Saturday, 30 April 2016

Effectiveness Habits

Effectiveness Habits

Peter Drucker, the father of modern management science has stated that no human being is born effective.  Effectiveness is a learnable skill and has to be cultivated by people through conscious, deliberate, consistent efforts.  By cultivating this habit a person is able to optimize the utilization of the available resources and professional, social spheres of life.

For developing and making the effectiveness habit, one needs to adhere to the 4 D + 1 C. Principles.  These Principles are:

1.    Desire
2.    Decide
3.    Discipline
4.    Determination
5.    Consistency

In the Desire phase one need to truly want to master the effectiveness habits.  The desire has to be deeply felt, wanted, and cherished.
Then comes the ‘Decide’ phase wherein one knows the ‘What’ , ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of the subject and decides to master the same with a fixed time frame effort to master the habits.  The discipline has to be self-discipline and not due to external compulsions.  Being disciplined means you would still do the Pre decided practices even when you do not feel like doing it.  The fourth step is Self-Determination which means ‘come what may’ you are tenacious enough to pursue and achieve the preset goals.  You pursue things and take them to the logical end, irrespective of the circumstances and other extraneous factors.
The last quality required is “Consistency” which means doing it literally every day.           A management saying says that any practices that you do consistently, even imperfectly would yield outstanding results.

 The Six Habits of Truly Effective people as per my research and  experience are:

1.    Integrity
2.    Constant Time Discipline
3.    Laser Sharp Prioritizing
4.    Knowing and Working on Your Strengths.
5.    Being Result-oriented
6.    Pursuing Excellence In Decision Making.

1.     Integrity

An effective person always endeavors to honor his word.  Once he gives his word, he is committed to keeping his word.  This means he does whatever he promised to do, at the time he promised. 

Also in Integrity he always has an Empowering Context towards life which means he always views every situation of life from a viewpoint of possibility
thinking or what is good and positive in a given situation.  As a consequence, he is always filled with Positive, Constructive, and Progressive energy.

2.    Time Discipline

Time is that unique resource which is irreplaceable, once spent cannot be retrieved.  Also our life is nothing but a congregation of time.

The first misunderstanding that needs to be cleared is the fact that you cannot manage time as time is ever moving and passing and waits for no one.  One cannot hold, stop, and store time.  Time once spent is spent forever.  Time spent is actually Life spent.  The First understanding one needs to get is that your need to manage, yourself vis-a-vis time.  For that firstly one needs self-audit and know how we are going to spend this precious resource ‘time’ now.  How much of it is in line with our life objectives and goal?  How much of our time is going towards non-productive endeavors
Awareness is always the first step in bringing about positive change in any sphere of life.  From ‘Awareness’ follows ‘Understanding’ and from that we can ‘Recondition’ our actions towards the Desired directions.
Self time- audit would give us access to the non- productive usage of time wherein we can give up unproductive work and replace it by more productive use of time.
3.    Laser Sharp Prioritizing
There is a Potent saying:  “Focus on the vital few instead of the trivial many.”
The famous Pareto’s 80-20 principles rightly states that 80% of the results are caused by the 20% of the causes or efforts.
We need to constantly work on our ability to be able to know our priority tasks in relation to goals and focus on the same to get the optimum results.
Many a time it is seen that during the Planning phase we do enlist the priority tasks but during the course of the day one gets distracted and loses the focus.  This leads to non-optimum results.
 We need to constantly remind ourselves that “Where the Focus goes, Energy flows and the results manifest.”
4.    Knowing and Working on Strengths
Each individual is unique, able, capable and a force to reckon with.  Each of us                                    has been blessed with certain unique qualities, natural talents.  We need to know about them, acknowledge and appreciate the same.  Also we need to keep on working on    those abilities to produce the desired results. It is a proven fact that if you concentrate on your   unique talent you are able to touch excellence very easily.
Also there are areas in which you do not have talent.  Such areas one should   delegate to persons who have talent.  In this way one can optimize one’s opportunities, resources and talents.
Also one’s endeavor should be to keep on strengthening one’s strength and        weaken one’s weaknesses.  This is a sure shot way of emerging winner in all         circumstances.

5.    Being Result Oriented
Even though in the larger spiritual viewpoint everything is a game and we are playing different roles with no real significance. Nevertheless to make the game interesting we do have to have definite goals with predetermined Milestones and targets.
As a consequence every player should be totally involved and give one’s 100%.  Also one has to periodically keep on reviewing as to what results have been accomplished.  We need to keep on reviewing whether our actions are producing the desired outcome or not. In the periodical revision one needs to do course correction of one’s action to achieve the desired results.
It is the desired results which gives us entitlement to rewards.
We need to constantly keep ourselves away from giving Reason trap.  As productivity experts rightly say in life you either have Reasons or Results, the choice is ours.

6.     Pursuing Excellence in Decision-Making

It is said that wherever you are in life is the consequence of the decisions you have taken in the past.  Decision-making is an ability which like any other skill is learnable.  There is a science and an art to this skill.

The scientific steps of decision making are:
a)    First know what is the situation, challenge or problem.
b)    What are the causes for the situation, challenges, and problem.
c)    Collect maximum information about the situation.
d)    Analyze and find out the various alternatives.
e)    Choose the best alternative.
f)     After that, Act on the chosen alternative with full passion to get the designed result.

The above scientific step needs to be followed in a disciplined fashion over and over again in various situations till you attain proficiency and mastery over the whole process.
Also it has to be realized that while taking decisions dealing with Human beings,  it can not only be on the basis of cut and dry facts.
The human element of emotions, feelings needs to be considered and kept in mind.


          Effectiveness Busters

Earlier, we learnt as to which are the six Effectiveness Habits.
In this chapter we would look at the opposite of what we delved in the last chapter.  Here we shall look at the habits which thwart effectiveness or in other words, habits which decimate one’s effectiveness.
 The effectiveness Busters are
1.    Procrastination
2.    Pseudo rationalization
3.    Unwillingness to take Responsibility.
It is said that 70% of human beings are afflicted by this disease.  This habit makes a person postpone doing things.  He delays action and as a consequence fails to produce results.
This habit basically entails avoiding action due to carelessness, casualness or laziness.
The remedy for this effectiveness buster is to get into Action immediately.  Once you have collected all the information pertaining to a given situation, analyze the information or situation thoroughly, coming out with the various possible alternatives, and then choose the best alternative out of those.   Once the best alternative is found out, act on it forthwith with total commitment. 
In life, acting at the right time on the right opportunity is what makes a person successful.  
 The second Effectiveness buster is Pseudo Rationalization.  This habit is closely connected to the first effectiveness buster, Procrastination.  They both have cause to effect relationship. Procrastination, many a time is the result of pseudo rationalization.
 In pseudo rationalization a person gives, fabricates, imaginary, fictitious reason and justifies, or convinces himself for not taking initiative or action.
 Pseudo (Not real) Rationalization -- Reasoning or justification.
 As we know our mind is a big soap opera writer.  Mind’s basic function is to protect, keep one safe and secure.  Hence whenever one is faced with a situation which needs one to take Risk or go beyond one’s comfort zone, the Mind invariably comes out with some immediate inner conversation as to why one should not do it.
Every successful performer should see through this game of the mind and think rationally and see the situation for what it is and take judicious action.
As they say in life we either get “Reason or Results” - the choice is ours.
It is very easy to find reasons for not doing something which may look arduous and challenging.  A typical experience that all of us undergo is that of getting up in the morning to go for physical work out.  As soon as the alarm clock rings, the mind comes out with a reason like you have had a long day yesterday or have a very hard day in front of you etc. etc.  Under the pretext of these reasons, the mind urges you to go to sleep again instead of going out for the physical workout.
On the spur of the moment, the physical workout may look to be painful.   But once through with the inertia, you get out of the bed and go for the physical workout.   You then feel lighter, healthier, and happier as a result of your breaking this basic instinct of pseudo-rationalization.
 Unwillingness to Take Responsibility
 The third but the most fundamental reason for many people not growing, developing and progressing in life is this habit.
Most of the people shirk responsibility.  For most of them taking responsibility appears to be a big burden, discomfort, hardship, etc.  Not taking responsibility appears comfortable but in reality this comfort is an illusion.
 This illusionary comfort is actually lethargy, stagnancy and non-liveliness.
The truth is when a person takes Responsibility he immediately experiences power.  The sense of responsibility opens pathways to action and to look for Possibility thinking.  This is the first step towards progress, growth, success and fulfillment.  It is also said that taking Responsibility gives one Freedom; both internally and externally.  The moment a person takes Responsibility for any situation; there is a sense of ownership.  This sense of ownership automatically gives the person the consciousness of ‘wanting’ to do something instead of being in the consciousness of ‘having’ to do or forced to do something.
When a person is in action from the ‘Wanting’ to do consciousness, he experiences ‘Effortlessness’ or freedom from within.
 In the external world, whenever a person is Responsible and is coming from that consciousness, he is more of a self- starter and does not need to be told, supervised or monitored.   He takes whatever action that needs to be taken in any given situation.  Hence he has freedom as nobody is there hovering over him dictating what he needs to do. Hence he experiences external freedom as well. Taking responsibility equals power, freedom, growth, development, fulfillment, success and happiness.
On the other hand, when a person shuns responsibility his first causality is his motive to take action.  This inaction kicks off the vicious circle of lethargy, laziness, stagnancy and a feeling of powerlessness.
 All the above factors are anti-thesis to performance, progress and prosperity.
Hence the tendency of people to shun away from Responsibility is one of the biggest Effectiveness busters which need to be broken.

When a person lives his life from a principle that ‘I am totally responsible for everything in my life and also that I alone have to be blamed for any failures or setbacks’, then he instantly gets the Power to act and remedy and redress the situation.