Last updated: 22.06.21

What is Personal Effectiveness?

Personal effectiveness is a buzzword that you’ll often hear when reading up on the desirable skills employers look for when seeking new talent. It’s also an attribute that is frequently linked to people who are motivated, organised, know what they want and consistently set out to get it.

Understanding personal effectiveness and making a plan to implement it in your life is a brilliant way to pursue both personal and professional growth. In this article, we take you through the definition of personal effectiveness, why it is important and what skills you will need to implement it in your own life.

What Does Personal Effectiveness Mean?

In short, personal effectiveness means getting the best out of yourself.

It’s an approach to success that involves utilising all of your energy, skill and motivation to develop and reach the goals you set for yourself. Individuals with good personal effectiveness tend to constantly strive to achieve more, advance their careers and grow in both a personal and professional sense.

When you demonstrate personal effectiveness, you will be working with all of the resources available to make the progress you aspire to. Whilst making use of the help and support that other people can give you, it will also involve confidently managing yourself and understanding that it is your responsibility to take the necessary steps towards growth and change.

On an individual level, personal effectiveness means different things to different people. We all have our own standards of success and achievement, and working at the highest level of personal effectiveness will look different for everyone.

Why is Personal Effectiveness Important?

Personal effectiveness is a trait that is often linked to positive wellbeing and is an important part of leading a successful and fulfilling life. In a professional sense, it’s an important skill that means you will be more productive, motivated and consistently meet goals and make progress, no matter what your role is.

In order to demonstrate personal effectiveness, you first need to understand what your highest level of performance is. Then you can identify what personal effectiveness looks like for you and figure out the ways that you are going to achieve this.

Implementing personal effectiveness into your life is important because it helps you feel more satisfied and accomplished, which is good for positive mental health. People who understand themselves and their abilities deal better with unexpected situations, lead more fulfilling lives and have more faith and confidence in themselves, which is an essential part of success and satisfaction.

Focusing on developing personal effectiveness is also important because it allows you to sit down and really think about what it is that you want to achieve in life, at work and from your relationships. People who make detailed plans and have an idea of where they are going tend to be more likely to meet their goals and they're also more likely to consistently make progress.

Finally, personal effectiveness is an important quality to have if you want to stand out in the workplace and impress the people that you work with. People who have good personal effectiveness skills are better to work with because they are motivated, engaged, organised, and consistently deliver what they have promised. If you want to succeed at work, having personal effectiveness skills will make a big difference. 

What are Personal Effectiveness Skills?

How you apply personal effectiveness in your life will depend on what you want to achieve and where your individual skills lie. However, people with good personal effectiveness have certain traits in common, which we have outlined below.


First and foremost, determination is one of the best personal effectiveness skills you can have. People who are determined are more likely to motivate themselves to achieve their goals and are also less likely to be set back by any issues that they come across along the way.

If you want to improve your determination, figure out what it is that you really want from a situation. No matter what you are aiming for, knowing exactly what you are going to get out of a situation will keep you motivated even if things get difficult.


People with personal effectiveness competency tend to be more confident because they have a better understanding of themselves and their abilities. If you have a clear idea of what your very best work looks like, you are going to have a lot more confidence in your abilities and will also be more confident talking about where your talents lie.

Understanding Strengths and Limits

In the same vein of having an excellent understanding of yourself, people who demonstrate good personal effectiveness know their own strengths and limitations. They can identify what they are good at, which of their skills are the most valuable, and what situations they work best in, all of which lead to greater success in a variety of contexts.

Having good personal effectiveness skills also means that you understand where your abilities are limited and where you may need additional help or support. This also involves having a good idea of what kind of situations you struggle to work well in, whether that’s the environment, certain types of projects or with certain groups of people.

Knowing where your strengths and weaknesses lie will help you make effective plans that avoid any potential setbacks and utilise your skills to ensure success.


People who demonstrate personal effectiveness tend to have the drive to bring about change in the world, or at least want to reach their own goals and get what they want out of life. Optimism is a key part of believing that these changes can occur, and contributes to the determination that is required in order to keep pushing yourself to achieve and always giving your all to a task.

Stress Management

Almost everyone is affected by stress, whether that’s at work or in their personal life. But if you want to improve your personal effectiveness, managing stress is an essential skill.

Being able to acknowledge that you are feeling stressed and making a plan for how you are going to deal with that is a key part of making progress and working effectively. This skill ties into all the aspects of personal effectiveness that require understanding yourself, as knowing what makes you stressed and how best to combat this will help you to avoid or reduce stressful situations and work more efficiently.


Persistence is a skill with similar importance to determination, but involves more resilience when you come up against problems. People with personal effectiveness skills are persistent and resilient in their drive to achieve, and don’t let problems get in the way of their success. Instead, they come up with solutions to the problems and focus on their overall goal to find the motivation to keep going.


A key aspect of personal effectiveness competency is being able to solve any problems that come your way. If you are motivated to do your best then you will also be motivated to work through anything that gets in your way, and having good problem solving skills will make this easier.


At the start of your personal effectiveness journey, you will need to spend some time reflecting on what personal effectiveness looks like to you. This will allow you to identify where your skills lie, what peak performance is for you, and what goals you are aiming for at work or in your personal life that you can work towards.

Reflection is also an essential skill throughout your journey towards personal effectiveness, as it means you can continuously analyse and assess how you are doing and make any necessary changes to your plans.

Time Management

A key part of personal effectiveness is the ability to accurately plan and carry out tasks, whether this is as part of a team, project or just to work towards your own goals. Excellent time management skills are a vital part of good planning, as they help you make more specific and realistic plans and ensure that you meet deadlines.


Organisation is one of the most important personal effectiveness skills. If you’re going to consistently work to the best of your abilities and push yourself to develop, you need to be able to do all of the planning and background work necessary to make this happen.

A key aspect of personal effectiveness is the ability to use all available resources and maximise your productivity to get things done. Excellent organisational skills are vital if you want to be efficient and resourceful, along with being a common trait in successful individuals.

Building Habits

People with excellent personal effectiveness deeply understand themselves, the way that they work best and the skills they have at their disposal. To utilise all of these attributes effectively, building habits allows you to make the most of this understanding and put it into practice.

When you’re trying to make a difference or work towards something new, implementing habits that drive progress is the best way to ensure you succeed. Habits mean that you don’t have to consciously remind yourself to do something and have become so familiar with a task that it gets done quickly and effectively every time, making you more reliable and efficient.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence feeds into the aspect of personal effectiveness that is all about having an excellent understanding of yourself. Being able to identify, understand and manage the emotions that you are feeling makes you a more reliable worker, helps you to realistically plan what you can get done, and also makes it easier to deal with sudden changes in any plans or issues that crop up.


Finally, if you’re wondering how to improve personal effectiveness then one of the key skills you should work on is self-motivation. Whilst some workplace scenarios mean that you have someone else checking up on your progress and offering support, in most cases you will need to motivate yourself to keep driving progress and success.

This is also a very important aspect when it comes to using personal effectiveness to bring about personal growth and change. Whilst you may rely on support and encouragement from others, ultimately you are the only one who can make a difference in your own life, and so you have to motivate yourself.


What is personal effectiveness in the workplace?

In the workplace, personal effectiveness is all about performing to the best of your abilities. If you are using personal effectiveness in the workplace, you will be managing your time well, staying on task, meeting deadlines and making sure that all of your work is done to the best of your abilities.

What is the relationship between motivation and personal effectiveness?

Motivation refers to the willingness to work towards achieving something, whereas personal effectiveness is the ability to work to the best of your abilities. The relationship between the two of them is that in order to utilise good personal effectiveness skills, you need to be very motivated and able to keep yourself focused and striving towards success. 


Personal effectiveness is a key trait amongst successful people and professionals, and being able to hone the skills necessary to demonstrate it will make a big difference. Having an excellent understanding of your own strengths and motivations takes time, but the benefits of this awareness and drive are endless.

If you’d like to find out more about how this concept can make a difference in your personal and professional life, we offer a ‘Personal Effectiveness’ online course that covers how personal effectiveness can make a difference and what tools you need to implement it.