By Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D
Yes, you read it right. It's not a misprint. In this article, I will discuss the seven habits of highly ineffective people. It is as important to know about the habits that can make us ineffective as it is to know the ones that make us effective.
The credit for identifying the seven habits of ineffective people goes to John Covey, the brother of Steven Covey who is the celebrated author of the book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Incidentally, I smell some sibling rivalry there, don't you?
At any rate, the
first habit that really holds the master key to the treasury of failures is, "Be reactive. Always doubt yourself and blame others." By being reactive you don't have to take a preventive action, entertain a forethought or plan for anything in advance. You can avoid decisions forever by continuing to doubt yourself. If you don't take a decision in the first place, how can you blame yourself. This way, you also reserve the right to blame others for the inconveniences and difficulties.
second habit is to "work without any clear end in mind." Then whichever way it ends, look at it philosophically, "That's the way things sometimes happen. " The fact that the outcome didn't turn out to be so great is nobody's fault and certainly not yours.
third habit is to "do only what is urgent." You will have the satisfaction of doing the urgent thing while avoiding crises until things catch up with you.
fourth habit is to think in win/lose terms, that is, "I should win and they should lose" as the basic orientation to all negotiations and collaborations. Sometime, this may offer you a big ego trip and when you lose, you may even get some sympathy.
fifth habit is to "seek first to be understood." Don't try to understand them until they understand you and that way you can be even with them.
sixth habit is to follow the dictum, "If you can't win, compromise." This will help you to secretly admire yourself for being so adaptable and having "one up on them."
seventh habit is to "fear change and put off improvement." When you spend all your energy in maintaining the status quo, many of your coworkers will become your bosom buddies.
Foster these seven habits and you shall rank very highly among the highly ineffective people.