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4.8 out of 5 stars39
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on September 3, 2003
We discovered this book after being introduced to Stephen Covey's work through business (7 Habits of Highly Successful People.) We were delighted that he and his wife have applied these principles to family life, and we set to work on applying what we learned to our family.
For example, we have made a concerted effort at changing the way we listen to each other in our family. Now we truly have adopted the culture of listening first to understand, and what a gift that has been to our relationships. Time after time, we catch ourselves from going down the old useless and hurtful path of arguing/debating/proving who's experience is right, and instead stop and listen with empathy to understand.
We also recommend the picture book If I Ran The Family, for sharing these insights with kids.
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on August 10, 2001
The use of the word "effective" in the title is a somewhat misleading. When you think of what you want from a family, you probably don't think of "effective", you probably think of "warm", "supportive" or some similar term.
But don't be thrown off. This book is an accurate guide to all of the positive things that we all want for our family. It cuts through the noise and points directly at the things that will lead to success in family life.
For those that have read "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" (another excellent book), this follows the same principles but is more than just a re-packaging of the material. The discussions on how to apply the principles to family life is well worth going over it again.
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on November 26, 1999
I read this book while I was on a remote tour from my family in Korea for a year. I just finished, and came here to buy a copy for myself and hopefully, my wife will want to read it to. The amazing thing about it was it made me feel closer to my wife and two children while I was 10,000 miles away than when I was home! It made me pause and do some soul searching to realize "I do that, and I should stop". I did a personal mission statement and it was shocking to me. I encourage everyone who has a family to read this book. I won't say "it's changed my life", I think that's a bit trite, but it has opened my eyes. I feel it can do the same for most folks!
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on September 6, 2000
My wife bought this book a while back. I didn't read it because I figured it was just a repackaging of the original -- sort of like City Slickers II. This book is different in a couple of ways: (1) Covey approaches the 7 habits from different angles; I gained new insight into them, despite having read the original book several times. (2) Covey fills this book with examples that most people will be able to relate to.
This book is very welcome. Most of us who read the original 7 Habits book focused on applying it in our work lives. This book compels us to take another look at the Habits in the context of family. This is a must read.
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on July 4, 1998
This book is a vital read for anyone and everyone with a family. Whether your current relationships are great or terrible you will find this book filled with the information you need to make them better. The steps are clear and easy to understand and the results are invaluable. This is not a "what to expect" book about developmental stages in children. For that you need "Your Child's Self Esteem" by Dorothy Corkille Briggs. These two books are the best investment you can make in your family and in society.
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I listened to the Audio CD version of this book. The presentation was well organized. With breaks built in for thought, action and reflection.

The primary message I received is that strong families do not just "happen." They take work, thought, leadership, time and give and take from all members.

The anecdotes are relevant. The habits are doable. I came away from this as someone who needs to work on their family feeling that there is hope.

A very worthwhile read (or listen.)
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on August 1, 1999
I'm from Brisbane, Australia. This book is a bloody beauty! I have five children from 6 to 17. We had our first family meeting last Sunday and it was enjoyed by all. In response to the open question - How can we improve our family? - each member contributed in a meaningful way. Our six year old suggested that we should 'love Mum more!' Powerful moment to say the least. This book is well worth the read, no matter what continent of the earth you are on.
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on June 27, 1999
Gives plenty of 'food for thought' and helps you really look at your family in a new way. The ideas can help you improve family life. It does require some thinking to figure out how exactly to make these ideas work for you, as it gives more of a blueprint or concept to work from. I'd compliment this book with a 'plain-talk' parenting guiide such as Elizabeth Pantley's Perfect Parenting Dictionary for daily real-world answers.
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on January 5, 1998
This is definitely a cult book in the working world. I use this daily as a pick-me-up and recommend it to everyone I meet. This book is a keeper and must become part of everyone's library. Never has there been a book that hits all aspects of a person's llife with a central focus on family except the Bible. And if my mom read it and raved about the content, that gets a big star from me!
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on March 21, 1998
This is far more applicable than the original 7 habits book. The family setting is one of the best for applying the Covey principles, and this book helped me understand the 7 habits and give ideas on how to practice them in my family setting. I would recommend this book to both those who have strong families and those who would like to have strong families. Read it together.
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