Seven Great Habits

OSAN AIR BASE, REPUBLIC OF KOREA -- Company grade officers at Osan Air Base were recently given the opportunity to attend a course that previously has only been offered to Korean Nationals.

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," written by Stephen R. Covey, started as a book published in 1989 and evolved into a course designed to give people the tools and principles needed to succeed.

"It started with Steven Covey's writings," said Tricia Czepiel, course facilitator. "He went back over many years and looked at how success is defined and realized that a lot of the principled were tied to character rather than personality."

He then put that information into a book and course that gives people a logical step-by-step way of working on their lives, starting from the inside out, she said.

The three-day course is broken into seven sections, or habits.

The habits are: 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 and 7) Sharpen the saw.

Ms. Czepiel, also the sexual assault response coordinator at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., is licensed by FranklinCovey to teach Airmen the seven habits course, and has been doing so since 1996. The course has been offered to military members around the globe since the early 1990s.

"The biggest benefit is as people work on themselves and their own capabilities, communication skills ... they become much more effective team members and leaders which affects the Air Force as a whole," said Ms. Czepiel. "You work on how you are within yourself first before ever going out and working with others and applying the principles."

The class, held in the community activity center, was standing room only. One of the students already owned a copy of the book before ever attending the class.

"I am in this class to learn how to be a more effective leader and to be more effective in managing my life," said 1Lt Deborah Westbrook, 303rd Intelligence Squadron. "To see if I am on the right track or if I could change some of the ways I do things."

She said her biggest area of improvement is to get to where she understands were her Airman, NCOs, SNCOs are coming from rather than just saying, "Ok, this is where I want to go."

The military paid for everything except the course materials, and many squadrons funded the material as well, which included a talking stick, a seven habits book, a manual and a planner.

"The course is very beneficial and they have done a good job giving us the tools to apply to our lives, if we so choose," said Lieutenant Westbrook. ""It has taught me a lot."