The three essential assets every company needs in order to succeed: people, capital, and technology. All valuable, but people are the critical component to success. They drive capital growth and technical expansion, or at least they should. The truth is, a company’s workforce needs care and attention to stay effective and consistently perform at a high level. In fact, employee performance hinges on the concept of “personal effectiveness”—the sum total of the skills, attributes, and abilities necessary for success in a given work environment.
Here is how you can get started. After reading the points we have listed here, download the full article to find much more information critical steps you can take to foster an effective, productive work climate!
1. Improve self-awareness
Why do so many people overestimate their job performance? There are two basic reasons for this: The first and most obvious reason is that people just don’t like to acknowledge their own shortcomings; the second (and more common) reason is that they actually believe what they’re saying is true. They believe they are operating at 100 percent of their potential, regardless of what the reality of the situation may be.
When people are convinced that they perform at the top of their game, they’re actually less likely to improve. That is why improving self-awareness is perhaps the most important step employees must take to increase their personal effectiveness.
2. Live by values
Values are a very important part of each employee’s identity. Yet, most people don’t give their core-value system much thought—it’s simply there and always has been. However, values influence virtually every choice and decision that employees make, from what to do on Saturday night to their professional goals. Simply put, values define what is important and what is considered worthwhile. According to author, business leader, and CEO of Employee Development Systems,
“Values are particularly important within the context of employees’ personal effectiveness because they are the driving force behind their behaviors and choices. In fact, understanding the role of these values in their professional lives is a key step toward their improved self-awareness—it helps employees discover the “why” behind the choices they make and helps them evaluate whether these choices are serving their best interests.”
3. Strengthen communication skills
Effective communication is much more than simply saying what you mean and meaning what you say. It is actually a balanced mixture of dialogue and questions, of speaking and listening.
Asking the right questions helps to gather information and avoid misunderstandings. Unfortunately, many people avoid asking questions because they think questions are perceived as a sign of ignorance or stupidity.
4. Think strategically
Do your employees or team members keep the big picture in mind? Do they have the organizational goals in mind as they carry out their goals? “This type of disconnection can breed apathy and a “who cares” attitude that will ultimately affect work quality and spread to others. In Ms. Updegraff’s words, “After all, when work is being done in a perfunctory style (and primarily for the sake of next week’s paycheck), it is bound to become less meaningful and less fulfilling to the employee doing it.” She continues, “And keeping staff connected to the company’s larger strategic picture causes them to be more mindful of the strategic value of their own daily activities.” As you can tell, strategic thinking is invaluable. Employees who are able think strategically are able to improve personal effectiveness and produce higher quality work.
5. Build relationships
The ability to build and sustain professional relationships is a vital component for employees’ personal effectiveness. All relationships are based on trust, and trust is created using the same skill sets needed for personal effectiveness. These skills include assertiveness, the ability to communicate clearly and professionally, and the ability to understand (and make appropriate use of) the gifts that each employee brings to his or her job and the rest of the organization.
6. Listen with understanding
Although communication is typically thought of as relaying information, it also involves receiving information. Listening is just as important as speaking. When one or both parties stop listening, true communication doesn’t take place. This breakdown is usually due to one or more “fatal listening flaws”—mistakes that are usually made unintentionally but that still serve to understand the communication process.
These are only the beginning points in Suzanne Updegraff’s watershed article, Maximizing Human Potential. Download the entire article by clicking below. Note that if you have downloaded EDSI resources in the past, you won’t be requested to fill in all of your information again. If this is your first time, rest assured, we won’t ask you again!