A visitor came to my organization yesterday to present a day-long seminar to about fifteen people based on the book by Steven Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I’m not a big fan of group-think pop-philosophy self-help seminars, but there were a few things I could take away from the session.
Aside from the content, I was happy there was very little sales talk. We were given 20% coupons for the expensive FranklinCovey planners and accessories, but we weren’t subjected to any sort of sales pitch. The facilitator did not even suggest we sign up for additional courses. Thankfully, the experience was much more professional and less cult-like than my brush with Landmark Forum a few years ago.
The tips we received throughout the day were good, but there was nothing earthshattering for anyone who has the most basic understanding of psychology. I liked the visualization of tasks on a two-dimensional matrix, with the categories being “importance” and “urgency.” I did “discover” that much of my time is spent in “Quadrant III” and “Quadrant IV,” which consist of unimportant tasks, whether urgent or not.
I struggled a bit with an activity in which we were to write a personal mission statement, but I was probably overanalyzing myself.
If you have the opportunity to attend a 7 Habits seminar, perhaps if it is being paid for by your company, it may be worth your time if you’re not getting the most from yourself. Don’t buy any of their materials, however; you can make any changes in your life you feel necessary without paying for anything fancy.
Updated August 9, 2011 and originally published September 20, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.