How to Build Competencies to Enhance Performance


Competencies are the skills and knowledge that individuals use to develop both personally and professionally. Most people capitalize on their skills to improve performance. As awkward as it sounds, competencies linked to performance lead to competence. Today's successful professionals need to be competent in their technical skills, as well as in how they interact with other individuals. According to a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) 2007 Survey Report, problem solving, communication skills, teamwork, and the ability to deliver effective customer service are among some of the competencies that employers look for most often (see Reference 1).

  • Identify your strengths. Consider what kinds of tasks you are able to learn quickly. Think about what you do well, which are usually those things that come naturally. Ask yourself what activities give you the greatest sense of satisfaction.

  • Set performance standards. Commit yourself to the successful completion of specific goals. Clearly define your expectations and then establish a time period within which you must meet those goals. Improve your performance by requesting feedback from others. This can help you to identify areas where your skills and knowledge may be lacking. When it comes to your job, keep up with changing industry trends and advances in technology.

  • Work on developing different communication styles. The way in which you interact with others is based on their relationship to you. Be flexible in how you build rapport with other individuals. You may need to modify your approach depending on the particular situation and person.

  • Rely on your critical thinking skills to help you decide what course of action to take. Back up your choices with hard facts. Support the reasons for your actions with evidence. Decide on more than one way to solve a problem. Don't just analyze a situation; get to the bottom of it.

  • Look for new opportunities and focus on what you are capable of accomplishing. Taking risks involves overcoming obstacles by utilizing your strengths to the fullest advantage.

  • Anticipate potential setbacks so that you can prepare yourself to handle unexpected situations. Working together with others as part of a team can help you resolve problems, thereby improving performance.

  • Practice social responsibility. Being accountable for what you do can help you build your self-confidence. Ask yourself how willing you are to take risks and make decisions that will benefit others. Consider your choices as objectively as possible, taking into account the probable consequences.

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