Steven R Covey’s bestselling The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People was a landmark book in the world of self-help publishing as it introduced readers to a concept of life, both personally and professional, which encourages subtle and steady changes in the way people deal with the world around them. In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families, Covey takes those same habits–be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think “win/win”, seek first to understand and then to be understood, synergise, sharpen the saw–and transposes them onto possibly one of the most complex and confusing relationships that a human being is ever likely to encounter: the family. When you bear in mind that whereas we have at least some opportunity for choosing our friends, our lovers and, to a certain extent, our work colleagues, we have little or no choice in the matter when it comes to our families, so trying to apply the “Seven Habits”, which may have already helped to improve other aspects of your life, to this particular arena is no mean feat. However, with his customary aplomb and insight, Covey forces his readers to look in the mirror and face up to the consequences of their actions in this most delicate of areas, and comes out with a formula that will gradually help to move even the most dysfunctional of families through the stages of simple survival to a sense of stability, on to success and finally, and most importantly, to significance.
From the Koemba Book Club: