Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Act Like An Effective Person

Act 10, 457, Scene 85. Action!!!You can be as brave as you make-believe you are, according to the lyrics of the song about whistling a happy tune so no one will suspect you’re afraid. That kind of acting is useful in many settings. Try it for a full day–then make every day Academy Award worthy until effectiveness is a habit.  

  • • You’re busy on the computer when someone comes to your work area, clearly wanting to discuss a work concern. For at least a few minutes, act as though you care more about that person’s concern than about anything else. At the end of the time, when you are easing them out so you can get back to work, act as though you regret having to do it.

• You walk through an office area and see the resident grouch, the office gossip and the guy who seems somewhat weird. Act as though you sincerely are  happy to be working with each of them and that any problems that exist will be worked out soon.

• You’re a supervisor or manager who has had an unhappy discussion with your boss. A direct report asks you how the conversation went. Act as though you are strong and capable person rather than a victim of an ogre.

• You have called a meeting to discuss something that can best be discussed in that setting. You feel that many of the attendees don’t like you and don’t want to be there.  Act as though you and they have a great relationship and that you are comfortable with the give and take of the meeting. When the meeting is over, say goodbye graciously and act as though you are simply going back to work–not escaping from The Ship of Fools.

• You’re in that situation again–you know the one. It’s the one where you don’t present yourself well because you seem to always let your emotions, frustrations or ineffective communication habits get in the way. Act as though you are a professional, self-controlled person who can work well with a wide range of people and who can be effective no matter what.

You have probably acted better than you felt in many situations, so none  of these will stretch your thespian skills too much. It’s OK to sometimes act as though you like people more than you actually do. It’s OK to sometimes act as though you are interested in what someone has to say, even when you aren’t. Those things are all about courtesy, sensitivity and interacting effectively.

The next time you’re ill, upset, depressed, angry, hesitant, repulsed, unsure or frustrated, try purposely acting as if you are being used  in a DVD series as an example of an effective person in that setting.  How would the most effective person talk, sit and walk? What would be their demeanor? What would they do to clearly show their leadership and dependability? How would they respond to provocation? Then, get into character and act as though every effectiveness trait is yours. (However, remember this: There is only one take on the scene.)

Don’t worry about not being your real self or not being authentic or honest enough. Most of us would benefit from not being our real selves now and then! Besides, you won’t seem phony, you’ll just seem focused on effectiveness–and over time you’ll act that way less and be that way more.

Scene 14,749. Lights! Cameras! Action!

June 28th, 2009 Posted by | Life and Work, Personal and Professional Development | 3 comments


  1. Excellent advice! I still have to act a part now and then, until the real feelings kick in. The idea of ‘fake it until you make it’ applies, but I think your thoughts are less selfish than that sounds. Blessings to you today! Don

    Comment by Don R. | June 29, 2009

  2. Hi! Do you think it’s possible to act so much that you’re never your real self? Sometimes I feel like I lie about everything I say, just to keep people in a good mood. I’m starting to get tired of that. C.M.

    Comment by Corey M. | June 29, 2009

  3. Tina says: Thanks Don for your thoughts–as always.

    Corey, the idea is to act like a person who can say the truth in an effective way and not become beligerent or apologetic.

    I DO think sometimes we need to say things we know will be helpful and supportive, even though we have our reservations. But, if you genuinely think there are problems, you should find ways to discuss them and help the employee solve them. Otherwise, your false support makes the employee think he or she is doing fine and no improvement is needed.

    I’ve sent you an email about this issue. Thanks for commenting!

    Comment by TLR | June 29, 2009

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