Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Are You Efficient Or Effective?

Too often we speak with imprecise language that fails to convey our intended meaning or message. When we don't speak with exactitude, or use ambiguous language, we increase our chances of being misunderstood.

Working in an HR and recruitment capacity, I hear a lot of people blow their self-marketing presentations by using words that diminish the strength of their pitch.

Take the words efficient and effective.

If you are applying for a role as an administrator, the word efficient will inevitably come up. If you are applying for a leadership role, the word effective is often tossed around.

So what's the difference? Efficient means to produce an effect; without waste. Effective means producing a desired or intended result.

You can be highly efficient, and not be adept at getting results because ultimately, being efficient means being adept at processes that save time and efforts. That's a good skill to have. But you will get promotions, leadership positions, and more clients by being effective at getting results - regardless of your process.

And here's the bottom line: You can train someone to be more efficient, but getting people to be effective takes more than training; that's more about will than skill.

Strive to be effective. Better yet, strive to become efficient at being effective. Your processes can always be tweaked.

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