Creating your personal quotient…. Part one – skills, knowledge, ability, implementation (SKAI)

I touched on this briefly, if a little clumsily in one of the business tips, I say a little clumsily as if generated a number of opt outs so either I didn’t address the subject very well or I pressed some buttons… so here goes…

Over the years we’ve all gained considerable knowledge, both in our specialist field(s) and business in general, alongside the personal development knowledge. But as we all know having knowledge about something doesn’t mean that we have great skills – skills comes with understanding fully, really knowing, developing our ability and understanding through experience. Its like learning to drive, we do the theory and take driving lessons and pass our driving test but its only when we start to use the knowledge by driving a car in different situations over time that we really develop our ability to drive and so become skilled drivers.


Very often we will take newly acquired knowledge and use it for a while, understand a little more and become able or increase our ability with the practice and so develop the skill. But then we use the knowledge less often, we don’t further that knowledge and we don’t keep building our ability by using it so our level of skill plateaus and perhaps even declines as we use it less and become ‘rusty’. You could say that’s the downside of being a lifelong learner, we want to keep learning about new things and not necessarily hone the skills we already have.

And you know there’s nothing wrong with learning new things but if you’re like me then its easy to forget we already have a wealth of knowledge and tools that in all honesty would really benefit us, the business, our clients and so on if we were to use them or use them more but we’re off looking at the next new shiny thing and so don’t really exploit what we know. Of course, there are always improvements and new studies and technology moves on, as do markets. But a lot of what we hear from others is their take on things we already know and whilst insights are powerful and someone else’s take may just flick that switch enabling us to exploit what we know there’s a danger that this can be at the expense of the doing.

Be honest, how many courses and events have you been to where you took pages of notes, were given handouts and associated material, perhaps even a book to supplement the material shared and they are all just sitting on a shelf, not been touched since the day you got back? I know I’m guilty of this as are many that I meet. Agreed not everything resonates and not everything is right at this moment but if you’re like me, and many others, there will be notes that you wrote of ‘must look into that’, ‘should implement this’, ‘that’s interesting must talk to’ and then that’s as far as it gets. So perhaps it’s about being more discerning when it comes to learning new things.

So what’s your Personal Effectiveness Quotient™ – this was developed by my friend and mentor Peter Thomson ( more than 20 years ago and still stands the test of time.

Its something you can calculate for each of the skills you need in business/your role or the skills you have… not always the same thing. Remember that whilst it’s a really valuable tool to use with others in the business you don’t know the way they will have scored themselves and so comparing scores might not be appropriate. However like the Magic Matrix it does have other uses and could be used as part of a review/appraisal and there would be great merit in the run up to the planning for the coming year to do the PEQ™ for the business.

Below is a table that shows how you can work out your PEQ™ for each of the skills and your overall PEQ™. For illustrative purposes I’ve used 5 skills, normally you would use 10 and then the average would be over all 10.


Remember the knowledge level can be quite low but if the ability to use that knowledge and the frequency of use is high then the PEQ ™ for that skill will be high. And if we’re honest there’s always room for improvement in the level of knowledge we have but also be aware that when we increase the level of knowledge our ability to use it may dip until we have gained more experience and a greater understanding, which of course comes with maintaining a good level of frequency of use.

So now you’ve worked out your PEQ™ what are you going to do with it and what does it mean?

Well it’s not a stick to beat yourself or anyone else with, it’s mostly an indicator of where you are or aren’t using the knowledge that you have effectively. Let’s face its if something is a core skill but your ability and or your frequency of use is low then its likely that part of the business or the business overall is not effective as it could be and so by paying attention to this area, doing some planning and then implementing will unlock even more potential and even more profit. That’s why I called it SKAI – skills, knowledge, ability and implementation, as there has to be some thought and possibly structure about the frequency of use and potentially improving ability. I’d even suggest that there is value in looing at some of the constraints and even limiting beliefs that we may have set ourselves. So imagine what some blue SKAI thinking could do for the business…

In part two we’ll look further at two other quotients the ‘meaning quotient’ and the personal effectiveness quotient.