No matter how competent you are in your work or personal life, you will not have sustained and lasting success unless you can effectively lead yourself, influence, engage, and collaborate with others—and continuously improve and renew your capabilities.
Welcome to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen Covey.
Dr. Covey identified that everyone can chose on of two paths in life: greatness or mediocracy and it up to us what path to choose. The key is to understanding the difference is leading our lives in a truly effective way that matters most to us. The difference between being effective and efficient is often blurred. Many of us have a perception that being efficient at something must mean we are good at it. To get the results that really matter to us, we need to be effective. This mindset is where the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People comes from. The 7 habits are lasting and enduring over time.
I am familiar with this program as I facilitate in-person workshops once a month at my workplace in the form of a 3-day training program. I am a certified instructor with FranklinCovey to deliver the content and have completed 26 workshops since December 2017.
The setting that this educational context takes place is in a workplace boardroom or off-site venue. I am employed by an automotive retailer in the city of Winnipeg named Birchwood that has a long standing culture of gratitude believing in 4 key pillars:
Individual responsibility, commitment, and accountability from each of our team members fosters personal leadership.
Sustained success depends upon our ability to continually strive to improve each and every aspect of what we do and who we are.
Trust and Respect
Respect for the uniqueness of every individual creates strong, trusting working relationships with team members, customers, and business partners.
Our gifts of time, talent, and resources strengthen our communities, our teams, and our team members.
The target audience for the 3-day in class session is all Team Members within Birchwood. The in-person course has been taught for over 20 years, the delivery of the content has slightly changed overtime through the use of updated powerpoint and discussion technology but the core of the course has remained the same.
A key peice of the program is do to an online assessment that rates you on your current use of the 7 habits, it also utilizes assessment scores from a direct manager and peers. The average of the scores are tallied and gives you as the leaner the opportunity to see where you stand on the habits versus where others think you are. There can be large gaps here and opportunity for the instructor to work with you over the session to improve and discuss.
The 3 day in-class session typically consists of 8-15 learners in various full time positions within Birchwood such as Sales Consultants, Technicians, Customer Service Representatives, Service and Parts Consultants, Managers. The age group is anywhere from 18 to 60 years of age with varying levels of experience from entry level to senior leadership. The technological ability also varies depending on the type of technology required in their positions on a daily basis. Basic computer knowledge is typically required to take the course as the assessment is done online and is required. Myself as the facilitator guides the workshop with a powerpoint, visual and audio is also required typically in the form of a screen and projector w/ speakers. Learners follow along with a workbook and practice materials while in the workshop.
The learning outcomes for the program have been identified as:
- Devise new methods for improving trustworthiness though reflecting on current relationships.
- Have a greater sense of accountability and commitment by developing a personal calendar.
- Create a personal mission statement, vision and roles.
- Practice to focus on key priorities and improve productivity.
- Improve interpersonal communication.
- Develop professional relationships for productive collaboration.
Currently the program utilizes two learning methodologies of cognitivism and constructivism.
Primarily, the constructivism theory of learning is utilized in the program where that constructivism believes in personal construction of meaning by the learner through experience, and that meaning is influenced by the interaction of prior knowledge and new events.1
Constructivism’s central idea is that human learning is constructed, that learners build new knowledge upon the foundation of previous learning. Throughout the program as the learners are introduced to the 7 Habits they construct their own mental roadmap of how each habit can be applied to their daily lives. The habits build upon each other from a private to a public process.1
The second notion is that learning is an active rather than a passive process, which the in class discussions and activities make this a reality. Constructivism states that learners construct meaning only through active engagement with the world (such as experiments or real-world problem solving).1
The third notion is learning is a social activity – it is something we do together, in interaction with each other, rather than an abstract concept (Dewey, 1938).1 Each individual learner has a distinctive point of view, based on existing knowledge and values and the in-class group setting creates this environment.1
A secondary theory of learning known as the cognitive approach occurs in the 7 Habits program, with a focus on comprehension, decision-making, problem-solving and creative thinking, seem to fit well. A cognitivist approach would mean for instance focusing on teaching learners how to learn new ways of understanding the world around them, on developing stronger or new mental processes for future learning, and on developing deeper and constantly changing understanding of concepts and ideas.2
In conclusion, the need to utilize technology in the program comes from learner feedback to update the course to an online structure and future proof the delivery. Advantages to taking the content online/virtually include:
1. Flexible scheduling
7 habits online could provide us with more flexibility than a traditional workplace class.
This means you can do your coursework around your work schedule and family life. Rather than needing to attend a class every week all day, we can work with the learners to choose specific times that fit their schedules.
2. Faster completion
A large number of colleges and universities now offer shorter semesters. Instead of having to attend classes for 16 weeks, you can enrol in 8-week online courses and spend half the time earning your credits in that subject. In many cases, new classes start every month or every other month giving you the opportunity to start classes now instead of waiting until the beginning of the traditional fall or spring semester.
3. Login from anywhere
Because online courses allow you to live virtually anywhere, you enjoy the convenience of getting to live where you want to or need to, and even travel while you are studying.
4. No commute
Commuting to class can waste valuable time and is a reservation we receive on why a learner is unable to attend or cancels the training. It also creates problems beyond your control – like traffic back-ups, car trouble, and dangerous weather conditions – that can keep you from getting to class on time or at all. To “attend” an online class, you just need to log on! You won’t waste precious time, and you won’t have to worry about what’s going on between you and campus.
5. Lower costs
One of the top reasons we have individuals decline training is the cost of in person classroom training is expensive. Venue, food and materials costs add up and can surpass $1500 per class. Over 45% of managers say that cost is their number one priority!
The technology used would be in the form of an online webinar style format with the use of Adobe Connect as the technology to deliver the training virtually.
1. McLeod, S. (2019). Constructivism as a theory for teaching and learning. Retrieved April 26, 2020, from https://www.simplypsychology.org/constructivism.html
2. Anderson, L. and Krathwohl, D. (eds.) (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives New York: Longman
2. Bloom, B. S.; Engelhart, M. D.; Furst, E. J.; Hill, W. H.; Krathwohl, D. R. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York: David McKay Company
3. Fontana, D. (1981) Psychology for Teachers London: Macmillan/British Psychological Society