The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is one of the biggest and best-selling books in the world. Written by author Stephen Covey, this book is a must-read for effective transformation that sets readers on the path to leadership and development. What sets apart the 7 Habits from other leadership is its inside-out approach to leadership development that is universal, timeless and can be applied in the work life, home life as well as for the development of schools and other educational institutes.
The book reveals seven habits of the highly effective people around us, and how we too can be effective if we incorporate some of these habits. While these characteristics have influenced thousands of corporate and personal success stories, how would these seven habits relate to a school?
Characteristic One- A Proactive School
The first habit mentioned in the book is to be proactive. It encourages readers to take responsibility for their learning and choices through making proactive decisions. This is essential for a school looking to establish them as an effective learning centre.
Being proactive essentially means understanding the global trending in education- especially the application of technology in schools and embodying the same into your centre. It also translates into ensuring that your teachers receive the latest training on new programs, teaching software and technological tools that will help them to teach better and be more relevant to the teacher.
By proactively choosing to incorporate technology into various aspects of your school from attendance management to time-table scheduling, you can be assured that your school will function in a more efficient and effective manner.
Characteristic Two – Begin With An End In Mind
The second characteristic mentioned in the book related to the beginning with an end in mind. This essentially means developing a long-term vision for the school and charting out an action-oriented path in that direction.
Very often, schools never focus on aligning their vision with their actions and can often seem confused or vague to parents. For instance, schools can be sports-driven, academic oriented, technologically superior. By clearly identifying their vision for themselves and working towards the same is a great way for schools to build a reputation for themselves that is in line with their goals and objectives.
Characteristic 3 – Put First Things First
This third habit is an extension on Habit 2. While habit 2 is all about building a vision, habit three focuses on working on actions that will help you reach the vision. This habit emphasizes the need to ensure that you prioritize your actions to help you reach your goal.
For a school, this essentially translates into prioritizing the school budget, the school funds and allocated first towards meeting the vision of the school and later towards other items.
Characteristic 4 – Think Winning Thoughts
A win-win attitude focuses on cooperation rather than competition. It is based on the principles of mutual benefit in all aspects of work and life.
This fourth habit encourages schools to think of positive thoughts when faced with challenges. For instance, when dealing with the chaos of admission season, schools must cultivate a positive attitude and look at solutions that can help them cope. Using school management software and other school technology tools will help the school function in a more positive and winning way.
Characteristic 5 – Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood
Communication is one of the most important skills in life and this fourth habit focuses on developing communication skills
For a school one of the best ways to build communication skills to use a school management system that will efficiently manage the parent and teacher communication. Using technology, parents can stay updated on the students’ school performance, attendance, homework assignments and other relevant days to day information. By communicating with the parents at all times, there is will a better parent-teacher relationship which will go a long way in creating an environment of meaningful conversations, productive school-parent collaborations, creative problem solving, most importantly will create an environment of trust and support for the students in the school.
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Characteristic 6 – Synergize
The age-old adage says, “two heads are better than one” and the sixth habit encourages people to bring their expertise, experience and work together, proving the 6th habit to be right.
One of the best ways for schools to practices this is by encouraging collaboration in the classroom. This can best be done with group assignments and group tasks, where students need to give their best and collaborate together to create a winning online assignment.
An effective school uses various eLearning platforms to encourage students to work together in the classroom through group assignments and group tasks. Collaboration is one of the key features of eLearning platforms and it teaches students key twenty-first-century skill of synergy that can prepare them for the future of the workforce.
Characteristic 7 – Sharpen The Saw
Sharpen the Saw is the last habit and probably one of the most effective habits mentioned in the book. This characteristic of success deals with discusses self-renewal, self-care, self-respect and self-improvement
An effective school knows that for its students to excel in the workforce they need to be equipped with classroom skills, but they also need to learn other skills such as listening, sharing, focussing, team spirit.
However, to teach all these within the confines of the classroom can be a challenge to the school. However, one of the best ways to teach these multiple skills is to bring various aspects of school management software into the classroom to make learning relevant and fun.
Today, one of the most effective ways for schools to succeed and make a mark for themselves, is introducing technology and school management tools that will help them achieve all the above habits for success