Personal effectiveness depends on a blend of being both Independent and assertive while also being able to cooperate and collaborate with others. The successful blend is often a dance which depends on the situation, organization culture, expectations and your personality. Some people seem naturally Independent. For others, a road to increased Independence starts with taking small risks to make decisions, question what is happening, offer suggestions or express ideas. Small risks that lead to success (others listen and consider what you say or your decision pays off) can build increased self-confidence and a greater emotional Independence. Good emotional Independence means operating from an internal locus of control by taking credit for what you make of your life, including your relationships, accomplishments, satisfactions and fun rather than feeling like forces outside of you are in control.

If any of these behaviors are true of you or associates with whom you work, you’ll find action tips at

  • Buys into the prevailing thought without question
  • Seeks to be on the winning side or the powerful side regardless of what that side represents
  • Curries favor vs. being able to stand alone
  • Seeks approval before acting or speaking
  • Acts like a lone wolf, failing to collaborate with others

    Action learning tips and learning assignments on the job are a click away at

    You might also consider (a sampling of suggestions from

    Adams, Jane. Boundary Issues: Using Boundary Intelligence to Get the Intimacy You Want and the Independence You Need in Life, Love and Work. Hoboken, NJ: John Willey & Sons, 2005.

    Beattie, Melody. Choices: Taking Control of Your Life and Making It Matter. New York: HarperCollins, 2002.

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