Being the geek who is drawn to anything related to human behavior and performance, I’m usually on the lookout for what makes people effective. What do they do or say? How do they act so that they produce an impact, both in results and with people?
One approach to understanding effectiveness is to observe when people are not. Interestingly, with all the recent studies and research on the subject, there has been less attention to when people are ineffective.
While you can know a lot, the successful and effective professional is able to “execute” in the moment—at the precise time and in the particular manner that makes all the difference. They have been able to cue what they know and should do so that, when the moment presents itself, they engage the moment smoothly, efficiently and—effectively.
There are three moments when you are more vulnerable to being your lesser self and therefore, you need to cue yourself. Who are you at these critical moments?
When under pressure. Who do you become when you’re squeezed? Do you throw tantrums, blame others or give up? Or do you control those urges and put forth your better self?
When offline. Being off the clock, it’s tempting to let down too much. Your words and actions are still communicating your brand. Are they representative of how you want to be known? Or do you demonstrate a lesser person?
When personally confronted or challenged. Do you become defensive and combative, or are you secure and confident enough to inquire and explore the accusations in order to respond effectively?
Professionals who are effective aren’t necessarily that much better than you are. They just cue themselves to effective action at critical moments. If you do the same, your effectiveness and sense of achievement will increase. Which one of these vulnerable areas will you tackle first?