The “7 Habits” for… YOU!

by Christina on January 5, 2011

Hello from Northern California! I’m back in the clinics after finishing my year of research (and I must say that it feels good to be seeing patients again).

Today during morning conference we talked about leadership and about Steven Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We were asked if we thought this book should this be required reading for physicians (I think so!)

The 7 Habits:

  1. Be Proactive. There is a space between stimulus and response. You can control your actions and reactions.
  2. Begin with the End in Mind. Have a vision.
  3. First things first. Focus on those things that are most important – you cannot possibly know everything about everything. Practice the 80/20 rule.
  4. Think win-win. Only do things that are mutually beneficial.
  5. Seek first to understand then be understood. Listen and understand the other person before you try to be heard. Patients come to see you when they are sick and most vulnerable – so sit down, listen, and understand (and do not forget about the power of touch).
  6. Synergize. Work with people productively and effectively (so that 1+1 > 2). This is especially important now that so much of medical care is team-based.
  7. Sharpen the saw. Take care of yourself – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – or you can’t be of any use to anyone else.

Health care workers (including yoga teachers!) desperately need training in this, especially since one of our most important jobs is to coach our patients to be leaders of their own health!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Palmer January 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm

This is an exceptionally valuable blog post. Stephen Covey’s seminal book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” helped shape the person I am today, and I’m very grateful to him for his wisdom and insights. Everybody can radically improve their success, productivity, and sense of fulfillment, including doctors, by following his guidelines–which, in a sense, are all basic common sense.


Christina January 12, 2011 at 4:42 am

Yes! And thanks for introducing me to him, Dad! Because of you, I read the book for teens when I was in high school and ended up taping my mission statement to my mirror (which would explain why I wasn’t the coolest kid around)


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