Competence is doing things well, repeatedly. Competence requires study, practice, and reflection. There are many skills in which you need to be competent as a manager and leader. Effective communicating, decision making, planning, organizing, motivating, conflict managing, and problem solving are but a few of them. Leadership & Life a Guide to Building Trust provides you with a compendium of these desired competencies. Although the task of building competence across so many diverse skill sets may seem daunting, self-study is a great beginning. By applying the techniques discussed below, you will continue to build and improve your competence with your life’s experiences. Of course, just living through an experience doesn’t automatically lead to competence in similar activities. Rather than letting experiences simply flow over them, exceptional leaders and managers strive to extract useful lessons that can be applied in similar circumstances. Great leaders learn from others and share what they have learned to help others become more competent. Few activities reinforce your competence more than teaching others.
11 Steps to Build Competence
- Learn from experience. Always try to do a task better. Watch others—copy success and avoid strategies that fail.
- Study—read what others have recommended about the task area.
- Seek experiences that will increase your competence in required areas.
- Practice, practice, practice.
- Find a mentor—someone with competence in the skills you want to acquire.
- Solicit and welcome feedback to hone your skills.
- Reflect—what is happening, what did happen, what worked, what did not work, how could the outcome be improved, and what should I have known when I started?
- Listen—passive learning is still learning and helps you avoid repeating others’ failing strategies and emulate successful ones.
- Facilitate building competence in your staff and organization.
- Use feedback to constantly improve your performance and that of the organization or project.
- Reward competence in others.
- Develop a Competency Framework at your organization