A mid-level professional in a federal agency shared an experience. He was on a panel focusing on how to work effectively. A woman on the panel began to speak with authenticity, vulnerability, and uncommon wisdom about working with senior people. She talked about the importance of being intentional in communications. Then she turned to the difference between efficiency and effectiveness. She said many people have cracked the code on becoming faster and faster at doing their jobs but too often lose sight of what they are trying to accomplish. She encouraged everyone to consider goals carefully.
My friend was moved by this and began to reflect. He wrote of his questions: “As I grow more efficient, am I also growing more effective? Am I intentional in my writing? Do I care enough to lay out the options and to propose the one that would be best? Am I appropriately vulnerable with my team the way she was with us during that panel? I am grateful for those rare moments at work when we reflect on our experiences, digest them, and learn from them.”
- How much pressure do you feel to be efficient with your time at work?
- How much time do you spend with peers reflecting on experiences, digesting them, and learning from them?
- How do you rate yourself on efficiency and also on effectiveness?
- How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?