Where have your beliefs in your abilities come from? 3 Perspectives on the Sources of Efficacy – Sarah Cordiner

Where have your beliefs in your abilities come from? 3 Perspectives on the Sources of Efficacy – Sarah Cordiner

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Sarah Cordiner, founder of ‘The Efficacy Effect’ believes there are 5 stages to the creation of an ‘Efficacious Effect’; aka the development of an event, experience, or circumstance that causes desired results, (or undesired ones).

  1. THE EFFECTOR – this is something that causes a change in belief in one’s ability to create desired results
  2. THE MIND-SET – This is the attitude, thought, and decoding process that occurs on experiencing the effector
  3. THE RESPONSE – This is our reaction (behaviour, words, and emotions) to the effector
  4. FEEDBACK – This is the response and reaction we get back as a result of our response
  5. EFFECT – This is the ultimate state and result of the effector being experienced
These will be broken down into other posts, along with methods for controlling each of these stages for the best outcome.


Over time, we experience endless ‘Effectors’ in our lives, some of which don’t mean anything and others that dramatically change our lives by affecting our level of efficacy (belief in our ability) to create desired results in our world. But what causes certain kinds of responses and what is the source of efficacy?


Sarah Cordiner believes there are 3 perspectives on the sources of efficacy:

1. The Dependant Perspective

There are three different perspectives on the degree to which people can control the outcomes and experiences in their lives. The first perspective is what I call the ‘dependant perspective’ which asserts that people are reactive creatures and are a result of their collective environmental, social, and circumstantial experiences. This assumes that life just ‘happens’ to us, that we have no control or influence over the direction of our lives; and that we are shaped, guided, and contrived by other people and our environment.

2. The Power Perspective

The second perspective is the ‘power perspective’. This perspective suggests that people are entirely responsible for the experiences they have and the life paths they take. People have a unique set of characteristics, unlike any other creature on earth. Our brains function differently from other animals, giving us greater ability to be calculating, manipulative, and decisive. We have characteristics such as free will and imagination, which gives us the unlimited ability to control and shape our lives; and we have endless power to engineer and regulate the experiences and outcomes that we encounter.

3. The Enterprise Perspective

However, I have a different perspective. I believe that reality is a combination of both of these perspectives. Our circumstances and environments can certainly influence our emotions, change our affective states, and encourage or discourage us from taking certain actions. However, they do not determine the end result or outcome we will experience, as they do not force us to make certain decisions or take certain actions. We have the free will to choose what action to take, and the ability to imagine or preconceive pros and cons in executing a certain action or inaction. Therefore, we not only have the power to influence our future, our circumstances, and our experiences; we also have the ability to create it. Albert Bandura states “People are producers as well as products of social environments. They have a hand in shaping and selecting their environmental contexts”, so I call this the Enterprise Perspective.
Like a successful enterprise, the environments around us change and the inner organisation can temporarily face chaos when it experiences change; it also has emotion as a fundamental part of its human functioning which cannot be omitted or ignored. Yet successful enterprises use strategies, plans, methods, and rules to ensure a degree of control is maintained for the benefit of creating desired results.


Which one are you?


Sarah xxx


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