Being effective – Prioritization and Judgment

This post is the last of the series of posts I am doing on Being Effective at workplace.

Prioritization is about working on things that are most important (and not merely most urgent) for the organization and for self. Judgment is about making decisions at the right time, in the right way, for the right reasons. Making good judgment and being able to prioritize the work correctly greatly aid the effectiveness of people. Prioritization allows one to focus on a few important things and deliver results, rather than spreading the energy too thin on too many things. Judgment allows one to make right decisions at the right time, even with incomplete data, and complete the work in time.

Prioritization

For effective people, prioritization is all about alignment. Here are some of the tenets of effective prioritization I have seen practiced:

  • Understanding goals and objectives of the organization/team: Priorities of work must be aligned with organizational goals and objectives. Depending on the work and scope of influence someone has, this may mean team level, department level, or organization level. To achieve this alignment, these goals and objectives must be understood well. This is not as easy as it sounds. Organizational goals are usually stated more generic manner (‘increase revenue by 30%’) than what is usable. Effective people constantly try to interpret them and also use behaviors of senior management to understand these objectives better (‘actions speak louder than words’). Continue reading

Being Effective at workplace

Performance review time is coming close, and this affords me an opportunity to review my personal performance over last 12 months, as well as those of my reports, my peers and my manager as I prepare to write my feedback. While doing this, I was struck by the differences in results among individuals I have worked closely with, and I was forced (out of my curiosity and interest) to think deeper into these performance reviews (mine and theirs). Performance differences happen because of so many reasons; however, one of the underlying themes I have observed is the notion of ‘being effective’.

Effective is a very commonly used word, and is often mixed with being efficient, and sometimes with the idea of being right or wrong. Therefore, let me define them first, in the context of organization: Continue reading