Skills: Personal Effectiveness

This page provides the full explanation of Personal Effectiveness and examples of skills that are related to the attribute.

Compass - effective and influential contributors

University of Edinburgh graduates are effective and proactive individuals, skilled in influencing positively and adapting to new situations with sensitivity and integrity.

Below are some examples of skills and abilities that contribute to a student's overall skills in Personal Effectiveness.  Skills and abilities in this area vary from individual to individual, from discipline to discipline and from situation to situation.  It is important to recognise what skills are relevant and how these skills need to be adapted for the situation in which they will be used.

Staff should be helping, supporting and encouraging students to learn about and develop these skills. Students need to reflect on what skills they have, what skills they need and how these can be developed, and then seeking out relevant opportunities to strengthen and develop these skills.

Example skills Key aspects include:
  • be able to select an appropriate leadership style for different situations
  • be able to set objectives, motivate, monitor performance, coach and mentor
  • have an ability to work with people from a range of cultures and backgrounds
Planning, organising and time management
  • appropriate use of project and time management tools
  • have an ability to prioritise
  • have an ability to plan and effectively use resources to achieve goals
  • have resilience and the ability to recover from setbacks
Commercial / Professional / Situational awareness
  • display commercial/situational acumen and knowledge of the current local and global business landscapes, industries, organisations and specific roles
  • have the ability to work collaboratively with colleagues both internally and externally
  • building and maintaining relationships
  • basic understanding of the key drivers for success in the current landscape and situation
  • have an understanding of the importance of innovation and taking calculated risks
Team working
  • effectively perform within team environments including the ability to recognise and capitalise on individuals' different thinking, experience and skills
  • have an ability to persuade, negotiate and influence others
  • have an ability to work with people from a range of cultures and backgrounds
  • seek and value open feedback to help their self-awareness of working with a team
Assertiveness and Confidence
  • give direction to tasks and people in a confident and effective manner
  • acquire skills for working in teams and groups, and leading where appropriate
  • following others lead when the context demands it
  • using judgement to determine when it is appropriate to questions others
Change management
  • be responsive to changing surroundings, both being flexible and proactive
  • have the ability to recognise the need for and initiate change and be able to manage change
  • know how to have a difficult conversation about performance or change
  • have the ability to manage a project, work in a team, and communicate and persuade—both orally and in writing
  • formulate, evaluate and apply evidence-based solutions and arguments
Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  • broadly, have an ability to demonstrate an innovative approach, creativity, collaboration and risk taking
  • be commercially/professionally/situationally aware, creative, entrepreneurial and numerate
  • have inventive thinking—adaptability, managing complexity and self-direction 
  • Effectively adapting emotions, thoughts and behaviours to environments that may be unfamiliar, uncertain and/or diverse