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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Developing Constituencies -- Essential Part of Professionalism

UnknownAlexandra Evstigneeva
There is no doubt that intellectual capability, in-depth knowledge in a specialized field and an ability to learn are the expected outcomes of higher education.

An equally important expectation that businesses have of current and future employees is the development and enhancement of so-called competencies. Simply put, competencies are clusters of consistently repeated behaviours that allow you to succeed in your job and your career. They can be applied in more than one context and have become the qualities much sought after in the workplace.

Competencies have increasingly become a common language for determining requirements for positions, alongside knowledge and skills. Organizations use competency models that best reflect their mission and values and that help develop those.

In the competency model of our company, we break desirable competencies into two groups: Core or Essential Competencies and Leadership Competencies.

Core or essential competencies are the personal skills required at all levels of a job. Essential competencies necessary for day-to-day activities are: Achievement Orientation, Communication, Teamwork, Analytical and Learning Capability and Customer Service Orientation.

Achievement Orientation is your driving force for getting things done better and faster. It requires focus on your work goals and meeting objectives within a time frame. Without sufficient Achievement Orientation, you're not going to get anywhere.

Communication is about effectively expressing your ideas in written and oral form. Moreover, good communication requires active listening to others. It allows you to share your ideas in undistorted form and benefit from other people's proposals.

Logically, you use communication when you act as a part of a team. Teamwork is a genuine intention to work cooperatively with others; the desire to be a part of a team, to share knowledge, information and learning, to celebrate team members' success.

You will work with a great deal of information, have to answer emerging questions and solve problems every day. For that you need Analytical and Learning skills, the ability to sort out the information quickly to grasp the essence of complex issues and make educated decisions. Failures are possible, but it should not prevent you acting. However, you need to analyse the reasons for success and failure and learn from them.

In any job you will deal with customers. They might be internal (within your organizations) and external (from outside). The key thing is to understand your customer's needs, and to provide the best service that you can -- to act as a real business partner for your customers.

Leadership Competencies become more and more important as you move forward with your career. These competencies include Leading and Developing Others; Vision and Strategy; and Change Leadership.

Leading people implies displaying attributes that make others glad to follow you. It's about energizing people and building morale when the going gets tough. It's establishing a feeling of trust in the team. Developing others means providing fair feedback, coaching, and assigning challenging tasks that let people learn new things-all for the sake of maximizing the probability of success for the teams and individuals.

Vision and Strategy is about thinking long-term, beyond your own area and seeing complex business interactions in order to create the direction in which your organization should go. It requires good knowledge of the environment in which you operate and general business awareness.

Change Leadership is about transforming and aligning an organization through its people to drive for improvement in new and challenging directions. It is energizing a whole organization to want to change in the same direction.

Some of these competencies might be your strengths; others might be less developed. However, if you are willing to succeed, you'd better start working on them. You will need your ability to learn, self-direct, self-motivate and self-discipline for that. It's all about "self." You have to realize that your success depends only on you and it's you who is responsible for your professional growth. The more you do, the higher your chances for success.