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The Seven Habits of Highly Defective People

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Posted 22 July 2016 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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The Seven Habits of Highly Defective People

There is a bestselling book entitled "The seven habits of highly effective people", written by Stephen Covey.

I thought that it would be fun to write "The seven habits of highly 'defective' people."

It is important to know what you should do, and it is also important to know what you should never do. Meaning; you could do a hundred good things, and one bad thing and people will notice and remember the one bad thing you did.

Or you could say a hundred nice things to your partner, and then say one bad thing, and it is the one bad thing that you said that will stay in their memory.

I call this the ONE BUG RULE.

The one bug rule

You only need to find one bug in your restaurant meal, to convince you to never return to that restaurant for the rest of your life.

So the following seven habits are the things that you only need to do once, in order to ruin your chances with your customers, friends, employer or family.

1. Dishonesty

Dishonesty is a major bug. If anyone realises or even suspects a person of being a liar or involved in any form of dishonest practice, then you can assume his/her reputation will be tarnished forever.

Not only is dishonesty morally bad, it is also bad business.

The bad habit is dishonesty. The corresponding good habit is honest dealings with all people at all times.

2. Laziness

Nobody wants to work with a slacker.

A slacker is the person who wants to see how little he can get away with doing before he is caught out.

I used to work with a slacker, called Pete. He used to spend considerable amounts of mental effort figuring out how he could do nothing. Which would be okay, but the fact that he was not working, meant that the rest of us had to work harder to make up for his laziness.

He was a nice guy, in the sense that he was nice company, as a person, but we all hated Pete; because he was a slacker. Lazy.

The corresponding opposite good habit is to be industrious.

3. Continuous complaining

Some complaining is legitimate and is a good use of your time.

But continuous complaining is not legitimate and is a counterproductive use of time. Nobody wants to live with a grump. So would you ask your complaining colleague to make his or her legitimate complaints and to then get on with something more useful?

Some complaining is good. More is not better.

4. Tardiness

Do you know anyone who is always late for any appointment? If you agree a 12.30 meeting, they arrive at 12.55? And they do it all the time. They are always late. So you reschedule the next meeting for 13.00, so as to give them more time. And they then arrive at 13.20.

They are always late.

This is a one-bug issue. If people cannot rely on Sam to do the simple things well, like be on time, then they won't trust Sam with the more important task, such as managing the important project and ensure that it is completed on time.

Tardiness, (lateness) is the one-bug error. The corresponding good habit is to be punctual.

5. Disorganised

Being disorganised is a one-bug error.

Efficient action is organised action.

Disorganised people are inherently inefficient because, they cannot find their keys, they forget where they put the important file, and they did not bring the right information.

They waste time mopping-up after errors that were all caused by an underlying theme of disorganisation.

Disorganisation is death. Cancer is disorganised cell division. Chaos is disorganised movement.

Progress is best made by organised effort.

So if you wanted to swot a giant one-bug error, then kill off all signs of disorganisation and replace it with its corresponding good habit: that of being well organised.

6. Bad language

Some people say, "Sticks and stones can break my bones; - but names can never hurt me". That is probably not true.

For most people, it is just not true that words have no effect on their souls.

It is probably truer that; Words are like weapons; they wound sometimes.

Bad language, in the sense of crass, insensitive, insulting or obnoxiousness is, definitely, a one-bug error.

With your choice of words, please, don't be careless. Instead, be kind.

7. Worrier

It is important to distinguish between legitimate concern and unnecessary worry.

Sure, you are right to be concerned. There are many things wrong in the present set-up. And it is true that the future is not fixed. Things could go wrong. And therefore you should be concerned. To be unconcerned would be to be naive.

But there is a difference between being concerned with the future and being fretful and worried.

It you worry and fret, fret and worry, over the future, then that will be enough to destroy your courage and break your spirit.

Not only that; if you overdose on dismal predictions of disasters, then you will not only destroy your own will, but you will break the spirit of your team mates.

Too much worry is corrosive to courage.

You need to set limits on your worry.

Legitimate concern for what could go wrong, and intelligent fore-planning and countermeasures should be your response.

The bug error is to worry too much. The corresponding good habit is to be a planner. Plan ahead.

The seven different habits of highly effective people

1. Have only honest dealings with all people at all times.
2. Be industrious.
3. Stop complaining.
4. Be punctual.
5. Be well organised.
6. Use kind words.
7. Plan ahead more.

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