Chapter 1; Personal Effectiveness
Learning and Personal Improvement
- Only those who can first manage themselves will ultimately be able to effectively manage
- Great management is often as much about not acting on misconceptions, and avoiding what not
to do, as it is about expertly pursuing a course of action.
Social Learning Theory: learning of any new behaviour is the result of 3 main factors – the person,
the environment, and the behaviour – and they all influence each other.
- This mutual influence is referred to as reciprocal determinism and is at the root of the social
- Most learning is done through observation and modeling of the behaviours of others.
- 4 critical components required to learn through observation, and these are the key building
blocks of the most successful management training methods used in organizations today:
- Attention: first challenge of learning is to focus. Find the right models and devote undivided
attention to them.
o Critical you isolate as specifically as possible the behaviours you hope to learn.
- Retention: must be able to understand and remember what you have observed. Coding what
we observe into words, labels, or images results in better retention than simply observing.
o Real learning comes from understanding the underlying principles that made the
behaviours effective and being able to recall and translate those principles when
- Reproduction: importance of practice, or actual demonstration, of a skill. Must translate the
images and descriptions into actual behaviour.
o Feedback is essential for learning or developing any kind of skill.
- Motivation: must be motivated to persist and stay with it.
o Motivation may stem from past reinforcement, promised reinforcements that you can
imagine, or vicarious reinforcement.
o May also use punishements for failure to achieve your learning goals.
Self-Management: a process of modifying one’s own behaviour by systematically altering how we
arrange different cues in our world, how we think about what we hope to change, and how we attach
behavioural consequences to our actions.
1. Self-Observation/Exploration: Observe and collect information about the specific behaviours
you have targeted for change.
o Determining when, why, and under what conditions you currently use certain
o Viewing mistakes as learning opportunities builds a foundation for further learning.
Mistakes can prompt us to look inward and evaluate our limitations and shortcomings.
2. Self-Set Goals: Determine what more effective behaviour is (often by observing effective
models) and set specific goals for your own behaviours. Studies have shoen that setting goals
works because: o In committing to a goal, a person devotes attention toward goal-relevant activities and
away from goal-irrelevant activities.
o Goals energize people. Challenging goals lead to higher effort than easy goals.
o Goals affect persistence. High goals prolong effort, and tight deadlines lead to more
rapid work pace than loose deadlines.
o Goals motivate people to use their knowledge to help them attain the goal and to
discover the knowledge needed to obtain it.
3. Management of Cues: Organize your work environment to assist you in performing the
behaviours you want to change.
o Create reminders and attention focusers you will notice and act on.
4. Positive Self-Talk and Rehearsal: Go over the behaviour in your head and imagine successful
application. Actually practice the new behaviour at available opportunities and seek feedback.
o You must practice and rehearse any new skill for it to ultimately become part of your
o Create a frame of mind that energizes your self confidence and gets you beyond self-
defeating and negative feelings that can accompany learning difficult tasks.
5. Self Reward and Punishment: Provide yourself with personality valued rewards that are linked
to performing desirable behaviours or with punishments linked to undesirable behaviours.
o Punishment does not work as well as reinforcement.
- The best mangers are not only consistently seeking feedback to know themselves better and
what areas they need to improve, but also to isolate their personal strengths and preferences so
they can best position themselves for success.
- Recognizing our own differences is important because they impact how we react and behave in
From a managerial performance perspective, the 2 most important categories of differences are:
1. Ability: what a person is capable of doing. Come in many dimensions and include cognitive
ability, physical ability, and emotional ability.
2. Personality: the pattern of relativity enduring ways in which a person thinks, actis, and behaves.
Determined both by nature and nurture and tends to represent our “dominant” or “natural”
o Fundamental error to assume that behaviour is solely a function of one’s personality
since the environment will always play a role as well.
The Essential Managerial Assessment Profile
Self-Awareness Ability, Personality or Examples of Commonly Implication
Dimension Preference? Used Assessment Tools
Cognitive Ability (criticaAbility to recognize Watson-Glaser Critical Is cognitive ability a
and analytical thinking quantitative and verbal Thinking Test strength or an area to
patterns quickly and supplement with the
accurately. Includes the Wonderlic Personnel help of others? What ability to acquire Test types of jobs and
knowledge. industries suit my
Emotional Intelligence Ability to accurately MSCEIT Do I understand and
recognize and use emotion to make
understand emotions in effectiveness decisions?
others and self and to Can I relate to people
use emotional well because I
information appropriately read their
productively. emotional states?
Cultural Intelligence Ability to function Cultural Quotient Scale Am I aware of
effectively in the important cultural
context of differences differences? Do I
understand and act in
ways that will value
those differences and
Personality Traits Primary personality Big 5 Inventory What are my dominant
characteristics that personality traits? How
remain relatively stable do I maximize my fit to
over one’s life best utilize my
Personality Preferences Preference for direction Myers-Briggs Type How do I like to work
(temperament) of energy, decision- Indicator with others and process
making, information information? What do I
acquisition, and look for in others to
orientation to the outer complement my
world. preferences? How will I
best interact in