46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 1999
In reading this book I have been introduced to the most common sense and easily applied principles I have ever read. This is a must read for anyone who strives to create a loving, fun, understanding family environment. The author puts his principles into easy to understand and apply ideas, such as the emotional bank account, creating a family mission statement and talks about the importance of family communication, togetherness along with one on one time. If your family is truly 1st in your life, read this book and begin making it first for everyone in your house. One of the best things about the book is his consistant use of personal stories from his family and other readers which bring it all into focus and provide ways in which you can envision the ideas working in your own family.
92 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 1998
I'm a grandfather with six adult children and three grandchildren. Our family life had been very difficult. I had run across Stephen Covey's books and seminars in the business world, but I never connected the principles he teaches with my family life.
Since reading this book, I've found the wisdom and courage to reach out again to my wife and children. I cannot tell you how scary, exciting, and wonderful it is to be part of a real live family. I'm working on contributing within my other families, too - my in-laws, brothers and sisters, and neighbors, too. I have been buying copies and handing them out to anyone who mentions their family, whether in a good or bad light.
This is an excellent guide to anyone who wants to be part of a real family. It doesn't matter whether you are Mom, Dad, Grandparents, or even an adult child. This wonderful book will help find the skills and courage to make your family first in your life and a refuge for all its members against the trials of modern life.
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2003
This book takes the concepts outlined in "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" to a much more accessible level.
While the original "7 Habits" were lauded for their content, at times they were criticized for the generally business oriented approach chosen.
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families" renders these principles much more accessible and provides easy to follow advice that can be applied in day to day life.
Subsequently, by applying the principles presented in "The 7 Habits", they will become just that - Habits! As habits they are exercised/applied without thinking about them anymore, therefore eliminating the need to constantly focus on them.
The experience is somewhat similar to learning to drive a car. Initially a lot of attention to operating the car is required, because it is such an unfamiliar process. After a while, however, driving the car becomes a matter of habit, mostly executed on a sub-conscious level, while the attention can be focused almost solely on the traffic and environment.
For anyone not familiar with either one of the "7 Habits" books, I recommend to start out with this one, and then - if necessary, or desired - to read "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" at a later point of time for the primary purpose of its more business oriented approach.
In order to be able to focus on business, it is worthwhile to already have ones house in order; therefore the family should come first - including the family's "7 Habits".
For a multi-sensory approach, I suggest to also listen to the corresponding book on CD. This will trigger different areas of the brain and therefore lead to a faster learning curve.
Reading by its very approach has to happen on the conscious level, while listening can happen in situation where the primary focus is on something else, i.e. stop-and-go traffic. Dr. Covey's soothing voice in such scenarios will manage to engage the listener on a subconscious level, driving the message home even more effectively.
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 1999
heard the taped version of stephen covey's the 7 habits of highly effective families . . . this was good, though not quite in the league of covery's most famous book, the 7 habits of highly effective people (put this latter one in your MUST READ category) . . . in highly effective families, covey relates the following habits to everyday family situations: 1. Be Proactive 2. Begin with the End in Mind 3. Put First Things First 4. Think "Win-Win" 5. Seek First to Understand . . . Then to be Understood 6. Synergize 7. Sharpen the Saw
i liked the countless examples that were used, along wtih the author's commonsense approach . . . one section, in particular, caught my attention . . . covey notes: The Emotional Bank Accountrepresents the quality of the relationship ou have with others. It's like a finanical bank account in that you can make "deposits," by proactively doing things that build trust in the relationship, or you can make "withdrawals," by reactively doing things that decrease the level of trust. And at any given time the balance of trust in the account determines how well you can communicate and solve porblems with another person.
he then proceeds to list some specific ideas--some "deposits" you can make in your own family--that may be helpful; e.g.: Being Kind, Apologizing, Being Loyal to Those Not Present, Making and Keeping Promises, and Forgiving.
52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 1999
I read this book while I was on a remote tour from my family in Korea for a year. I just finished, and came here to buy a copy for myself and hopefully, my wife will want to read it to. The amazing thing about it was it made me feel closer to my wife and two children while I was 10,000 miles away than when I was home! It made me pause and do some soul searching to realize "I do that, and I should stop". I did a personal mission statement and it was shocking to me. I encourage everyone who has a family to read this book. I won't say "it's changed my life", I think that's a bit trite, but it has opened my eyes. I feel it can do the same for most folks!
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2005
Covey encourages every parent to do some soul searching to become aware as to what really is priority in life. Then, he suggests we put "first things first." I believe that most parents would admit that they do wish to have "FAMILY" comes first--above all else. But, in today's busy, often stressful daily routine of life, accomplishing that goal is often "easier said than done". Covey clearly points out the essentials...such as establishing effective communication lines through family meetings and one-on-one talks with the kids. He makes so much sense as he describes with personal anecdotes how love, values, morality, and empathy for others is a process of teaching and learning from "the inside out"...in other words from within the family rippling out to society at large. He talks about establishing a family mission statement and helps to direct moms and dads to find the courage and the skills to make changes for the better. Covey's book creates the mindset and the outline. If you have young kids like me, I recommend a perfect compliment 'how-to book' with Covey's ... called "THE POCKET PARENT." This handy book, written for parents of 2-6 year olds, is loaded with compassion and humor along with over one thousand tips and skills to try. It literally trouble-shoots many of the problem behaviors we all deal with daily-such as Angry outbursts, Bedtime, Mealtime and Clean-up refusals, Tantrums, Disrespectful attitude, the "Gimmes", Morning "Crazies", Sibling fights, Whining and many more. These 2 books (one more theoretical, the other more "hands on" practical) have changed our lives. We now have more peace and cooperation in our family---and that gives us more time to enjoy each other. Consider both books for your home reference library.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2001
The use of the word "effective" in the title is a somewhat misleading. When you think of what you want from a family, you probably don't think of "effective", you probably think of "warm", "supportive" or some similar term.
But don't be thrown off. This book is an accurate guide to all of the positive things that we all want for our family. It cuts through the noise and points directly at the things that will lead to success in family life.
For those that have read "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" (another excellent book), this follows the same principles but is more than just a re-packaging of the material. The discussions on how to apply the principles to family life is well worth going over it again.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 1999
I'm from Brisbane, Australia. This book is a bloody beauty! I have five children from 6 to 17. We had our first family meeting last Sunday and it was enjoyed by all. In response to the open question - How can we improve our family? - each member contributed in a meaningful way. Our six year old suggested that we should 'love Mum more!' Powerful moment to say the least. This book is well worth the read, no matter what continent of the earth you are on.
45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2000
My wife bought this book a while back. I didn't read it because I figured it was just a repackaging of the original -- sort of like City Slickers II. This book is different in a couple of ways: (1) Covey approaches the 7 habits from different angles; I gained new insight into them, despite having read the original book several times. (2) Covey fills this book with examples that most people will be able to relate to.
This book is very welcome. Most of us who read the original 7 Habits book focused on applying it in our work lives. This book compels us to take another look at the Habits in the context of family. This is a must read.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2000
In introducing "7 Habits for Highly Effective Families," Covey writes that societal forces have changed, and that we can no longer rely on a family-friendly society to help us with our families. That approach, which he termed the "outside-in" approach was useful in the middle of the 20th century. But at the turn of the century, when societal forces are combining to undermine the family, Covey argues that we need an "inside-out" approach, where we take greater care as parents to create a family culture that encourages goodness, morality and love.
With that premise in mind, Covey applies the 7 Habits to family life. I'm not familiar with the 7 Habits as they are applied to individuals, but as I've tried to apply them in my family I've been impressed by the results. As a husband and father, I feel as if I now have a set of tools to build and strengthen my family, and an understanding of how to use them.