Peter J. Jessen

"Goals Per Action" Success Consultant · · 9931 SW 61st Ave., Portland, OR 97219 · Tel: 503.977.3240 · Fax: 503.977.3239

Classes Based on Stephen Covey's, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Two class series — one for adults and one for teens — based on Stephen Covey and Sean Covey's books



7 Habits


Pages 247-275, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families:  Building a Beautiful Family Culture in a Turbulent World, Stephen R. Covey, Golden Books, New York, NY, 1997
Pages 181-204, THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TEEN: THE ULTIMATE TEENAGE SUCCESS GUIDE, Sean Covey, A Fireside Book, Simon & Schuste, 1998
Pages 18, The 7 Habits of Effective Teens: THE MINIATURE EDITION, Sean Covey, 2002

    •  "Building Family Unity Through Celebrating Differences"
         (Having something to work out together through synergy)

      •  Key question for Habit 6:  "Do I value different opinions, viewpoints, and perspectives of others when seeking solutions?" 

      •  “Synergy--the summum bonum  (supreme or highest) fruit  or result, end product of all the habits.”

            •  The magic of 1 + 1 = 3 or more
            •  All the parts making up the whole - metaphor of body
            •  The 3rd “person”;    the 3rd circle
            •  Do early:  held hostage to the “way” or reality give kids
            •  Powerful problem solving tool:  THE fundamental model of problem solving for children to witness
            •  “Fruit of Synergy is Priceless, ... challenging ... thrilling”
            •  Being a light, not a judge, a model, not a critic
            •  “Just as gangs can become a substitute family for young people, ...things can become a substitute for synergy”
            •  Demonstrates unconditional love
            •  “Happiness...comes from the quality of relationships”
      •  “Its not ‘your way’ or ‘my way’ but a better, higher way.”
         Becomes an “our way,” or “our family way”

      •  Stories:   passing on a book from mother to daughter
                       spouse of left brain (details) & right (feelings)
                       couch over credit

      •  “The Family Immune System”  
         “Togetherness in problem solving”

      •  Aids and Heroin don’t kill you
           •  They reduce/impair/lower/weaken immune system
           •  Then other bugs/viruses/diseases attack and find no defenders resisting them

            •  Uses the Four Gifts:                    self-awareness
                                                               independent will

            •  To Meet the 4 Basic Needs:        
                                                               to live
                                                               to learn
                                                               to love
                                                               to leave a legacy (what do with
                                                                    kids affects grandkids;
                                                                    “apples don’t fall far from the

            •  Fortifies against the four “cancers” deadly to families:

      •  A Habit 4, 5, & 6 culture: out together

      •  Transformational:    integration takes place; “3rd” created

      •  Transactional  plus:  complimentary team work: cooperation
         strength of one with weakness of other, and vice versa

      •  Scale of 1 - 10 honesty:  synergy not needed:  compromise

      •  Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn, Everyday Blessings:  The Inner Work of Mindful Parentingsovereignty

Covey, p. 267:  Report on Television and Behavior,
                                    by the National Institution of Mental Heath

Benefits from limiting TV to a maximum of two hours a day:

      •  Value setting will be taught and reinforced by the family.  Families will learn how to establish values and how to reason together.

      •  Relationships between parents and youth will improve in families.

      •  Homework will be completed with less time pressure.

      •  Personal conversations will increase substantially

      •  Children’s imaginations will come back to life

      •  Each family member will become a discriminating selector and evaluator of programs

      •  Parents can become family leaders again

      •  Good reading habits may be substituted for TV viewing

Covey family story of TV (programs, ads; parents view; kids meet; kids decided after parents presented above:  7 hours/week)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS for Habit 6:  Synergy

An Exercise in Synergy

An issue to resolve:  different opinions, different points of view

Divide into three groups:  each in each group plays the role of each group:  moms, dads, kids, and discuss from there

  1.  What is the problem from everyone’s point of view?

         [Habit 4, 5, and 6 culture] Each side be able to express the others’ points of view

  2.  What are the key issues involved

       (Identify them all & list)

  3.  What would constitute a fully acceptable solution?
       (the net results which equal a win for each person)
       (put criteria on table:  refine and prioritize; make sure all are satisfied that they represent all involved

  4.  What new options would meet those criteria?

       Synergize around creative new approaches and solutions.

Evaluation of self and family:

         Does our family operate synergistically? 
         Do we celebrate differences?
         How could we improve

Discuss the idea of a family immune system

         Do we look at problems as negative obstacles to be
         overcome or as opportunities to grow?

         Discuss the idea that challenges build your immune system.