!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Self-Efficacy in Adults

Monday, May 05, 2008

Self-Efficacy in Adults

As defined by Albert Bandura, the Stanford psychologist who originated the concept in the 1970s,
Perceived self-efficacy is concerned with people's beliefs in their capabilities to exercise control over their own functioning and over events that affect their lives.
In a similar vein, Robert Brooks, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School, has made a study of how people develop and take advantage of personal resilience, with particular emphasis on developing resilience in children.

Since 1999, Brooks has been publishing useful monthly articles on his website. Most of the articles deal with issues related to doing a good job of raising children, but back in October 2003, Brooks addressed adults with an article called "The Power to Change Your Life: Ten Keys to Resilient Living."

To get the benefit of Brooks's thinking, you need to read the whole article (six pages). To give you an sense of what Brooks is proposing, here are the ten keys in brief:
  1. Rewrite your negative scripts, i.e., the ineffective things you say and do that have never worked and never will work.

  2. Choose a path to become "stress hardy" rather than stressed out.

  3. View life through the eyes of others, i.e., cultivate empathy. A key question to ask yourself: "In anything I say or do, what do I hope to accomplish?" Make sure that what you actually do say or do is likely to achieve what you're aiming for.

  4. Communicate effectively, both verbally and nonverbally.

  5. Accept yourself and others.

  6. Make connections and display compassion.

  7. Learn to deal with mistakes, with the emphasis on extracting lessons that can be applied in the future.

  8. Learn to deal with success, and build islands of competence by identifying and building on your strengths.

  9. Continue developing self-discipline and self-control.

  10. Recognize that maintaining your resilient lifestyle takes work.
For a business-oriented treatment of self-efficacy, see the article by Melinda Beck in the April 29 edition of the Wall Street Journal that got me delving into the subject.


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