Robin Kessler - Competency Speaker and HR Consultant

Perception of competence

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Canadian writer Laurence  J. Peter has a wonderful quote:  Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder.  Peter is probably best known for writing the book, The Peter Principle:  Why Things Always Go Wrong.

Those of us who teach communication or management would probably agree that perception is more important than reality. One of my clients told me how frustrated he was because his manager said he did not deserve a higher performance rating last year because he had not put in as many hours as his coworker. The client consistently stayed two hours later than his manager and coworker but because the manager was not there to see it, the manager did not perceive him as working the additional hours.

How can you increase the odds that your manager’s perception of your competencies will be similar to your own perception? One word:  Communication.

Learn to recognize your own accomplishments. Focusing on when an accomplishment proves you are strong in a key competency area is a good start. Make sure you tell your manager about these competency-based accomplishments. Take the time to write more powerful competency-based accomplishment statements for performance reviews and development plans. Learn to explain competency-based accomplishments completely and concisely for competency-based interviews and performance review conversations.  

Taking the time to provide your manager with better information about what you have accomplished at work that matters the most to your organization is not a waste of your time. It can actually help your manager perceive you the right way.


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