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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Competency (or Competence) Defined


Absence of Agreed Formal Definition

An agreed formal definition of competency or competence is yet not available.

Therefore, we will put forth the sense of various definitions of competency and then tell you which one we will be using for the purpose here.

We often hear people saying that for anyone to carry out a task or a job properly; one needs ‘competency’. People say this so very often that it has rather become some sort of clich√©. Therefore it is necessary to re-visit the real meaning of the term ‘competency’ before we proceed further on this topic.

Some define competency as ‘ability’.

Others define it as ‘skill’. Some others define it as ‘allied skill sets’.

Some see it as the quality of being adequately or well qualified intellectually and physically.

Comprehensive Understanding of ‘Competency’

A more comprehensive way of looking at it is that competency is an integrated whole of commitments, related abilities, knowledge and skills and the resultant behavior enabling an entity (a human being or an organization) to perform effectively in a job or situation leading to fulfillment of certain objectives.

Competence indicates sufficiency of knowledge and skills that enable someone to act in a wide variety of situations.

Because each level of responsibility has its own requirements, competence and its acquisition and enhancement can occur in any period of a person's life or at any stage of his career.

Looking into the history or even lately many people who were earlier thought to be highly competent people (and we had the misfortune of many of them misruling many parts of the world in some capacity or other) have now been found wanting or lacking in ethics in severe ways. This situation has created havoc in global and local business systems, economy, social setup and political arena causing tremendous difficulties to the humanity as a whole. Particularly the people who can influence the humanity because of their social, political, corporate and religious status cannot be tolerated as being incompetent and indulging in unethical practices. Its continuance can be devastating.

Therefore, we, as management thought leaders, authors and management practitioners, believe that ethical way of doing things should form an essential and integral part of any competency. Achieving even the grandeur by hook or by crook does not make the so-called achiever a competent person.

Essential Elements of ‘Competency’

Keeping in mind the aforesaid discussions, therefore, in this book when we use the term competency it envelops all the elements as given below:

       Commitment
       Ability
       Knowledge
       Skills
       Ethics
       Sufficiency of all of above-mentioned elements at any point of time for given situations.
       Behavior (performance or action in accordance with the above-mentioned elements towards achieving objectives)

Any person or an entity can accomplish a task or activity or a project (consisting of various tasks and activities) as desired provided the person or the entity has the required competency. Conversely the task or activity or project will not be completed to a desired satisfaction level if the required competency in that person or entity is lacking or totally absent.

Related Book

"Competency Management (Competency Matrix and Competencies)": You may like to order online your copies of the book from Amazon.

Books Authored by Shyam Bhatawdekar and Dr Kalpana Bhatawdekar (eBooks and printed books available online from  Amazon)

Management, Business, Self-help & Personality Development Books

1. HSoftware (Human Software) (The Only Key to Higher Effectiveness)
2. Sensitive Stories of Corporate World (Management Case Studies)
3. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
4. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers (Volume 2)
5. Classic Team Building Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
6. 101 Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
7. Stress? No Way!! (Handbook on Stress Management)
8. HSoftware (Shyam Bhatawdekar’s Effectiveness Model)
9. Competency Management (Competency Matrix and Competencies)
10. Soft Skills You Can’t Do Without (Goal Setting, Time Management, Assertiveness and Anger Management)
11. Essentials of Work Study (Method Study and Work Measurement)
12. Essentials of Time Management (Taking Control of Your Life)
13. Essentials of 5S Housekeeping
14. Essentials of Quality Circles
15. Essentials of Goal Setting
16. Essentials of Anger Management
17. Essentials of Assertive Behavior
18. Essentials of Performance Management & Performance Appraisal
19. Health Essentials (Health Is Wealth)
20. The Romance of Intimacy (How to Enhance Intimacy in a Relationship?)

Novels, Stories, Biographies and Travelogues

21. The Peace Crusaders (Novel: how the peace crusaders established permanent peace on a war strewn planet?)
22. Love Knows No Bounds (Novel: a refreshingly different love story. Also available with the title “Good People”)
23. Funny (and Not So Funny) Short Stories
24. Stories Children Will Love (Volume 1: Bhanu-Shanu-Kaju-Biju and Dholu Ram Gadbad Singh)
25. My Father (Biography)
26. Travelogue: Scandinavia, Russia

Friday, June 14, 2013

Generally Asked Questions on Soft Competencies in Interviews

Questions Often Asked in Employment Interviews

Given below are some questions that may be generally asked by job offering organizations to job seekers to evaluate them on soft competencies:

Sample Questions:

• Tell us about an important assignment you handled. How did you manage it and what were the results?
• How do you set up the priorities for your day-to-daywork?
• If any of your projects derails, goes behind schedule, how do you pull it up to bring it back on track?
• What is more important to you; processes or results? What ever is your answer, why do you think it that way?
• Can you give an example of any process improvements you achieved recently and what was its impact on various factors?
• Why do you think re-engineering of processes fail many times? Do you think one should not re-engineer but go gradual on improvements?
• How do you rate yourself as a result-focused person and why?
• Are you a deadline and timeline conscious person and how do you make sure that they are met?
• Do you like to take the challenges involved in fire fighting or would you rather be more cautious and eliminate such emergencies?
• Have you worked on any cross-functional project? What were your experiences on it as compared to a purely internal or departmental project?
• Do you believe in internal customer care concept? Would you still help the next-in-line department if because of your cooperation it is going to steal the show? Do you recall any such example from your past experience?
• Do you have at the back of your mind somewhere the requirements of you ultimate external customers? Does your approach to work get guided by it? Can you
illustrate the point in light of your experience so far?
• How do you rate yourself as a decision maker? Can you describe any decision making situation where you were at cross roads; a dilemma situation, and you came out as a winner?
• Tell us about a situation where you goofed in decision making? How did you handle it then?
• Can you construct your decision making process and share with us? Take your time to think and then tell us.
• Are you the type of person who wishes to have a 100% correct decision and in the process may miss out on timelines or budget limits etc or will you take a chance to meet the other factors? In either case, tell us why?
• Suppose you take a considered decision in a situation where others are shying away from any commitment but it is important to take decision and it backfires. Do you display courage, own it and face the consequences or do you manipulate an apology or play a blame game or play politics and get scot-free?
• Continuing from the earlier question, then, what is right in a hierarchical formal organizational situation where every one's authority areas are earmarked, yet decisions are not forthcoming?
• Can you confidently communicate with your superiors your professional ideas? Do the persons high up in the organization hierarchy intimidate you?
• If you are confident and at ease in dealing with superiors, what have you done to build up this kind of confidence?
• How do you update your knowledge and skills? Do you have any specific approach to it? Can you elaborate it?
• Describe your problem solving process.
• Which do you prefer, attend to the problem and give an immediate short term solution so that things move on or would you wait on solving the problem until you have eliminated it from the grass root level?
• While coming out with solution to a complex and repetitive problem do you keep the financial and other constraints always in mind or do you aim at a solution irrespective of the constraints and try to achieve a permanent solution even at the cost of extra investments? Either way, what are your arguments?
• Do you encourage participation of your team members or do you push your decisions through them? Provide some examples to illustrate your style.
• In building consensus on a solution to a complex problem, have you faced any difficulties? What were they? How do you manage?
• Do you see the conflicts in your day-to-day work among the people and of people with you? What is your conflict management style?
• Can you describe your conflict handling process? Give an example.
• Do you lose your cool or get angry or frustrated when you get into a conflict with some one? How do you act?
• Did you ever have significant difference of opinion with your boss? What was it? How did you deal with it?
• Has it ever happened with you when your basic values were put to test in an organizational situation?What did you do?
• In your previous jobs, did you work with great teams? Give an example and why do you consider that to be a great team? What was your role and contribution in making it so?
• What are your proposals for development of people working for you? Have you tried some of them?
• How do you compare the training effectiveness of the class-room programs and the on-the-job training programs?
• What are your leadership qualities? Do people work for you with enthusiasm by taking initiatives? Then, you must also be delegating lots?
• Sometimes it happens that if you work for perfection or 100% quality, you may lose an opportunity, time is of essence. Would you rather push an imperfect product or solution so as to make the most of the opportunity? What is you take on it?
• Are you a good implementer, an action person? Are you also a good thinker and planner? What is more important for you? Why?
• Can you narrate the problems you faced in implementing any solution that you recently introduced?
How did you tackle them?
• Tell us something where you applied your creativity and met with a breakthrough.
• What kind of creativity systems or techniques do you use with your team?
• Do you encourage borrowed or copied creativity or you only appreciate something originally done? Why?
• Can you sell your concept, ideas and solutions to others who matter? Share your experience with us on this.
• How do you rate yourself as a presenter? Are your presentations appreciated by your audience? Can you tell us the kind of feedback you get from them on your presentation?
• Do you have any experience of conducting or coordinating the meetings, either in a room or using teleconferencing facilities? Give one such example and how did the meeting go on various counts?
• You have been assigned a project but you have not been given a clear picture of it; its pretty hazy. Can you still proceed and complete it? Did you do something like this in your earlier jobs?
• In the event when some information is just not available, does the lack of information bother you? Can you work in ambiguous situations? Do you have such an experience to share with us?
• Are you open enough to share your part of information in a team situation or in a cross functional project? Perhaps keeping that information up your sleeve till emergencies arise can be a way to gain importance. Your comments?
• Are you a person who first sees the big picture of things and then go into details or do you do it the other way round? Can you give an example from your work situation?

Related Book

"Competency Management (Competency Matrix and Competencies)": You may like to order online your copies of the book from Amazon.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Competency Matrix: Overdoing the Competencies

Competency Matrix: Overdoing the Competencies

Excess of Everything Is Bad

(You can obtain "Competency Management (Competency Matrix and Competencies")- as eBook and printed book- online from Amazon)

In our earlier post on "Competency Matrix" (http://competency-matrix.blogspot.in/2009/01/competency-matrix.html), we had included a word of caution. It was about taking care of the pitfall of "overdoing the competencies". 

While developing various kinds of competencies, it is possible to fall into this trap of getting "obsessed" with those competencies. But then as you are aware excess of everything is bad. We had cited a few examples of this and it's negative impact. 

In this present post, we are giving a comprehensive list of indicators of this "obsession" or "overdoing" on a large number of competencies as given below.

Indicators of Overdoing the Competencies: Beware of Overdoing the Competencies

When you get obsessed with any competency or start overdoing it, possibilities of following tendencies exit and efforts should be made to overcome them.

  1. Action Orientation: hopelessly workaholic, lopsided personal/family and social life, stressed out, setting unrealistic goals, setting very difficult dead lines, subordination of planning over actions, single track mind and action, inflexible.
  2. Composure: uncaring attitude, hiding the emotions all the time, stressed because of bottled up feelings not shared or expressed, boring at times.
  3. Communication: only gab and no worthwhile content, too much or too little preparedness before communicating, presentation style and effect more important, excessive salesmanship,  too much of a listener, listening giving impression of agreement or weakness, may err on time management due to over-indulgence in communication by self and others. 
  4. Conflict Management: invariably insist on only the win-win solution though not necessary,  getting involved in every conflict resolution situation though not required, seeing every problem from an assumption that some conflict exists. 
  5. Conviction: inappropriately sticking to certain ways of thinking, inflexible even where flexibility is necessary, blatant in expressions about self beliefs, too pushy in actions related to matters of  self convictions, perceiving flexibility as a sign of non-conviction, closed to feedback.
  6. Creativity: disproportionate expenditure of resources on certain creative ideas of less importance, superficial ideas, only ideas and no implementation, possibility of becoming a loner  and poor team player, contempt for less creative people, being far ahead of people and time  in  terms of creativity to the extent that the ideas get shot down by others.
  7. Customer Orientation: Giving in too easily to customers even when not warranted, twisting even well-tested company policies, plans and practices in view of customer demands, inordinate pressure on employees of the organization and overcommitting other resources to accommodate the customers.
  8. Decision Making: may becoming overzealous in giving decisions rather than evolving the decisions,  burdening all the decision making situations on own shoulders, giving decision without sound analysis, short term decision overlooking any long term considerations, weakening  the decentralization.  
  9. Developing People: lopsided expenditure of time and other resources on training and development of people, more of professor than an executive, employees spending more time and efforts in training rather than on the job thus affecting the time lines of the projects. 
  10. Integrity: perceiving and making every situation an issue of integrity and ethics, act in a self-righteous manner, getting projected as a stubborn and inflexible person, making too much fuss of transparency and openness.
  11. Interpersonal Skills: being goody goody with each and everyone at the cost of effectiveness and efficiency, acceptance and approval addict, tendency for groupthink, avoiding conflicts all the time, cannot handle rough weather, wasting time spend relationship building and networking, compromising and accommodative.
  12. Leadership: mistaking leadership for dictatorship or patronage, more words less action, creating a crevice between followers and self leaving people behind, tendency to curb emergence of new leadership, insistence that only his vision be followed, share his vision, envisioning or deciding on only the big or strategic picture with little concern for details, get projected as more theoretical and less practical.
  13. Problem Solving: tendency of analysis paralysis, burdening self with all the responsibilities of problem solving, curtailing delegation and the resultant empowerment of others, excessive avoidance of  risks.
  14. Self Confidence: danger of turning overconfident, mine is always right posture, bordering on being arrogant, shun feedback and opinions of others, creating a sense of inferiority complex in others.
  15. Self Development: obsessive with self-improvement through self-help literature and other self-help resources, self-centered and selfish, may become boring to on-lookers with self-improvement antics.
  16. Result Orientation: overemphasis on results and no concern for processes, results by hook or by crook, inclination for short term results as these are immediately seen, inordinately high concern for tasks and results and no or very little concern for people, cannot form teams, meddling with subordinates'/colleagues' work to achieve results.
  17. Team Building: excessively participative all the time and in all the situations, may miss the targets and time lines due to overemphasis on consensus building, always evolving decisions taking  people along with and not taking a definitive position i.e. not taking decisions on own when required, disproportionately greater inclination for concern for people as compared to concern for tasks/timely results, insistence on forming teams for every job even when not appropriate to do so.
Our famous authors Shyam Bhatawdekar and Dr Kalpana Bhatawdekar have been writing articles on the 'competencies' and 'competency matrix' for quite some time now on these pages. It has been attracting an extremely large readership till date.

Considering that such a large audience needed knowledge and its  application on this subject, the authors finally decided to write a self-contained book covering all the necessary aspects of 'competencies' and competency matrix'.

Related Book

"Competency Management (Competency Matrix and Competencies)": You may like to order online your copies of the book from Amazon.

Books Authored by Shyam Bhatawdekar and Dr Kalpana Bhatawdekar (available online from  Amazon)

Management, Business, Self-help & Personality Development Books

1. HSoftware (Human Software) (The Only Key to Higher Effectiveness)
2. Sensitive Stories of Corporate World (Management Case Studies)
3. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
4. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers (Volume 2)
5. Classic Team Building Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
6. 101 Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
7. Stress? No Way!! (Handbook on Stress Management)
8. HSoftware (Shyam Bhatawdekar’s Effectiveness Model)
9. Competency Management (Competency Matrix and Competencies)
10. Soft Skills You Can’t Do Without (Goal Setting, Time Management, Assertiveness and Anger Management)
11. Essentials of Work Study (Method Study and Work Measurement)
12. Essentials of Time Management (Taking Control of Your Life)
13. Essentials of 5S Housekeeping
14. Essentials of Quality Circles
15. Essentials of Goal Setting
16. Essentials of Anger Management
17. Essentials of Assertive Behavior
18. Essentials of Performance Management & Performance Appraisal
19. Health Essentials (Health Is Wealth)
20. The Romance of Intimacy (How to Enhance Intimacy in a Relationship?)

Novels, Stories, Biographies and Travelogues

21. The Peace Crusaders (Novel: how the peace crusaders established permanent peace on a war strewn planet?)
22. Love Knows No Bounds (Novel: a refreshingly different love story. Also available with the title “Good People”)
23. Funny (and Not So Funny) Short Stories
24. Stories Children Will Love (Volume 1: Bhanu-Shanu-Kaju-Biju and Dholu Ram Gadbad Singh)
25. My Father (Biography)

26. Travelogue: Scandinavia, Russia

For detailed descriptions of each and every soft competency or soft skill, please refer: http://soft-competencies-skills.blogspot.com/
For loads of authentic literature and high quality books in all aspects of management, business and leadership, refer: http://best-book-list.blogspot.com

For everything you wanted to know on building leadership and management, refer Shyam Bhatawdekar’s websitehttp://shyam.bhatawdekar.com

(Refer our High Quality Management Encyclopedia at: http://management-universe.blogspot.com/)


(We encourage you to read the articles on life management and competencies (giving detailed descriptions and explanations of all the competencies) at: http://shyam-bhatawdekar.blogspot.com/