Alternator vs Generator

Alternator vs Generator

Alternators and generators are two devices which generate electricity. An alternator can be called a type of generator. Although both these devices serve the same function, they are quite different in every other aspect.

An alternator is a charging system for cars that produces electricity. Generators are used in the production of large-scale electricity. Both alternators and generators convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. The main difference between them is in regard to what spins and what is fixed.

Alternator vs Generator

In an alternator, electricity is produced when a magnetic field spins inside the stator (windings of wire). In a generator, on the other hand, the armature or windings of wire spin inside a fixed magnetic field to generate electricity.

Alternators are considered more efficient than generators. Alternators conserve energy by using only the energy that is needed, while generators use all the energy that is produced. Alternators have a higher output than generators.
When it comes to polarization, alternators and generators are very different. While generators have to be polarized after installation, there is no need for polarization in alternators.

Alternator vs Generator

Alternator brushes last longer than those of generators. This is because the brushes in an alternator are used only for carrying current to power the rotor and the slip rings they ride are smooth.

There is another difference between generators and alternators when it comes to charging. An alternator will not charge a dead battery and if you do try to charge it, there is a possibility that it will burn out. A generator, however, can be used for charging a dead battery.

There is also a difference in size as alternators can fit into a small space, while generators are larger.


  • an alternator, electricity is produced when a magnetic field spins inside the stator (windings of wire). On the other hand, the armature or the windings of wire in a generator spin inside a fixed magnetic field to generate electricity.
  • Alternators conserve energy by using only the energy that is needed. Generators use all the energy that is produced.
  • Alternators produce voltage when needed and generators produce voltage at all times.
  • Alternators generate a higher output than generators.


The usual need to look up values from various tables and charts makes the conventional hand calculation
quite laborious, time consuming and prone to errors and inaccuracies because of the tendency to simplify
truncate or interpolate tabulated values. Listed below are the suggested applications and methodology of
two computer programs Elite CHVAC and TRACE 700 that may be used in the cooling and heating load


CHVAC is a commercial Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning software platform developed by Elite
Software. This computer program calculates the maximum heating and cooling loads in commercial and
industrial buildings.

Listed below are capabilities of CHVAC:

  • Calculates peak heating and cooling loads
  • Calculates both heating & cooling airflow CFM requirements
  • Calculates run out and main trunk duct sizes
  • Automates compliance with ASHRAE Standard 62
  • Provides overall building envelope report
  • Spreadsheet file compatibility
  • Performs complete psychrometric analysis
  • Prints bar graphs and exploded pie charts
  • Exterior shading handles overhangs, fins, & glass tilt
  • Uses exact ASHRAE CLTD procedures
  • Built-in design weather data for hundreds of cities
  • Analyzes up to 12 months per calculation
  • Calculates 24 hours per design day
  • Allows unlimited number of zones per project
  • Zones may be grouped under 100 air handlers
  • Zones may be optionally grouped under VAV boxes
  • Allows 12 walls, 12 windows, and 5 roofs per zone
  • Allows simultaneous infiltration and ventilation
  • Allows different summer and winter air rates
  • Allows varying indoor conditions within a project
  • Allows 6 master roof types,8 master wall types, 8 master partition types, and 20 master glass types
  • Allows glass to be tilted from 0 to 180 degrees
  • Allows for roof and wall color effects
  • Provision for both VAV and constant volume systems
  • Proper handling of return air plenum loads
  • Accounts for people diversity in total building load
  • Computes supply fan horsepower and heat gains
  • Accounts for both draw-thru and blow-thru fans
  • Calculates reheat requirements if necessary
  • Computes supply and return duct gains and losses
  • Allows direct specification of supply CFM quantities
  • Allows specification of minimum supply air quantities
  • Allows heating only, cooling only, or both
  • Excess supply air can be handled as reheat, reserve capacity, or by adjusting the leaving coil conditions
  • Leaving coil conditions can be specified with a desired dry bulb temperature or a relative humidity
  • Calculates chilled and hot water coil flow rates
  • Allows for pretreated outside air
  • Allows heating and cooling safety factors
  • Lighting & equipment watts along with no. of people can be entered directly or on a per square foot basis
Calculation Method

CHVAC performs calculations using the CLTD/CLF procedures described in the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals. The programs use exact CLTD and MSHGF table values where possible, otherwise direct
calculations are made. This calculation technique allows the programs to calculate for any building
orientation and still produce output results that can be easily verified by hand.

Program Input

CHVAC is a true Windows program that uses all the latest data entry techniques such as toolbars, hyper linked help, and form tabs. All input data is checked at the time of entry so that no improper data can be entered. Five types of data are requested: general project data, outdoor design data, building material data, air handler data, and specific zone data. The general project data includes the project and client name, designer, building opening and closing hours, internal operating load schedules, and any desired safety factors. The outdoor design data includes the summer and winter outdoor design conditions (automatically looked up for you if a city reference is given) and the desired ventilation and infiltration rates. The building material data includes the definition of master building material types for roofs, walls, partitions, glass sections, and exterior shading. A user defined material library is available for saving the data on common material types. The air handler data includes the fan and terminal type, the desired heating and cooling supply air temperatures and data for duct heat gains and losses. The zone data includes the zone name, floor length and width, number of people, equipment watts, lighting watts, external shading data, and specific roof, wall, partition, floor, and glass data.

Program Output

The CHVAC program provides eleven types of reports,which can be selectively previewed onscreen or printed as desired. CHVAC supports all printers that work with Windows and numerous full color reports are available.The reports are: General Project Data, Air Handler Input Data, Zone Input Data, Detailed Project Zone Loads, Air System Zone Summary, Total Building, Air System, and Zone Load Profiles, Air System Total Load Summary, Air System Psychrometric Analysis, Overall Building Envelope Report, Pie Charts, Bar Graphs, and the Total Building Load Summary. Air system summary data can be exported to your favorite spreadsheet.



TRACE ® 700

The TRACE Load ® 700 program is a commercial Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning software platform developed by Trane’s CDS Group.

The Load phase of the program computes the peak sensible and latent zone loads, as well as the block sensible and latent loads for the building. In addition, the hourly sensible and latent loads, including weather-dependent loads, are calculated for each zone, based on the weather library. The building heating/cooling load calculations, used in the load phase of the program for annual energy consumption analysis, are of sufficient detail to permit the evaluation of the effect of building data such as orientation, size, shape and mass, heat transfer characteristics of air and moisture, as well as hourly climatic data. The Design phase of the TRACE program calculates the design supply air temperatures, heating and cooling capacities, and supply air quantities given the peak load files generated by the Load phase. For applications where the building design parameters are known, you can override the calculation of these values using optional entries to the System phase. This gives you the ability to simulate existing buildings
with installed equipment that may not be sized according to the loads calculated in the program’s Load Phase.

Beyond this, the calculations used to simulate the operation of the building and its service systems through a full-year operating period, are of sufficient detail to permit the evaluation of the effect of system design, climatic factors, operational characteristics and mechanical equipment operating characteristics on annual energy usage. Manufacturers’ data is used in the program for the simulation of all systems and equipment. The calculation procedures used in TRACE are based upon 8,760 hours of operation of the building and its service system. These procedures use techniques recommended in the appropriate ASHRAE publications or produce results that are consistent with such recommended techniques. The following are the program features:

Project Navigator View
  • Organizes entries by task to lead you through the modeling process
  • Displays the status of each modeling step
  • Accommodates up to 4 alternatives per project
Project Tree View
  • Organizes all rooms, systems, and plants in a hierarchical list
  • Displays all information about a system, zone, or room on 1 screen
  • Supports cut, copy, and paste to save entry time
Component Tree
  • Displays cooling set point for every room in the project on 1 screen
  • Makes it easy to check and edit your work

Task-oriented display guides you through the modeling process as follows:

Select weather information

  • Provides both design and typical weather data by location
  • Choose from 400 climate locations
  • Import standard weather files for a full-year (8760) analysis

Create rooms

  • Describe the construction, airflows, thermostat settings, heat sources, and schedules by room

Create airside systems

  • Choose from more than 30 methods of air distribution
  • Add energy recovery, economizers, and dedicated ventilation/makeup air

Assign rooms to systems

  • Create thermal zones and assign them to systems
  • Determine airflows, coil loads, and fan sizes for each airside system

If the only requirement is to calculate the cooling and/or heating loads and the project does not require energy analysis and economic evaluation, it is recommended that the Program Load ® 700 be utilized instead of Full TRACE 700.The only difference is that Trace Load ® 700 users only have access to the Load Design section (from Project Information to Assign Rooms to Systems). Full TRACE 700 users will have full access to the Load, Energy and Economic sections.

The advantage of using only Trace Load ® 700 is that all the added features and capabilities (applicable to load design) in full TRACE 700 program are also available to the Trace Load ® 700 users. Also, same file extensions and libraries will enable users of both programs to transfer archived files back and forth without any additional steps needed.


Cooling Load Calculations and Principles in HVAC – Part 3

Design Information

To calculate the space cooling load, detailed building information, location, site and weather data, internal design information and operating schedules are required. Information regarding the outdoor design conditions and desired indoor conditions are the starting point for the load calculation and is discussed below.

Outdoor Design Weather Conditions

ASHRAE Handbook 1993 Fundamentals (Chapter 26) list tables of climate conditions for the US, Canada and other International locations: In these tables:

The information provided in table 1a, 2a and 3a are for heating design conditions that include:

  1. Dry bulb temperatures corresponding to 99.6% and 99% annual cumulative frequency of occurrence,
  2. Wind speeds corresponding to 1%, 2.5% and 5% annual cumulative frequency of occurrence,
  3. Wind direction most frequently occurring with 99.6% and 0.4% dry-bulb temperatures and
  4. Average of annual extreme maximum and minimum dry-bulb temperatures and standard deviations.

The information provided in table 1b, 2b and 3b are for cooling and humidity control conditions that include:

  1. Dry bulb temperature corresponding to 0.4%, 1.0% and 2.0% annual cumulative frequency of occurrence and the mean coincident wet-bulb temperature (warm). These conditions appear in sets of dry bulb (DB) temperature and the mean coincident wet bulb (MWB) temperature since both values are needed to determine the sensible and latent (dehumidification) loads in the cooling mode.
  2. Wet-bulb temperature corresponding to 0.4%, 1.0% and 2.0% annual cumulative frequency of occurrence and the mean coincident dry-bulb temperature
  3. Dew-point temperature corresponding to 0.4%, 1.0% and 2.0% annual cumulative frequency of occurrence and the mean coincident dry-bulb temperature and humidity ratio (calculated for the dew-point temperature at the standard atmospheric pressure at the elevation of the station).
  4. Mean daily range (DR) of the dry bulb temperature, which is the mean of the temperature difference between daily maximum and minimum temperatures for the warmest month (highest average dry-bulb temperature). These are used to correct CLTD values.

In choosing the HVAC outdoor design conditions, it is neither economical nor practical to design equipment either for the annual hottest temperature or annual minimum temperature, since the peak or the lowest temperatures may occur only for a few hours over the span of several years. Economically speaking short duration peaks above the system capacity might be tolerated at significant reductions in first cost; this is a simple risk – benefit decision for each building design.

Therefore, as a practice, the ‘design temperature and humidity’ conditions are based on frequency of occurrence. The summer design conditions have been presented for annual percentile values of 0.4, 1 and 2% and winter month conditions are based on annual percentiles of 99.6 and 99%. The term “design condition” refers to the %age of time in a year (8760 hours), the values of dry-bulb, dew-point and wet-bulb temperature exceed by the indicated percentage. The 0.4%, 1.0%, 2.0% and 5.0% values are exceeded on average by 35, 88, 175 and 438 hours.

The 99% and 99.6% cold values are defined in the same way but are viewed as the values for which the corresponding weather element are less than the design condition 88 and 35 hours, respectively. 99.6% value suggests that the outdoor temperature is equal to or lower than design data 0.4% of the time.

Design condition is used to calculate maximum heat gain and maximum heat loss of the building. For comfort cooling, use of the 2.5% occurrence and for heating use of 99% values is recommended. The 2.5% design condition means that the outside summer temperature and coincident air moisture content will be exceeded only 2.5% of hours from June to September or 73 out of 2928 hours (of these summer months) i.e. 2.5% of the time in a year, the outdoor air temperature will be above the design condition.

Note, in energy use calculations, hour-by-hour outdoor climate data of a design day should be adopted instead of summer and winter design values.


Indoor Design Conditions and Thermal Comfort

The indoor design conditions are directly related to human comfort. Current comfort standards, ASHRAE Standard 55-1992 and ISO Standard 7730, specify a “comfort zone,” representing the optimal range and combinations of thermal factors (air temperature, radiant temperature, air velocity, humidity) and personal factors (clothing and activity level) with which at least 80% of the building occupants are expected to express satisfaction. The environmental factors that affect the thermal comfort of the occupants in an air-conditioned space are mainly:

  1. Metabolic rate, expressed in met (1 met = 18.46 Btu/hr.ft²) determines the amount of heat that must be released from the human body and it depends mainly on the intensity of the physical activity.
  2. Indoor air temperature (Tr) and mean radiant temperature (Trad), both in °F. Tr affects both the sensible heat exchange and evaporative losses, and Trad affects only sensible heat exchange.
  3. Relative humidity of the indoor air in %, which is the primary factor that influences evaporative heat loss.
  4. Air velocity of the indoor air in fpm, which affects the heat transfer coefficients and therefore the sensible heat exchange and evaporative loss.
  5. Clothing insulation in clo (1 clo = 0.88 h.ft².°F/Btu), affects the sensible heat loss. Clothing insulation for occupants is typically 0.6 clo in summer and 0.8 to 1.2 clo in winter.

For comfort air-conditioning systems, according to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-1992 and ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-1989, the following indoor design temperatures and air velocities apply for conditioned spaces where the occupant’s activity level is 1.2 met, indoor space relative humidity is 50% (in summer only), and Tr = Trad:


If a suit jacket is the clothing during summer for occupants, the summer indoor design temperature should be dropped to 74 to 75°F.

The recommended indoor relative humidity, in %, is:


The Psychrometric chapter of the Fundamentals Handbook(Chapter 6, 2001) provides more details on this aspect. The load calculations are usually based at 75°F dry bulb temperatures & 50% relative humidity.

Indoor Air Quality and Outdoor Air Requirements

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 1989, the causes of indoor air quality complaints in buildings are inadequate outdoor ventilation air. There are three basic means of improving indoor air quality: (1) eliminate or reduce the source of air pollution, (2) enhance the efficiency of air filtration, and (3) increase the ventilation(outdoor) air intake.

Abridged outdoor air requirements listed in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62-1989 are as follows:


These ventilation requirements are based on the analysis of dilution of CO2 as the representative human bio-effluent. As per ASHRAE standard 62-1999, comfort criteria with respect to human bio-effluents is likely to be satisfied, if the indoor carbon dioxide concentrations remain within 700 ppm above the outdoor air carbon dioxide concentration.

Refer to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62-1999 for details.

Building Pressurization

The outdoor air requirements are sometimes governed by the building pressurization needs. Most air-conditioning systems are designed to maintain a slightly higher pressure than the surroundings, a positive pressure, to prevent or reduce infiltration and untreated air entering the space directly. For laboratories, restrooms, or workshops where toxic, hazardous, or objectionable gases or contaminants are produced, a slightly lower pressure than the surroundings, a negative pressure, should be maintained to prevent or reduce the diffusion of these contaminants to the surrounding area.

For comfort air-conditioning systems, the recommended pressure differential between the indoor and outdoor air is 0.02 to 0.05 inch-WG. WG indicates the pressure at the bottom of a top-opened water column of specific inches of height; 1 in -WG = 0.03612 psig.


Building Characteristics

To calculate space heat gain, the following information on building envelope is required:

  1. Architectural plans, sections and elevations – for estimating building dimensions/area/volume
  2. Building orientation (N, S, E, W, NE, SE, SW, NW, etc), location etc
  3. External/Internal shading, ground reflectance etc.
  4. Materials of construction for external walls, roofs, windows, doors, internal walls, partitions, ceiling, insulating materials and thicknesses, external wall and roof colors – select and/or compute U-values for walls, roof, windows, doors, partitions, etc. Check if the structure is insulated and/or exposed to high wind.
  5. Amount of glass, type and shading on windows
Operating Schedules

Obtain the schedule of occupants, lighting, equipment, appliances, and processes that contribute to the internal loads and determine whether air conditioning equipment will be operated continuously or intermittently (such as, shut down during off periods, night set-back, and weekend shutdown). Gather the following information:

  • Lighting requirements, types of lighting fixtures
  • Appliances requirements such as computers, printers, fax machines, water coolers, refrigerators, microwave, miscellaneous electrical panels, cables etc
  • Heat released by the HVAC equipment.
  • Number of occupants, time of building occupancy and type of building occupancy

Design cooling load takes into account all the loads experienced by a building under a specific set of assumed conditions. The assumptions behind design cooling load are as follows:

  1. Weather conditions are selected from a long-term statistical database. The conditions will not necessary represent any actual year, but are representative of the location of the building. ASHRAE has tabulated such data.
  2. The solar loads on the building are assumed to be those that would occur on a clear day in the month chosen for the calculations.
  3. The building occupancy is assumed to be at full design capacity.
  4. The ventilation rates are either assumed on air changes or based on maximum occupancy expected.
  5. All building equipment and appliances are considered to be operating at a reasonably representative capacity.
  6. Lights and appliances are assumed to be operating as expected for a typical day of design occupancy.
  7. Latent as well as sensible loads are considered.
  8. Heat flow is analyzed assuming dynamic conditions, which means that heat storage in building envelope and interior materials is considered.
  9. The latent heat gain is assumed to become cooling load instantly, whereas the sensible heat gain is partially delayed depending on the characteristics of the conditioned space. According to the ASHRAE regulations, the sensible heat gain from people is assumed 30% convection (instant cooling load) and 70% radiative (delayed portion).
  10. Peak load calculations evaluate the maximum load to size and select the refrigeration equipment. The energy analysis program compares the total energy use in a certain period with various alternatives in order to determine the optimum one.
  11. Space (zone) cooling load is used to calculate the supply volume flow rate and to determine the size of the air system, ducts, terminals, and diffusers. The coil load is used to determine the size of the cooling coil and the refrigeration system. Space cooling load is a component of the cooling coil load.
  12. The heat transfer due to ventilation is not a load on the building but a load on the system.
Thermal Zoning

Thermal zoning is a method of designing and controlling the HVAC system so that occupied areas can be maintained at a different temperature than unoccupied areas using independent setback thermostats. A zone is defined as a space or group of spaces in a building having similar heating and cooling requirements throughout its occupied area so that comfort conditions may be controlled by a single thermostat.

When doing the cooling load calculations, always divide the building into zones. Always estimate the building peak load and individual zones airflow rate. The building peak load is used for sizing the refrigeration capacity and the individual zone loads are helpful in estimating the airflow rates (air-handling unit capacity).

In practice the corner rooms and the perimetric spaces of the building have variations in load as compared to the interior core areas. The following facts may be noted:

  • The buildings are usually divided into two major zones.
    • Exterior Zone: The area inward from the outside wall (usually 12 to 18 feet, if rooms do not line the outside wall). The exterior zone is directly affected by outdoor conditions during summer and winter.
    • Interior Zone: The area contained by the external zone. The interior zone is only slightly affected by outdoor conditions and usually has a uniform cooling.
  • Single-zone models shall be limited to open floor plans with perimeter walls not exceeding 40 feet in length.
  • For large building footprints, assume a minimum of five zones per floor: one zone for each exposure (north, south, east & west) and an interior zone.


Previous Blogs


Cooling Load Calculations and Principles in HVAC – Part 2


The total building  cooling load consists of heat transferred through the building envelope (walls, roof, floor, windows, doors etc.) and heat generated by occupants, equipment, and lights. The load due to heat transfer through the envelope is called as external load, while all other loads are called as internal loads. The percentage of external versus internal load varies with building type, site climate, and building design. The total cooling load in HVAC on any building consists of both sensible as well as latent load components. The sensible load affects the dry bulb temperature, while the latent load affects the moisture content of the conditioned space.

Buildings may be classified as externally loaded and internally loaded. In externally loaded buildings the cooling load on the building is mainly due to heat transfer between the surroundings and the internal conditioned space. Since the surrounding conditions are highly variable in any given day, the cooling load of an externally loaded building varies widely. In internally loaded buildings the cooling load is mainly due to internal heat generating sources such as occupants, lights or appliances. In general the heat generation due to internal heat sources may remain fairly constant, and since the heat transfer from the variable surroundings is much less compared to the internal heat sources, the cooling load of an internally loaded building remains fairly constant. Obviously from energy efficiency and economics points of view, the system design strategy for an externally loaded building should be different from an internally loaded building. Hence, prior knowledge of whether the building is externally loaded or internally loaded is essential for effective system design. 






For a thorough calculation of the zones and whole-building loads, one of the following three methods should be employed:

  1. Transfer Function Method (TFM): This is the most complex of the methods proposed by ASHRAE and requires the use of a computer program or advanced spreadsheet.
  2. Cooling Load Temperature Differential/Cooling Load Factors (CLTD/CLF): This method is derived from the TFM method and uses tabulated data to simplify the calculation process. The method can be fairly easily transferred into simple spreadsheet programs but has some limitations due to the use of tabulated data.
  3. Total Equivalent Temperature Differential/Time-Averaging (TETD/TA): This was the preferred method for hand or simple spreadsheet calculation before the introduction of the CLTD/CLF method.

These three methods are well documented in ASHRAE Handbook Fundamentals, 2001.


For each cooling load calculation method, there are several benefits/limitations which feature each method. Simplicity and accuracy are two contradicting objectives to be fulfilled. If a method could be considered to be simple, its accuracy would be a matter of question, and vice versa.

While modern methods emphasize on improving the procedure of calculating solar and conduction heat gains, there are also other main sources coming from internal heat gains (people, lighting and equipment).

Handbooks include tables for the heat gain estimations from the internal sources. However, such tables are incomplete. For example, for equipment not mentioned in the tables, only limited information is indicated about them. Sometimes recommendations are mentioned about using 25% to 50% of the nameplate power consumption, where the final value is left to the interpretation of the designer. In other times it is the accurate predictability of the occurrence is also important, e.g. the frequency of using of equipment is very important to determine the heat gain. This example for internal heat gain shows that, when thinking about accuracy, it is not only the method (simple vs. complex) which is effective, but uncertainties in the input data are also important.

There are high degrees of uncertainty in input data required to determine cooling loads. Much of this is due to the unpredictability of occupancy, human behavior, outdoors weather variations, lack of and variation in heat gain data for modern equipments, and introduction of new building products and HVAC equipments with unknown characteristics. These generate uncertainties that far exceed the errors generated by simple methods compared to more complex methods. Therefore, the added time/effort required for the more complex calculation methods would not be productive in terms of better accuracy of the results if uncertainties in the input data are high. Otherwise, simplified methods would, likely, have a similar level of satisfactory accuracy.

For strictly manual cooling load calculation method, the most practical to use is the CLTD/SCL/CLF method as described in the 1997 ASHRAE Fundamentals. This method, although not optimum, will yield the most conservative results based on peak load values to be used in sizing equipment. It should be noted that the results obtained from using the CLTD/CLF method depend largely on the characteristics of the space being considered and how they vary from the model used to generate the CLTD/CLF data shown on the various tables. Engineering judgment is required in the interpretation of the custom tables and applying appropriate correction factors.

Note: In Part 3, detailed DESIGN INFORMATION will be discussed.
Click here for Part 1

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

     Stephen R. Covey has based his foundation for success on the character ethic–things like integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, patience, industry, simplicity, modesty, and the Golden Rule. The personality ethic–personality growth, communication skill training, and education in the field of influence strategies and positive thinking is secondary to the character ethic. What we are communicates far more eloquently than what we say or do.

      A paradigm is the way we perceive, understand and interpret the world around us. It is a difficult way of looking at people and things. To be effective we need to make a paradigm shift. Most scientific breakthroughs are the result of paradigm shifts such as Copernicus viewing the sun as the center of the universe rather than earth. Paradigm shifts are quantum changes, whether slow and deliberate or instantaneous.

     A habit is the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire. Knowledge is what to do and the why; skill is the how to do; and desire is the motivation or want to do. In order for something to become a habit you have to have all three. The seven habits are a highly integrated approach that moves from dependency (you take care of me) to independence (I take care of myself) to interdependence (we can do something better together). The first three habits deal with independence, the essence of character growth. Habit 4, 5, and 6 deal with interdependence, teamwork, cooperation, and communication. Habit 7 is the habit of renewal.


Highly Effective People


    The 7 habits are in harmony with a natural law that covey calls the “P/PC Balance,”* where P stands for production of desired results and PC stands for production capacity, the ability or asset. For example, if you fail to maintain a lawn mower (PC) it will wear out and not be able to mow the lawn (P). you need a balance between the time spent mowing the lawn (desired result) and maintaining the lawn mower (asset). Assets can be physical, such as the lawn mower example; financial, such as the balance between principal (PC) and interest (P); and human, such as the balance between training (PC) and meeting schedule (P). You need the balance to be effective; otherwise, you will have neither a lawn mower nor a mowed lawn.

Habit 1: Be Proactive

    Being proactive means taking responsibility for your life, the ability to choose the response to a situation. Proactive behavior is a product of conscious choice based on values, rather than reactive behavior, which is based on feelings. Reactive people let circumstances, conditions, or their environment tell them how to respond. Proactive people let carefully thought-about, selected, and internalized values tell them how to respond. It’s not what happens to us but our response that differentiates the two behaviors. No one can make you miserable unless you choose to let them. The language we use is a real indicator of our behavior.


Highly Effective People

Habit 2: begin with the end in mind

     The most fundamental application of this habit is to begin each day with an image, picture, or paradigm of the end of your life as your frame of reference. Each part of your life can be examined in terms of what really matters to you, a vision of your life as a whole.

All things are created twice; there is a mental or first creation and a physical or second creation to all things. To build a house you first create a blue print and then you construct the actual house. You create a speech on paper before you give it. If you want to have a successful organization you begin with a plan that will produce appropriate end; thus leadership is the first creation, and management, the second. The leadership is doing the right things and management is doing things right.

     In order to begin with the end in mind, develop a personal philosophy or creed. Start by the considering the example items below:

  • Never compromise with honesty.
  • Remember the people involved.
  • Maintain a positive attitude.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Keep a sense of humor.
  • Do not fear mistakes.
  • Facilitate the success of subordinates.
  • Seek divine help.
  • Read a leadership book monthly.

    By centering our lives on correct principles, we create a solid foundation for the development of the life-support factors of security, guidance, wisdom, and power. Principles are fundamental truths. They are tightly interwoven threads running with exactness, consistency, beauty, and strength through the fabric of life.

Habit 3: Put first things first

     Habit 1 says, “You are the creator. You are in charge.” Habit 2 is the first creation and is based on imagination, leadership based on values. Habit 3 is practicing self-management and requires Habit 1 and Habit 2 as prerequisites. It is the day by day, moment-by-moment management of your time.

    The time management Matrix is diagrammed below. Urgent means it requires immediate attention, and important has to do with results that contribute to your mission, goals, and values. Effective, proactive people spend most of their time in Quadrant 2, thereby reducing the time in Quadrant 1. Four activities are necessary to be effective. First, write down your key roles for the week (such as research manager, United Way chairperson, and parent). Second, list your objectives for each role using many Quadrant 2 activities. These objectives should be lies to your personal goals or philosophy in Habit 2. Third, schedule time to complete the objectives. Fourth, adopt the weekly schedule to your daily activities.


Highly Effective People


Habit 4: Think Win-Win

    Win-Win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Both sides come out ahead; in fact, the end result I usually a better way. If Win-Win is not possible, then the alternative is no deal. It takes great courage as well as consideration to create mutual benefits, especially if the other party is thinking Win-Lose.

   Win-Win embraces five interdependent dimensions of life-character, relationships, agreements, systems and processes. Character involves the trains of integrity; maturity, which is a balance between being considerate of others and the courage to express feelings; and abundance mentality, which means that there is plenty out there for everyone. Relationships mean that the two parties trust each other and are deeply committed to Win-Win. Agreements require the five elements of desired results, guidelines, resources, accountability, and consequences. Win-Win agreements can only survive in a system that supports it, you can’t talk Win-Win and reward Win-Lose. In order to obtain Win-Win, a four-step process is needed: (1) see the problem from the other viewpoint; (2) identify the key issues and concerns, (3) determine acceptable results, and (4) seek possible new options to achieve those results.

Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood

    Seek first to understand involves a paradigm shift since we usually try to be understood first.  Listening is the key to effective communication. It focuses on learning how the other person sees the world, how they feel. The essence of Emphatic Listening is not that you agree with someone; it’s that you fully, deeply understand that person, emotionally as well as intellectually. Next to physical survival the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated.

     The second part of the habit is to be understood. Covey uses three sequentially arranged Greek words, ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos is your personal credibility or character; pathos is the empathy you have with the other person’s communication; and logos is the logic or reasoning part of your presentation.

Habit 6: Synergy

      Synergy means that the whole is greater than the parts. Together, we can accomplish more than any of us can accomplish alone. This can best be exemplified by the musical group The Beatles, who as group created more music than each individual created after the group broke up. The first five habits build toward Habit 6. It focuses the concept of Win-Win and the skills of emphatic communication on tough challenges that bring about new alternatives that did not exist before. Synergy occurs when people abandon their humdrum presentations and Win-Lose mentality and open themselves up to creative cooperation. When there is a genuine understanding, people reach solutions that are better than they could have achieved acting alone.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw (Renewal)

     Habit 7 is taking time to Sharpen the Saw so It will cut faster. It is personal PC preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have, which is you. It’s renewing the four dimensions of your nature physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional. All four dimensions of your nature must be used regularly wise and balanced ways. Regular renewing the physical dimension means following good nutrition, rest and relaxation, and regular exercise. The spiritual dimension is your commitment to your value system, renewal comes from prayer, meditation, and spiritual reading. The mental dimension is continuing to develop your intellect through reading, seminars, and writing. These three dimensions require that time be set aside, they are Quadrant 2 activities. The social and emotional dimensions of our lives are tied together because our emotional life is primarily, but not exclusively, developed out and manifested is our relationship with others. While this activity does not require time, it does require exercise.




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