They worked for corporate titans and now the leadership techniques taught by a bestselling American business guru are working for British schoolchildren.
The high-powered world of building relationships, achieving goals and completing personal mission statements has arrived in UK schools, where children as young as three are learning about The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a widely used leadership manual.
Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has sold 25m copies
The bestseller was drawn up 30 years ago by an American business professor, Stephen Covey, and has sold more than 25m copies.
British head teachers worried about the emergence of a screen-fixated and self-obsessed generation of pupils are using a junior version of the manual to teach children how to handle their emotions, work in teams and negotiate.
“There were results very quickly,” said Heather Davies, head of Giles Junior School in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, where she has woven the “habits” programme into the school curriculum. Children as young as seven learn how to “begin with the end in mind”, to “think win-win” and to “be proactive”.
Davies claims the number of behaviour-related incidents has fallen sharply since she introduced the scheme three years ago. Nursery schools have also started the programme with children from the age of three.
Davies, who was told about Covey by her husband, a Metropolitan police commander, added: “Children today are learning about relationships through social media and reality TV and that is a false impression of what the world and people are like.”
She believes the emphasis on taking responsibility for behaviour and not blaming others helps to give children an “old-fashioned moral compass”.
The 7 Habits of being effective
1 Be proactive — you’re in charge
2 Begin with the end in mind — have a plan
3 Put first things first — know the difference between important and urgent
4 Think win-win — a win for everyone lasts longer
5 Seek first to understand, then to be understood — listen with empathy
6 Synergise — teams achieve bigger goals
7 Sharpen the saw — take care of yourself
Credit – The Sunday Times dated 17th June 2018
Our thanks to Heather Davies – Headteacher at one of our Leader in Me schools – Giles Junior School