Book Review: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families

I recall reading the original 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in my early 20s and while it's not featured on my list of life-changing books, I still considered it a worthwhile read so when the family version popped up on my e-library search, I thought why not? I guess I'm not the only one that felt this way because my hold position meant I had to wait a couple of months to finally get my hands on the book.


It was worth it. I think this is a book worth buying and keeping on my bookshelf as a workbook and constant reference.

What are the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families? Well, here they are with my annotations in italics

  • Be proactive instead of reactive
  • Begin with the end in mind. Set long term goals and let them shape your behaviour
  • Put first things first. Make choices and live according to your priorities
  • Think win-win. Make choices that mean everyone comes out on the other side feeling good. 
  • Seek first to understand. Practice empathy in listening
  • Synergize. I have to reread this chapter to fully wrap my mind around this concept
  • Sharpen the saw. This is not a one-time deal. Family relationships must be continually nutured or they deteriorate/stagnate/die.
What I liked about this book? There were lots of examples from the vantage points of both parents and children including Steven Covey, his wife and 9 children (yep, not a typo NINE!). The candor with which some of the examples were written appealed to me. It stopped the book from coming across as a "sunshine, unicorn, roses and kumbaya" read. 

Caveat or minor irritations? Occasionally Mr Covey got preachy and his personal, religious and political leanings were pretty obvious. Like I said, I found it mildly irritating but not enough to put down the book. 

Summary: The premise of this book ties right in with my beliefs about intentional living. We make today's choices to guide the life we want tomorrow. I've placed another hold on this book and plan to reread to catch any of the nuggets I may have missed or skipped. If the second read impresses me as much as the first, I intend to buy a copy for home use. 

Quotable Quote (there were lots of good ones but if I had to narrow down, it would be this one)
The key to your family culture is how you treat the child that tests you the most. 

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