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Improving Personal Effectiveness

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Posted 30 November 2012 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

Personal Development Courses

We offer both:
• Bespoke in-house training.
These can be tailored to your specific needs.
• Open training courses at locations near you.
You may find the following will help with the development of your Personal development skills training.

Improving personal effectiveness

Personal effectiveness is the art of maximising productivity.
Personal effectiveness is the art of performing at the maximum of your capability.
Personal effectiveness is the willingness to learn, and do the very best that you can.

Everyone who is interested in personal effectiveness training should ask themselves the following question.
"By what standard should you judge whether, or not, you are doing well?"
If I asked you "How are things? How are you doing?"

You may reply "Great". But the question is:
"Great? Compared to what?"

We know now that feed-back is good.
We know that feedback can be critical; It may take the form of criticism, rejection and defeat.
We also know that it may take the form of positive praise acceptance and progress.
So no matter what form it takes feedback is valuable information.

If the recent feedback is positive: praise and progress, then you should feel happy and recognize that your current actions are working: They are taking you closer to your goal.
If the recent feedback is negative: criticism rejection and defeat, then you should not feel happy and recognize that your current actions are not working: they are not taking you closer to your goal, and they may be even taking you away from your goal.

No matter what form it takes; feedback is valuable information. Whether or not the feedback is pleasing to you, it is useful.
Feedback is useful only if you use it.
Feedback can only be useful to you but only if you use it.

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How to use feedback

Feedback is information that relates the results of a particular action to its effects on the progress made towards a goal.
But now you have options as to how you define the term "progress towards the goal".
Against what standard should you measure performance?

If I asked you "How are things? How are you doing?"
You may reply "Great". But the question is:
"Great? Compared to what?"
"Great? Compared to whom?"

In other words, you should decide, specifically, how you will judge how well you are doing?

How well are you doing compared against what?


Here are the main options:

1. How well are you doing when compared against your performance this time last year?
2. How well are you doing when compared against your competitors?
3. When compared against your goals that you had set for yourself?
4. When compared against the average?
5. When compared against the best?
6. When compared against Perfection?

Let us look at each option:

Question 1: How well are you doing when compared against your performance at this time last year?

This is a good test question. Are you doing better than you were last year, or not?
Let us assume that the goal is to be better than last year.

Question is: Are you?
Are you performing at the same level or are you down on last year?
You ought to know!

Question 2: How well are you doing when compared against your competitors?

Even if you are doing better than you were last year, how do you stack up against your competition?

If you have progressed but everyone has progressed more, it may mean that in practical terms you have fallen behind.
And if you are operating in a competitive environment like many of us are, then you need to be at least, keeping up and preferably, overtaking the others.

Question 3: How well are you doing when compared against your goals that you had set for yourself?

You may be doing better than last year, and you may be doing better than your friends, but you are not yet anywhere near what you have set out in your own mind as your target level of performance.
How well you are doing compared against your ultimate long range goal is a great question.
If you are not yet a champion in your chosen field, then keep going!

Question 4: How well are you doing when compared against the mean-average?

This is not the best question. This is a question that children often ask themselves. They say to their parents "I did really well in the physics exam. I got 43% and our class average was 41%".

Remember that, by definition, most people are average. And about half of them are less than average.
It is too easy to be better than average. About half the people on the planet are average or above.
On the other hand "Excellence" is uncommon.

How well are you doing when compared against the best?

This is a better question. How well are you doing when compared against excellence?
This question raises the intellectual and emotional bar.

By definition not many are in the top 2%.
How good is your performance when you compare your performance to the top 2% in your field of activity.

Ask and answer the following two questions with as much care and consideration as possible:

1. What activities are the top 2% doing, that you are not doing? (Name two activities.)
2. What activities are the top 2% NOT doing, that you ARE doing? (Name two activities.)

The answers that you give to the above two questions represent a good plan of action for the next six months.

How well are you doing when compared against Perfection?

This is the ultimate question because Perfection is the ultimate standard against which you can judge anything. We define "Perfection" as: an idealisation of a class of objects or ideas with all error and blemish removed.

It is important to remember that perfection is not something that can in reality be obtained. Perfection cannot be obtained because all human action is prone to some degree of error.

Perfection is a mystical concept and is useful only as a guide and as a motivation.
So it is impossible for you to become the perfect man it is impossible for you to become the perfect woman.
But is fun to see how close an approximation to your idea of perfection you can become.
The on-going pursuit of perfection; It is the name of the game!

For more information about personal effectiveness training visit the Corporate Coach Group website

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