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Personal Skills and Effectiveness Cartoon

April 30, 2012 by Dr. Jon Warner in Topic Cartoons

Personal Skills and Effectiveness Cartoon

On the surface, “personal effectiveness” sounds like a “catch-all” term for anything that an individual can do to be better, stronger, smarter, and more effective!  And in some ways, this is quite true.  However, the personal “excellence” author Stephen Covey has developed a much richer definition when he states:

The ‘Inside-Out’ approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness means to start first with self; even more fundamentally, to start with the most inside part of self / with your paradigms, your character, and your motives. The inside-out approach says that private victories precede public victories, that making and keeping promises to ourselves precedes making and keeping promises to others. It says it is futile to put personality ahead of character, to try to improve relationships with others before improving ourselves.

This quotation, drawn from Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Successful People” presents an interesting definition of “personal effectiveness.” It suggests that our personal effectiveness is the foundation upon which other skills, abilities, and competencies are developed.

If you are not personally effective first (or put another way if you don’t believe in yourself) you may be developing skills, abilities, and competencies on a “bed of sand.”  We therefore need to spend quality time in thinking about the beliefs that we hold, the values and attitudes that have shaped us to date (and the extent to which these may need to change) and the personal goals that we have for ourselves – ultimately to ensure that these provide a solid foundation upon which we can build.

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About Dr. Jon Warner

Dr. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology. Jon can be reached at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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