Saturday, June 4, 2011

Are you Personally Effective?

On second of June I had the pleasure of observing a session on PERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS and it was so enlightening that I thought I should share it with all.
The best part of this session is, every time I sit through it, I have so many new things to learn. This was my fourth encounter with this one- Personal Effectiveness.
What does it mean to be Personally Effective?

For all I know I can write a few pages, at least, if not a complete chapter on what it means to be an effective person, but to pass the elevator’s test let me tell you in short. It all boils down to what you think of yourself. You are extremely effective (personally) if you are happy with the way you are.

The workshop led us through a different way of introspection. When we talk about introspection, knowingly or unknowingly we dwell with everything which is wrong with us. When we sit down to think what we did in the past, it can be a daily diary or a weekly routine, we think about what went well and what went wrong. We spent most of our time dwelling upon what went wrong than what was right.

In this workshop, we have a different approach. We start by discussing our past achievements and all the success we have had. After all it’s about feeling good about own self, isn’t it?

Three Principles all of us need to know-

1. STIMULUS – RESPONSE  Its nature’s rule to have a response for every stimulus. The response varies from every organism to the other. We will keep our discussion to humans only. Psychologists have shown by research that 20% of our life is influenced by the stimulus, but 80% is influenced by the response we had/ gave to that stimulus. For us, humans, the first principle states that between every stimulus and response, there are CHOICES.

When we think about choices there are two very interesting aspects with it:
a. When we make a choice of responding to a stimulus in a certain way, we have made a commitment to the consequences that come attached with it. So, IF YOU OWN THE CHOICE, YOU ALSO OWN THE CONSEQUENCES.

b. Sometimes we have a different approach towards it. We try to look for the consequences and then make a choice accordingly. So, IF YOU ARE WILLING TO OWN THE CONSEQUENCES, YOU ALSO EMPOWER YOURSELF TO MAKE THE CHOICE.
Choices we make and consequences attached with it are like two ends of a stick. You can’t pick up one end of the stick and say, “I don’t want the other end.” Because when you picked up one end of the stick you made a choice to pick the other as well.
What does these two statement means?

Let me give you an example. How many people you know who are not happy with their current salary? Sounds familiar situation? The simplest of question is, if you are not happy with the salary, why are you in that job? Nobody is stopping you to go out and look for a job with a satisfactory package. You made a CHOICE for this current job, and you are going through the CONSEQUENCES, why are you blaming someone else?
We need to understand that being ambitious and being unhappy about present state are two different things. Though they may sound connected but people who are ambitious don’t spend time in negative thoughts because they know that it will slow them down, may be distracting them.

2. And it brings us to the second principle of COC/ COI. Another powerful theory which I realized I have been following even before I realized that it is a theory and it has a name. 

COC – Circle of Concern and COI – Circle of Influence.

Let’s first define what these two terms mean.
Circle of CONCERN, consists of all the concerns which you have right now. It can be anything ranging from personal problems like career, family, girlfriends (may be you have one, is your concern, or you don’t have one), food or bigger problem of society like hunger, corruption or even world peace. The idea is, you should be able to decide what are the issues which concern you and make you devote some time to think about them. They all come under your CIRCLE of concern.

Circle of Influence, if you have noticed, among the list of your concerns there are some issues about which you can do something and there are some about which you cannot, at least at this moment you are not willing to do anything. For eg, if you don’t have a girlfriend may be you can do a thing or two about it, but if your current girlfriend is your concern, god bless you!

Through this principle, the idea is to understand that people who are REACTIVE in nature have their COI very small. They have a lot of concerns in life about which they are not willing to do anything, while their circle of influence is very small.

And then there are people who concentrate on their COI, and devote their energies to the things which they can influence. They don’t let things which are not in their control bother them in any way. Their COI is almost as big as their COC.

This one is interesting and helps you understand why your approach should be positive. The principle says that what you see in a situation is determined by the role you assume.

A very simple example would be, if you were to look at a millionaire’s drawing room.
Assuming that you are a burglar, how will you look at it? Your approach may be to look at it from the point of view as to scan from the most precious thing and in the order of cost, wipe them out first.
On the second occasion, what would be your approach if you were an interior decorator? Would you do the same, or would you look at the same situation from a different perspective?

This leads us to a very important realization that it is very important to have a goal in your life. When you have a goal in life, you know what role you are going to take, in order to achieve that goal. Once you get into the role, you know what should be your approach.

If we understand these three principles and follow them in our life, the first thing I learnt that I need a goal in life. Because when we have a goal, whatever we are doing, be it online, be it gossiping, be it training yourself, you know what are you supposed to do in order to be able to reach to the final destination.

There is one more aspect of the combination of KNOWLEDGE + SKILLS + ATTITUDE which when combined with ACTION make you personally effective.

Hope you were able to read it till the end. Please share your views on this and ask questions which we can discuss among us.


pD said...

very correct!! the goal should be fixed first..but, what if-
1) a person is unable to do that?? what should he do??
2) a person fixes his goal and is not motivated enough to work?? should he change his goal den?

Saurav said...

Strong questions PD, and this is certainly how we can expect our discussions to go ahead.

From my understanding both the questions are one and the same, as if one is not motivated towards the goals, the goals don't exist.

So let's discuss the first question: What if you are not able to set a goal?

Believe me, when I asked this question to the facilitator of that session, he said nothing can be done.
I am with you in this difficult situation as I am also asking myself the same question, Where is it going? What am I doing? More importantly, What is that I want to do?

I sat in one of the session of the World Champion in Public Speaking, and he said, he said that when he had this feeling, he started reading. The very first book he mentioned was "LIVING YOUR DREAMS".
And then he has been reading a book per week for past 17 years. The consistency suits his role and profession, but not far from what we can start doing.

I have started reading, two books in a month, and they vary from topics from inspirational, to physicological, business management, biographies, work ethics, etc.

Let's discuss this, and I am sure we will have more people chipping in.

abhiwho said...

I guess it is not about what we want or what we have achieved till now... It is how we SEE IT..
a roadside beggar would be happy with 20 bucks a day and the Tata's, Ambani's would still be unhappy with earning millions every second!

There is no end to setting targets, but yes, they are real and at the same time superficial! To avoid these questions, most of us start acting like an answering machine and being reactive rather than questioning the answers.

Matter of factly, the moment we set a goal, we tend to limit ourselves to that defined set. Sachin Tendulkar is such a good example for this (if one follows cricket, they already know what i am talking about).

On a mathematical note, it is like trying to set a number for infinity, but the moment you give a number to it, infinity ceases to exist!

Perhaps, all we need to keep in mind is that thinking about the past influences and planning about the future concerns is the last thing we could do... if anything can be done at all, can be done in present (well, until someone comes up with a time machine, of course! :) )

Saurav said...

Thats a nice way of looking at things. Definitely makes me feel comfortable Abhinav. I have been living in the moment, every moment.

I feel if living in every moement is not a goal according to you and you still want to acheive something, something worth acheivable, then it has to come from within. A need can drive it, a want, a dream, an inspiration, anything can drive it, and the bottom line in this is- It' never too late to be able to do that.

:) :)

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