The New Year is upon us. As we reflect on past years, we are either brimming with smiles because of all the successes that we have achieved or we have heavy hearts because of all those missed targets for whatever reasons. I would like to touch on one of the essential ingredients for being successful in our workplace, at study, at home and/or in our social life, namely, “Effectiveness”. Effectiveness is something that we personally can control. We can choose to be more effective in the New Year or to continue on without making any changes whatsoever which will only result in the same outcome as last year. The basic change model tells us that – if we continue to see things the way they always are and continue to do things in the same manner/behavior then we will always get the same outcome. In order to create change, either we change the way we see things or the way we do things or both for better impact. This will bring about a different outcome. I strongly believe this should be part of our New Year resolution.

So how should we define “Effectiveness”? To understand this I would rather look at the opposite meaning of this word, so that we can be guided by it and not fall into the trap. Let’s us refer to the famous “7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Dr Stephen Covey” where the topic of Personal Effectiveness is key to harnessing interrelationship in an inter-dependence manner.

Understanding anything that is not related to effectiveness can increase our knowledge and hence our practice in our day to day life with regards to being more effective. Dr. Covey states that “Effective people are guided by their own missions and manage their lives according to principles. Ineffective people follow others’ agendas and manage their lives around pressing matters that confront them.” Let us now review the list that is associated with “Ineffective People” (Dr Stephen Covey):

Reactive: They are in “victim” mode most of the time (it is always other peoples fault and not theirs), don’t take responsibility for their own lives and don’t think they are in control of their lives.

Clueless: They lack meaning in their life, hence they normally tend to follow the masses. There is a clear lack of personal vision or mission to guide their lives hence they are not guided by their own values.

Crisis driven: Always driven by the urgency of situations, unable to focus on higher impact activities because they are engrossed in their current or past circumstances (including other people).

Defensive: They don’t think for a “Win-Win” situation, have low trust in their relationships with others hence making them defensive most of the time. They don’t have effective communication skills.

Poor Listener: They impose their own values upon others without making an attempt to listen first in order to understand the situation, hence this can lead to the wrong resolution.

Cloning: They try to imitate others – and normally perceive differences as a threat to them.

Worn out: They get disoriented quickly, lose interest and normally do not attempt to improve themselves which will lead to falling behind their peers and losing any positive advantage they may have.

Upon reflection of the seven “Ineffective behaviours” above, it is my advice that we steer away from them and focus our efforts on becoming more “Effective” in forging ahead with our 2015 resolutions. Let us be in control of our positive impact at work, at home and in our study in order to contribute to our Nation’s capacity growth and development.

This article was published in the Jan-Mar 2015 issue of Inspire Magazine. Download it here!

Hjh. Zainab Omar

Hjh Zainab is a HR Professional & Mentor. She was active in the Oil & Gas Industry for the past 30+ years. She has significant business experiences gained in a multi cultural environment in Brunei (BSP, Brunei LNG), Oman, Qatar, and Europe in the areas of HR & Learning and Development. She is passionate about people development and upholds the mantra ‘don’t let others tell you what you can’t do, and show them what you can do.