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Testing for personal effectiveness.

[check] This checklist will help you to assess your personal effectiveness and identify areas for development.

Definition

Personal effectiveness is at the heart of best practice and excellence.

Your ability to perform a particular task is not just a measure of your practical knowledge or your skills in a functional area such as human relations, marketing, or information and communications technologies; it is also a reflection of personal qualities, aptitudes and attitudes. Personal skills may also be called transferable skills, personal competences or personal behaviours.

A simple approach to personal effectiveness is offered by allowing you to assess yourself across a wide range of tasks and activities such as teamwork and presentation skills, and ability to manage stress, to influence others, to plan, to relate to others and to prioritise objectives. The checklist is itself a simple test which should take no more than half an hour to complete.

The test summarises a personal competency framework designed by the European Council of Management (CECIOS) for use in profiling managers' personal skills, and first published in Practical self development: a step by step approach to CPD (Institute of Management, 1997). You can use it for analysing your own skills. Equally, it can serve as an effective feedback tool, if you get others--boss, colleagues, staff, customers--to complete it on you.

Tackling the test

1. Each of the competences in the boxes has four statements listed. Look at the statements and decide which is most relevant to your current situation at work.

2. Having selected the statement, tick the column that best describes your own perception of your performance in that area.

3. When you have finished the table, you will be able to review the level of your ability and current level of performance.

4. The statements correspond to levels of management ranging from team leader (the first statement) to senior manager (the fourth statement). If you believe that you perform excellently at a lower level (first and second statements), you perhaps need to identify opportunities to test your skills at a higher level (third and fourth statements). Significant areas of weaker performance should make you review ways of improving these skills.

5. The ultimate test must be whether your colleagues, boss or staff share the same opinion of your particular skill set, so it is worth discussing your perceptions with someone who knows you well. Most managers get surprises when they do this, sometimes because they can find that their worries about performance in some areas are ill-founded

Reviewing test outcomes

Identifying your personal profile may be instructive, but how do you exploit this knowledge? To convert self-knowledge into action and success, you need to do three things:

1. Raise your level of awareness.

Frequent and regular feedback is the only way to increase your awareness of your personality effectively. Look for different sources- self assessment tools, your colleagues, your boss, your partner and friends, even customers. Find ways of asking them what they think.

2. Identify your key development needs.

Review the match between your current job and career aspirations against key aspects of your personality. Try to identify what you need to change to free up your potential.

3. Create realistic action plans.

This is the hard part. To change your behaviour, you need to be realistic, to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-scheduled) objectives, to expect setbacks, to reward yourself when you succeed and to use others to support and guide you. Most important, you need to review your progress on a regular basis.

Dos and don'ts of testing for personal effectiveness

Do

* Be honest with yourself.

* Ask others to be honest in their perceptions.

Don't

* Take too long over the test--if you are not sure, skip a category and return to it at the end.

Useful reading

Personal effectiveness: a guide to action, Diana Winstanley London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2005

Personal effectiveness, 3rd ed., Alex Murdoch and Carol H Scutt Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann, 2003

People skills, 2nd ed., Neil Thompson Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002

A managers guide to self development, 4th ed., Mike Pedler, John Burgoyne and Tim Boydell London: McGraw Hill, 2001

Thought starters

* Do you know where you want to be five or ten years from now?

* Do you know what the next step(s) is (are)?

* Do you know how to get there?
Personal Competence Indicator

Mark x in the
appropriate column Very Needs
 Good Satisfactory Improvement

RELATING TO OTHERS

treat people evenhandedly

actively develop team
building and
interpersonal skills

assist other managers to
develop team building and
interpersonal skills in
their team

establish good teamwork and
interpersonal skills as a key
element in the corporate
culture

TEAM WORK

contribute to the
development of internal teams

exploit the strengths and
skills of staff in your area

develop expertise and teamwork
across departments in the
company

develop the corporate
culture for promoting
staff development

PRESENTATION

make effective presentations
to staff and colleagues

make effective presentations
to the senior management team

use professional
presentations to raise the
profile of the company

promote the company's image
and mission through major
public presentations

ETHICAL PERSPECTIVE

comply with statutory and
organisational codes of
conduct

identify potential conflicts
between the interests of
stakeholders

identify and work towards the
solution of ethical issues in
the company

create a company culture with
a strong emphasis on business
ethics

PLANNING AND PRIORITISING OBJECTIVES

identify objectives to meet
operational requirements

translate business plans into
operational objectives for
your team

evaluate and integrate the
plans of other managers into
corporate business plans

create the companies mission
and set the strategy

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

Consistently seek quality
results in your own
performance

Motivate your team to achieve
high quality standards

Motivate other managers to
achieve high quality
standards in key areas

Set ambitious, realistic goals
for yourself and the rest of
the company

INFLUENCING OTHERS

achieve targets through staff
without recourse to
inappropriate confrontation

secure maximum contributions
from staff towards achieving
business plans

persuade other managers to
change their direction and
attitudes in key areas

gain internal and external
support fir the company's
mission and strategy

INFORMATION SEARCH

collect information to monitor
operation performance

investigate and take
advantage of all possible
sources of information related
to your area of responsibility

forecast major trends in your
area of business in the
company

apply information about the
wider business environment to
make decisions on future
corporate direction

SELF CONFIDENCE

put your ideas into action

take action to ensure
performance targets for your
area are consistently exceeded

create new opportunities
outside your normal area of
responsibility

create a feeling of optimism
and entrepreneurship within
the organisation

MANAGING STRESS

take advantage of formal
processes within the company
to reduce stress

consult with others to reduce
levels of stress within your
team

reduce the effects of
constant pressure through
careful planning

implement unpopular or
stressful plans at company
level

PERSONAL LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

assess your own performance
without guidance from others

use feedback to identify
development opportunities for
improved personal performance

actively seek opportunities
for self- development in line
with company requirements

demonstrate an excellent
track record for career
development supported by
comprehensive feedback

STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVE

develop clear plans to
achieve results within the
context set by others

reduce complex issues to
practical steps and plan
activities which take the
endeavour forward

relate key activities and
decisions to long-term
strategic aims

create and direct a clearly
defined vision of the future
within the company

ANALYSIS

apply a practical, accurate
approach to operational
problems

use detailed analysis to
direct the future actions of
your staff

identify new approaches to
implementing plans outside
your area of expertise

generate ideas and create
effective strategic plans at
corporate level

JUDGEMENT

use facts to arrive at simple
operational decisions

use adequate information to
support decision making
within your area of
responsibility

use a variety of information
and tools to make decisions
at a corporate level

make consistent decisions on
behalf of the whole
organisation

ORGAINSATIONAL INFLUENCING

Use "informal systems" to get
things done

create your own plans to
alter attitudes or activities
within the company influence
major corporate decisions

achieve major changes in the
culture and direction of the
company

OTHER

Mark x in the
appropriate column:
 Unsatisfactory Not Relevant

RELATING TO OTHERS

treat people evenhandedly

actively develop team
building and
interpersonal skills

assist other managers to
develop team building and
interpersonal skills in
their team

establish good teamwork and
interpersonal skills as a key
element in the corporate
culture

TEAM WORK

contribute to the
development of internal teams

exploit the strengths and
skills of staff in your area

develop expertise and teamwork
across departments in the
company

develop the corporate
culture for promoting
staff development

PRESENTATION

make effective presentations
to staff and colleagues

make effective presentations
to the senior management team

use professional
presentations to raise the
profile of the company

promote the company's image
and mission through major
public presentations

ETHICAL PERSPECTIVE

comply with statutory and
organisational codes of
conduct

identify potential conflicts
between the interests of
stakeholders

identify and work towards the
solution of ethical issues in
the company

create a company culture with
a strong emphasis on business
ethics

PLANNING AND PRIORITISING OBJECTIVES

identify objectives to meet
operational requirements

translate business plans into
operational objectives for
your team

evaluate and integrate the
plans of other managers into
corporate business plans

create the companies mission
and set the strategy

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

Consistently seek quality
results in your own
performance

Motivate your team to achieve
high quality standards

Motivate other managers to
achieve high quality
standards in key areas

Set ambitious, realistic goals
for yourself and the rest of
the company

INFLUENCING OTHERS

achieve targets through staff
without recourse to
inappropriate confrontation

secure maximum contributions
from staff towards achieving
business plans

persuade other managers to
change their direction and
attitudes in key areas

gain internal and external
support fir the company's
mission and strategy

INFORMATION SEARCH

collect information to monitor
operation performance

investigate and take
advantage of all possible
sources of information related
to your area of responsibility

forecast major trends in your
area of business in the
company

apply information about the
wider business environment to
make decisions on future
corporate direction

SELF CONFIDENCE

put your ideas into action

take action to ensure
performance targets for your
area are consistently exceeded

create new opportunities
outside your normal area of
responsibility

create a feeling of optimism
and entrepreneurship within
the organisation

MANAGING STRESS

take advantage of formal
processes within the company
to reduce stress

consult with others to reduce
levels of stress within your
team

reduce the effects of
constant pressure through
careful planning

implement unpopular or
stressful plans at company
level

PERSONAL LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

assess your own performance
without guidance from others

use feedback to identify
development opportunities for
improved personal performance

actively seek opportunities
for self- development in line
with company requirements

demonstrate an excellent
track record for career
development supported by
comprehensive feedback

STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVE

develop clear plans to
achieve results within the
context set by others

reduce complex issues to
practical steps and plan
activities which take the
endeavour forward

relate key activities and
decisions to long-term
strategic aims

create and direct a clearly
defined vision of the future
within the company

ANALYSIS

apply a practical, accurate
approach to operational
problems

use detailed analysis to
direct the future actions of
your staff

identify new approaches to
implementing plans outside
your area of expertise

generate ideas and create
effective strategic plans at
corporate level

JUDGEMENT

use facts to arrive at simple
operational decisions

use adequate information to
support decision making
within your area of
responsibility

use a variety of information
and tools to make decisions
at a corporate level

make consistent decisions on
behalf of the whole
organisation

ORGAINSATIONAL INFLUENCING

Use "informal systems" to get
things done

create your own plans to
alter attitudes or activities
within the company influence
major corporate decisions

achieve major changes in the
culture and direction of the
company

OTHER
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Checklist 164
Publication:Chartered Management Institute: Checklists: Personal Effectiveness and Development
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 1, 2005
Words:1990
Previous Article:Handling information--avoiding overload.
Next Article:Managing knowledge.
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