The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People | Study Guide

Stephen Covey

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Study Guide." Course Hero. 10 Nov. 2017. Web. 15 Nov. 2018. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2017, November 10). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 15, 2018, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Study Guide." November 10, 2017. Accessed November 15, 2018.


Course Hero, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Study Guide," November 10, 2017, accessed November 15, 2018,

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People | Part 3, Habit 4 : Think Win/Win (Public Victory) | Summary


Key Takeaways

  • There are six paradigms of human interaction: Win/Lose, Lose/Win, Lose/Lose, Win, Win/Win, and Win/Win or No Deal.
  • With Win/Lose one party succeeds at the expense of another; it is an authoritarian approach. As Covey says, people who advocate Win/Lose methods of leadership are saying, "'I get my way; you don't get yours."
  • Lose/Win is the style of the peacemaker. One party is willing to "be the nice guy" and give up their desires so someone else can be successful. This method can lead to resentment on the part of the "loser." Over time resentment can lead to emotional and physical health problems, not to mention strained relationships.
  • With Lose/Lose two Win/Lose parties butt heads. Focused on harming one another, they forget their initial goal. Covey says this "is the philosophy of adversarial conflict, the philosophy of war." Lose/Lose is also the mindset of "the highly dependent person without inner direction who is miserable" and wants everyone else to feel the same way.
  • Win may be the most common form of negotiation: what happens to the other party is unimportant.
  • Win/Win is the goal of effective leaders. Based on the cooperative desire for everyone to succeed, it ensures both parties come to a mutually beneficial agreement. In this scenario everyone wins, though the outcome may not look exactly like the initial goals.
  • Win/Win or No Deal is a "higher expression" of Win/Win. Both parties agree ahead of time to walk away with no hard feelings if they can't come to a mutually beneficial solution. This approach allows transparency and openness between the parties and thus builds trust.
  • Win/Win employs character, relationships, and agreements, which are built on a foundation of support systems and processes.
  • Character is comprised of integrity, maturity, and an "abundance mentality"—the concept there is enough success to go around.
  • Relationships rely on positive balances in the Emotional Bank Account. The positive balance enhances the credibility and trust necessary for a Win/Win outcome.
  • Agreements specify guidelines, resources, desired results, accountability measures, and consequences if goals aren't met. Like stewardship delegation (Part 2, Habit 3: Put First Things First), Win/Win performance agreements should focus on results, not methods.
  • Supporting systems must reward only Win/Win. Sales contests, popular in retail avenues, reinforce a Win/Lose mentality. It is better for people to compete against goals they set for themselves than against each other. Covey emphasizes, "the spirit of Win/Win cannot survive in an environment of competition and contests."
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!