of the most rock-solid and time tested books we know of. It just makes sense. In this article, we are going to summarize the first habit of the 7 Habits- Being Proactive.
Being proactive according to Covey means that in between things happening to you in life and how you respond you have a choice. “Response-ability” is the ability to choose your response. As Stephen Covey says “Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditioning or conditions for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice.”
If for example, somebody says something to you that you don’t like or treats you badly you have a choice about how to respond. Are you going to snap back at them, are you going to say nothing and then be upset later, are you going to let it ruin your day or worse your confidence? Or perhaps you are going to communicate your thoughts and feelings with love, grace and/or power or decide to not take it personally? These are just a few possible responses, how you respond is up to you. The question is what are you looking to accomplish in that situation? Consider that…what do you want? And then what response would give you the best chance to have that?
Often, we live like life is happening to us and our circumstances determine how we are going to feel about life or ourselves. Stephen Covey and the Franklin Covey folks point out that while we cannot always control our circumstances, what we can control is our response.
So think about an area of your life where you are feeling upset about something. How are you being in that area? Are you happy, sad, powerless, helpful, frustrated, concerned, etc? What actions are you taking? Then consider, who do you want to be in this situation? Perhaps powerful, a leader, loving, etc and then consider actions from there. Choose how you want to be and then think from there. Ask yourself “how would a person who was for example being a leader respond to this situation” and then your actions will become more clear.
We’d love to hear about the area you chose and what way of being you created and the actions you took. Please contact us at the Institute for Coaching or call us at 866-686-3116.
Our coaches use a lot of similar tools as covered in Frankin Covey programs because we think they are intelligent. To learn more about coaching call 866-686-3116.
Look out for future articles we will write about other Franklin Covey and Stephen Covey concepts.