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“The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness” by Stephen R. Covey Essay (Book Review)

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Updated: Jul 6th, 2021

What Are the Most Appealing Ideas Expressed by the Author(s)?

The concept of an inner voice that acts as both a guiding and detrimental entity may not be new to self-conscious and thinking people. Learning to control this internal stream of thought and using it to one’s advantage, however, could be a challenging endeavor even for those used to self-managing all aspects of their life. Stephen R. Covey in his book The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness attempts to demonstrate how people taking responsibility for the thoughts that they formulate is an expression of beneficial free will (41). Humans may achieve the ultimate level of individual autonomy through this kind of personal accountability, which in turn could permit advancing their life in whichever direction they may choose.

Modern society favors individualism, making the idea of finding a personal voice a critical step when participating in any social interaction. The 8th Habit identifies numerous types of “voices” a human may have, from influential to empowering, determining the various ways in which one individual can influence people around them to become better versions of themselves (Covey 253). The author describes this conception as “the voice of the human spirit,” which makes positive change possible within both the individual and the community in which they exist (Covey 5). In teaching, the verifiable benefit of personal betterment before societal improvement could be an essential idea, especially considering that education is a career path that wholly commits itself to the creation of an improved future.

Business tactics that affect an establishment’s overall atmosphere could have a direct effect on the quality of services provided and, therefore, on the consumer’s satisfaction. Covey mentions the “FranklinCovey approach” that, while being more suited to corporate practices, may be implemented in teaching to achieve a better workplace environment (379). This idea of paying attention not merely to the final product but also the process and means of producing it, applies and extends the empowerment voice concept to productivity (Covey 380). It remains essential to recognize that each level of teaching, from a teacher’s training to the support they give to students, requires motivational backing through appropriate channels, for example, personal encouragement.

What Are the Implications of the Ideas in the Book for You as an Educator?

Within education, numerous teachers may proclaim that they aspire to put students before anything else in their life, including their private life and free time. However, helping others, which is the primary goal of any community-oriented work, may only be possible after the person interested in this kind of endeavor gives enough attention to their own mental and physical state (Covey 73). Retaining personal integrity to “to develop a sense of self” that would make leading students by example possible maintains its importance in a job, which skews the employment and life balance scheme towards work (Covey 72). Implying that teachers could be better educators if they are not overburdened and, therefore, less prone to stress and more inclined to leave a positive influence is an idea that practicing professionals should justly support.

The idea of vocal support is another notion that is prevalent throughout the education process, not only because teachers use their voice to motivate students. Pupils are sensitive not only to the information they perceive but also to how teachers approach the studying procedure and the interpersonal relationships formed with them throughout the education process. Therefore, the connotations that the concept of long-term voice carries could link appropriately to the idea of teachers as providing a beneficial service, which helps form intelligent and socialized pupils (Covey 31). In my opinion, The 8th Habit appropriately raises this technique to one of principle, which may be essential to comprehend when developing a job-related attitude and identifying teaching as a primarily societal calling.

What Ideas of the Author, If Any, Do You Challenge? Why?

The idea of pain infliction should seem foreign and even impossible in a classroom setting, going against all principles of education. While Covey does not mean that literal, physical suffering must be induced and instead states that the chosen subject could be exposed to controlled failure to grow, this idea remains implausible in teaching (248). Setting pupils up for inevitable failure may be a surefire way to lose any credibility in their eyes, rather than motivate them to overcome hardship through endurance and hard work. Exhibiting the joint use of the motivational voice and disappointment tactics may even lead to students becomes disillusioned with the system of education overall, therefore achieving an effect that reaches far beyond the teacher’s course.

Since all students are different and come from varying backgrounds both positive and negative, they may react in various ways to teachers attempting to interact with them. The idea that trust must exist in the teacher first and in the student second, as reapplied from business techniques, becomes a backhanded idea that advocates blind and, often, illogical confidence (Covey 181). While this kind of model seems appropriate for business, it may not hold as much soundness inside a classroom where students come to learn, rather than compete and out-achieve each other. Therefore, recognizing that students will have different responses to the teacher, rather than a uniform one, may permit treating them as individuals and not a competition in gaining their collective faith as an authority figure.

Works Cited

Covey, Stephen R. The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. Free Press, 2004.

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IvyPanda. ""The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness" by Stephen R. Covey." July 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-8th-habit-from-effectiveness-to-greatness-by-stephen-r-covey/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. ""The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness" by Stephen R. Covey." July 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-8th-habit-from-effectiveness-to-greatness-by-stephen-r-covey/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) '"The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness" by Stephen R. Covey'. 6 July.

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