Seven Habits: Exercises for habit 1 and 2

In a previous post I described a session where I’m helping a former colleague in her 7 Habits course. I’ll just describe the exercises me and Anna covered.


Anna had me do some homework. To think of which things affect me, what worries me about them, and which of them I can affect.

Now I went over this at least three times, the most meaningful of them was one was on the subway on my way to work. I combined a list of things that affected me and what had worries and which I could affect. The list is no where near complete, but it served as material for a discussion.

The purpose of this is to know, what I can affect. What my decisions affect and in what way. By knowing this I can decide how I want to act based on knowing what I can affect, and do so before I act.

Positive feedback

I really liked this exercise as I need to conduct analysis of these things on my self.

Anna had me conduct a list of people which I perceive have had a positive impact in my life. Secondly she had me imagine each and one of them on my 60th birthday, giving a speech. Then note the keywords they would use to describe me.

By knowing this I can identify how I want others to perceive me. By knowing how I want other to perceive me I can act accordingly, it helps me identify the goals I wish to achieve.

This helps me with the second habit, Begin with the End in Mind: Principles of Personal Vision.

Negative feedback

It is not enough to know what you want to become, you must also know what you don’t want to become. This is similar to when I write a vision document for a software feature, I describe what I want to solve, but also what I don’t want to solve with this specific feature.

We conducted another list, this time of people whom I dislike. Next, why I dislike them. Most of the time you project negative aspects of yourself onto others. By identifying what you dislike in others, you can identify which aspects you do not want to reflect on your own person.

Here I have a suggestion for making this exercise more efficient, make a root cause analysis of what you dislike about the person. For one person on the list I wrote “mismatch in vision”, but this is most likely caused by something else.
## Current work goals

Identify the three most important goals you have in your current position, imagine a situation in which these are solved. Now identify what you have to do to get there.