Four Competencies for Effective Managers

Competency based interviewing rates the knowledge, skills and attitude needed to do a job practically. Like most job interviews it is infected with confirmation bias. Even trained interviewers make snap unconscious judgements from first impressions.

We can form a sense of whether a stranger is trustworthy in less than one tenth of a second. Dress, eye contact, speaking speed, gait, handshake all combine for us to decide whether you are leader or follower material…in about seven seconds.

Left-brained people are logical, analytical, and objective. They are detail- and fact-oriented. Right-brained people are relationship-builders and can interact with and relate to diverse groups of people. They are good at connecting and collaborating. And they are intuitive and creative. These characteristics will show in their dress and demeanour.

Global research by Forbes and others found that left-brain skills are the foundation for earlier career stages where individual performance has priority. As a career expands and deepens there are greater ambiguities and complexity to deal with. Right-brain competencies related to emotional intelligence and learning agility are to the fore in executive and senior management roles.

The competencies that make for effective senior managers can be summarised as:

  • Social leadership – the ability to inspire, influence, and mobilise others
  • Outside-in thinking
  • Courage, particularly during adversity and crisis
  • Optimism that encourages and empowers others

For instance, inside-out thinking focuses on process, systems, tools and product design rather than on the customer experience. Finding the right process, policy, people or optimum processes & systems based on well-informed feedback is the main focus of outside- in thinking.

It is crucial to determine the specific competencies required. What are the organisation’s priorities in the knowledge / skills / attitude mix?   You must prepare by learning everything you can about the company and the people you’ll be meeting.

  • Who are you meeting?  Find out through your network, Google, LinkedIn… as much as you can about the decision-makers.
  • Look for potential commonalities. Have you a genuine shared interest?
  • Know the company. Read everything on the website, news releases, annual report…
  • Look around at your surroundings.Take a moment to notice your surroundings—the view, car-park, attitude of the receptionist, a piece of art on the wall… (These are your first impressions).

By making the most of the first seven seconds, you’ll quickly establish your A.C.T.—being authentic, making a connection, and giving others a taste of who you are. Then your interview will be far more likely to be a conversation—not an interrogation.

My Four Session Job Application Programme provides you with the essential frameworks and techniques to meet the challenges of each type of screening and interview.

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