What is a leadership competency and how do I create a competency model?

A competency is a skill, ability, or set of knowledge that can be taught or developed. All competencies have "indicators" that allow them to be observed and measured. A leadership competencies model is a set of competencies linked to leadership excellence in a specific organization. A leadership competency model supports the organization's vision and strategy by providing a framework by which the organization can select, develop, and evaluate leaders.

There are several ways to create an organizational leadership competency model. One method is to conduct interviews with the leaders of your organization to understand what specific skills, capabilities, and knowledge sets are important for success. The interview data should then be analyzed to identify critical leadership success factors and ultimately organized into a leadership competency model.

A second method of creating leadership competencies for an organization is to convene a leadership meeting and discuss the organization's climate, culture, and strategy. With these considerations in mind, competencies are created to support the aspirations of the organization.

A third method is to select a set from a list of known leadership competencies related to organizational success. In addition to reflecting on your experience, reviewing industry best practices and research publications can guide this selection. Business leadership development solutions often provide access to a library of leadership competencies from which you can choose any number to create your organizational competency model.

Ultimately, a Technical Competency Model should become a way of talking about leadership in your organization. Employees are given a common language and framework to discuss and guide their personal leadership development, as well as leadership in the overall organization.

Ideally, the competency model will influence the way leaders are selected, trained and evaluated in the organization, in order to set standards and highlight the desired behaviors of leaders.

What are the three steps to creating a competency model?

Create lists of behaviors to determine what good leadership looks like in your organization.

This can be done in one of the three ways mentioned above: interviews, strategic planning sessions, or selecting competency behaviors that are known to be important.

Use the following guidelines to group common behaviors and name them. These will be your leadership skills.

The names of the competitions should be as specific as possible. They must also be a noun (for example, delegation) or a gerund (for example, listen). Names should be easily understood, so avoid jargon and ambiguous words with more than one meaning. Use adjectives to clarify ambiguous nouns (eg, disciplined handling). Finally, define the competencies.

Definitions of competencies, like names of competencies, must be unambiguous and specific. Use complete sentences when writing definitions and avoid jargon and abbreviations. Also, a competition must be observable. Your definition of competence should specify the "what" and the "why." For example, a definition of active listening should include the what: "Communicate and clarify understanding, and obtain information using active and passive behaviors" and why: "To engage others, make people feel heard, and collect information Using these parts, active listening would then be defined as "Communicate and clarify understanding, and obtain information using active and passive behaviors, in order to involve others, make people feel heard and collect information." If you find that the competence you have created is not observable through the behaviors of the leaders, it is likely that you have created a metacompetition - a broader pattern of behavior made up of a set of related competencies.

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