Re-Defining Effectiveness

It was easy to simply relax and bask in the warmth of El Nido; however, for the 40 participants of LEAP’s external seminar, they had a much bigger purpose in being at the Casa Kalaw Resort, Lio Tourism Estate at El Nido, Palawan last September 21-23, 2017.

After getting off from our Air Swift flight, we were brought to the Lio Estate Resorts and treated to a sumptuous breakfast at El Nido Cove. Ms. Marigio Laririt, Director of Environment and Sustainability, gave an interesting lecture on preserving the environment and how her life has evolved in El Nido. This was followed by a tour of the El Nido Cove before we headed to Casa Kalaw for a short rest prior to lunch.

Though most of us had barely three hours of sleep, we were intently listening to our resource speaker Mr. Rajesh Badhwar as he paved the way for us to discover the “Habits of Achieving Personal and Interpersonal Effectiveness”.

Raj first discussed the importance of the inside-out approach. We must work on our core first then focus on the outside.


Trust Worthiness


The essential character ethics such as modesty, simplicity, courtesy should be followed by the much higher emotional level of ethics such as justice, integrity, humility and patience.
Raj illustrated how the seven habits move us through the stages of maturity continuum from

1) Dependence
2) Independence
3) Interdependence

Habit 1 - Be Proactive

Being proactive is about taking responsibility for your life – you have the response-ability. You can choose how you will respond to a given situation or stimuli (90/10 principle). We are the programmers of our life. 

Habit 2 – Begin with the end in mind

Start with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination. 
One of the ways to incorporate Habit 2 is to develop a Personal Mission Statement. This will allow you to put your goals in focus. The PMS should begin with the very center of your circle of influence.
When asked to share their personal mission statement, the seminar participants aptly described their very interesting and specific goals summing up their varied roles as mother, wife, daughter, career person.

Habit 3 – Put first things first

If you put first things first you will be organizing and managing time and events according to your priorities.

As Executive Assistants, it is important for us to master the four quadrants of managing self

1) Important and urgent
2) Important and not urgent
3) Not important and urgent
4) Not important and not urgent

We should learn to eliminate low priorities and time wasters.

Habit 3 talks about the difference between leadership and management.

The first three habits are about self-mastery from dependence to independence while four to six talks about interdependence (working with others).

Habit 4 – Win-win

It is a character based code for human interaction and collaboration. The three (3) character traits to achieve win-win are

  1. Integrity - make and keep meaningful promises and commitments. People of integrity are true to their feelings, values and commitments
  2. Maturity - the ability to express one’s own feelings and convictions balanced with consideration of the thoughts and feelings of others
  3. Abundance mentality is based on the belief that there’s plenty out there for everyone.
    Success can be shared.

Habit 5 - Seek first to understand than to be understood

Raj emphasized the importance of communication as well as effective listening – putting one’s self in the perspective of the other person. Diagnose first before you prescribe. Most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand.

To listen empathically requires a fundamental paradigm shift.

Habit 6 – Synergize is the habit of creative cooperation or teamwork. It is the principle that the whole is greater than the sum of many parts. Achievements are largely dependent on cooperative efforts with others.

On the second day of the session, the six groups presented their theme and explained the reason for their choice of title. There was a tremendous show of talent and creativity in that exercise which prompted Raj to announce that everyone was a winner.

Habit 7 – Sharpen the saw

To be effective, we need to seek continuous learning and create a balanced program for self-renewal and improvement in the four areas of our life:


Clearly with the inspiring talk given by Raj, the seven habits will help you lead your life in a more effective way.

How then do we define effectiveness? It is getting what you want in a way that enables you to get what you want again and again and again.

Definitely, we all went home richer in knowledge and experience and with a more defined personal mission statement.

By Cory Altamirano