HSoftware (Levels of Competencies)

In order to carry our work related to our personal, family, professional and social spheres in a superior manner or effective manner, we need to identify the required competencies and develop them. After their possession and development we should further improve them and continuously put them to practice to improve our work performance for achieving our goals.

Competency is the developed ability of an individual. One competency may be a good integration of several allied skills related to the competency. Conducting an effective meeting is a competency that calls for many allied skills like making a meeting agenda, promoting healthy group process, resolving conflicts, managing time etc. Competencies are observable and ratable/measurable.

Skill is the work behavior. In a sense, every verb in a dictionary is a skill. It is micro competency. Allied skills make a competency. In earlier example of conducting a meeting, listening is another skill that is essential for conducting effective meetings. Skills are observable and ratable/measurable.

As we improve our skills and competencies by acquiring and implementing the required values, knowledge and paradigms and practice them in our day-to-day routines, we gradually improve our proficiencies in them. We move up from a low level of proficiency to higher levels and finally, we may master that skill or competency.

We pass through four levels of competencies or skills to reach the mastery in a skill or competency. These four levels are:

  1. Unconsciously incompetent: Ignorance (example: you are not even aware that there are some proper styles of swimming).
  2. Consciously incompetent: Acceptance of incompetence and creating a desire to learn (example: you accept that you do not swim properly and you will like to learn the correct styles of swimming).
  3. Consciously competent: Gaining the knowledge about the skill to be mastered and begin practicing the knowledge gained (example: gaining knowledge on how to swim using proper styles of swimming and start swimming using the right styles of swimming).
  4. Unconsciously competent: Keep practicing the knowledge gained till you gain mastery in the skill (example: you have now become an expert swimmer since you have been swimming using the proper styles of swimming over number of hours and you can now give yourself 9 on 10 or even 10 on 10).

For greater effectiveness and greater success in life, you should try to reach the unconsciously competent level in the skills required by you for your professional, personal, family and social activities/tasks/projects.

Now, doing every verb of a dictionary needs skill.

To sit (properly and decently) needs skill of sitting properly and decently. You have to learn the right way of sitting and then keep doing it that way every time you sit.

To walk (smartly) needs the skill of walking smartly. You have to learn as to how to walk smartly and then practice walking using that knowledge.

To dance (artistically) needs the skill of dancing artistically. (The professional dancers rehearse hours and hours before they are ready to perform in front of an audience or a camera).

To make love (in satisfying manner) does not happen the very first time. You got to learn its theory and then practice it and every time improve upon the way you do it in order to gain the right kind of expertise in it.

In earlier paragraph, we mentioned about competencies or skills having four levels of proficiencies. According to the proficiency level, a person can be classified as:

  1. Unconsciously incompetent (or ignorant or almost ignorant)
  2. Consciously incompetent (or learner)
  3. Consciously competent (or conscious practitioner) and
  4. Unconsciously competent (or master)

Every professional requires a mix of number of skills or competencies. Some are his core competencies and others are subsidiary competencies. Now he should be at unconsciously competent level of proficiency in his core competencies i.e. he should have mastery over those competencies. However, being less than having mastery in other subsidiary competencies will not make him a lesser professional since those are only subsidiary or supporting competencies. And he is already perfect in core competencies required for his job.

For example, a vocal singer should be really good at singing though he may not be really all that good at playing the musical instruments. He will still be OK with possessing just about some degree of competencies in some musical instruments. That will help. Or he should be just about somewhat good at communicating with the audience though he may not be the best speaker.

Therefore, it will be a good idea to analyze the core competencies and other supporting competencies that you would need for doing your job effectively. Having done that, you must work out the levels of proficiencies you will like to achieve in each of these competencies.

So choose the skill you need to and so, wish to develop and learn about its theory and practice it.

There is no substitute for action or doing. One needs to develop the will power to do. For developing the will power to do, you will have start with the start of the learning loop. You will need to gain the required knowledge on how to improve your will power to do.

In final analysis of becoming effective, there is no escape from implementation, execution or practicing what you learnt. We repeat: only practice makes a man (and woman) perfect.

As you may knowing that the skills are broadly classified as soft skills and hard skills. You will need to sharpen your soft skills as well as your hard skills in order to become effective, efficient and successful in your life and your professions.

Hard skills are to do with the technical skills and soft skills are the behavioral skills. Both types of skills are required for carrying out your professional activities effectively and efficiently. They are also required to be successful in your personal, family, professional and social life.

You should first identify as to which soft skills and hard skills you need to develop. Each person may have his or her unique requirements. Once having identified them, you will need to feel motivated about developing those skills. I have emphasized earlier that there is no short-cut to master the skills. You will have to acquire the right kind of knowledge about those skills and then keep on practicing.

Then, you are there to win the world.

We wish to bring to your notice three more important points related to competencies.

First is: excess is bad. We will explain.

We know that excess of anything or excess of everything is bad. It is not any different with competencies or skills. Whether it is a hard skill or a soft skill, too much indulgence in it or overdoing that competency can prove to be harmful to self and others, particularly your associates. Mastery over skills is OK but obsession with it and therefore, overdoing it can mean difficulties.

This point will become clearer if we give a few examples.

An over organized person or a person who is really great in planning things can be a very competent person till he starts overdoing it. The moment he starts overdoing it, he may lose sight of other things. He may become too rigid and structured and less tolerant to continuous and quick changes or unavoidable chaotic situations many times prevalent in real life situations. He may also be pretty divorced with the human element; he may not be comfortable associating with people who are otherwise good and efficient but little less organized in his opinion. With this lopsided weight on planning and organizing he loses his overall balance and becomes overall less competent.

Another example that comes to our mind is that of an over confident person. Such a person when he starts overdoing or overusing his self confidence, starts behaving as if he is a know-all type. In the process, he stops listening others’ views or feedback and thus, deprives himself of good ideas, suggestions and recommendations of others around him. In many cases, he may even hurt other people due to his arrogance resulting out of display of his over confidence. These people, then, may not be comfortable associating with him. Overall he is at disadvantage despite being confident.

Persons having mastery over listening skills or interpersonal skills and in turn, overdoing these competencies may have a tendency to be goody goody all the time. They may use more time than really necessary for people’s participation in decision making. Too much listening or even avoiding conflicts or unpleasant situations most of the times in order to maintain great interpersonal relationships may seem to make them look too accommodative and at times, even weak. In emergencies, they may find it difficult to take control of the tough aspects of the situations on their own and the things may slip up.

So, with this discussion, it is easy now to realize that while a good grip and mastery over the skills or competencies are a must, too much indulgence in them or obsession with them or overdoing them may disturb the overall balance between various competencies that are required in order to accomplish various tasks.

Here is the word of caution. While it may not be a good idea to overdo a skill or a competency, it is also important not to compromise or lose integrity in practicing a competency or skill. These two aspects are not the same and should not be confused for one another.

We mentioned earlier that we wished to bring to your notice three additional and important points related to competencies. Now here is the second point.

Ask yourself this question about your competencies: how much value my competency can add?

The money you can earn as a professional by using your competency depends squarely on the value it can add. Extent of value derived by the usage of your competency is decided by the user or the customer. If the perception of the customer allows your competency to be seen as a high value adding competency, you can claim more money for providing that competency to your customer and more often than not, the customer will pay you that much. On the other hand even if you reach the highest level of expertise in a particular competency, it is not necessary that you will end up earning more particularly when the customer does not see it delivering high value to him.

It is also a matter of supply and demand. The much needed rare competencies may get paid more since at that point of time they are seen to be delivering high value to its customers in their perception.

An example will illustrate the point brought out in the foregoing paragraph. You will generally see that a specialist doctor say, a surgeon will end up earning lots more than the best or most proficient waiter in a restaurant. Yet a chief chef in the same restaurant, if he is worth his salt (as far as proficiency or expertise in cooking is concerned) may also end up earning as much as the doctor or an engineer.

So, it seems that high value adding competencies alone can earn more money for you.

Now given below is the third and the last additional point.

In today’s fast changing world where almost everything is changing at a mind boggling pace, you cannot rest after achieving high levels of proficiency in the skills required for your personal, professional, family and social activities. If you stop practicing those skills on a regular basis, you will deteriorate in those skills; therefore keep re-skilling yourself in all those skills required for your effectiveness and success. Keep practicing those. It’s like sharpening the saw every now and then.

You will soon realize that the existing job profiles are constantly changing. Some jobs become extinct or may become less lucrative or less paying or you may lose interest in your existing activities etc. Therefore, you have to be alert and look out for more potential opportunities. For example, a coder or a computer programmer may like to up-scale his skills to work as a system analyst or a business analyst or a programming/project manager. So, up-scaling in the associated field is the key for long term staying power with lots of career satisfaction and so, for the personal and family happiness.

You may like to work in two types of jobs or pursue career in two or more professions. In that case, you have to be skilled in more than one set of skills. We call it multi-skilling. You may like to be a multi skilled person.

So use re-skilling, up-scaling the skills and multi-skilling to your advantage.

Related Posts (please read in the following order)

1. HSoftware (Human Beings: Hardware and Software): http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/04/02/hsoftware/

2. HSoftware (Evey Human Being Is Unique): http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/04/05/hsoftware-every-human-being-is-unique/

3. HSoftware (Why This Uniqueness?): http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/04/07/hsoftware-why-this-uniqueness/

4. HSoftware (Uniqueness and Effectiveness): http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/04/11/hsoftware-uniqueness-and-effectiveness/ 

5. HSoftware (Fundamental Constituents of HSoftware): http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/04/19/hsoftware-fundamental-constituents-of-hsoftware/

6. HSoftware (More Correct HSoftware Gives Better Effectiveness) http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/05/29/hsoftware-more-correct-hsoftware-gives-better-effectiveness/

7. HSoftware (Human Beliefs or Human Value Structure: First Element of HSoftware) http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/06/09/hsoftware-human-beliefs-or-human-value-structure-first-element-of-hsoftware/

8. HSoftware (Knowledge and Information Base: Second Element of HSoftware)  http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/06/15/hsoftware-knowledge-and-information-base-second-element-of-hsoftware/

9. HSoftware (Paradigms, Mindsets or Thinking Patterns: Third Element of HSoftware)  http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/06/26/hsoftware-paradigms-mindsets-or-thinking-patterns-third-element-of-hsoftware/

10. HSoftware (More on Paradigms and Paradigm Shift) http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/07/10/hsoftware-more-on-paradigms-and-paradigm-shift/

11. HSoftware (Willpower to Do: Fourth Element of HSoftware)   http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/07/26/hsoftware-willpower-to-do-fourth-element-of-hsoftware/

12. HSoftware (Acquisition of the HSoftware) http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/08/06/hsoftware-acquisition-of-the-hsoftware/

13. HSoftware (Change for Better): http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/08/20/hsoftware-change-for-better/

14. HSoftware (More on Change in Paradigms) http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/08/27/hsoftware-more-on-change-in-paradigms/

15. HSoftware (Effectiveness: All about Willpower to Learn; Acquiring Values, Knowledge and Paradigms; Willpower to Do)  http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/09/08/hsoftware-effectiveness-all-about-willpower-to-learn-acquiring-values-knowledge-and-paradigms-willpower-to-do/

16. HSoftware (Levels of Competencies) http://shyam.bhatawdekar.net/index.php/2018/09/24/hsoftware-levels-of-competencies/

Get Your Copy of the Book “HSoftware”

Get your copy of the book titled “HSoftware (The Only Key to Higher Effectiveness)” or HSoftware (Shyam Bhatawdekar’s Effectiveness Model) from Amazon online. If you are a kindleunlimited, KOLL or amazonprime subscriber, you can read free.

Books Suggested for Your Professional, Personal and Organizational Libraries (All the titles listed below are available as paperbacks and eBooks online from Amazon- you can read the ebooks absolutely free if you are kindleunlimited, KOLL or Amazon Prime subscribers)

Management, Business, Self-help and Personality Development Books

  1. HSoftware (Human Software) (The Only Key to Higher Effectiveness)
  2. Sensitive Stories of Corporate World (Management Case Studies)
  3. Sensitive Stories of Corporate World (Volume 2) (Management Case Studies)
  4. Sensitive Stories of Corporate World (Volume 1 &  2 Combined) (Management Case Studies)
  5. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  6. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers (Volume 2)
  7. Classic Team Building Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  8. 101 Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  9. Stress? No Way!! (Handbook on Stress Management)
  10. HSoftware (Shyam Bhatawdekar’s Effectiveness Model)
  11. Competency Management (Competency Matrix and Competencies)
  12. Soft Skills You Can’t Do Without (Goal Setting, Time Management, Assertiveness and Anger Management)
  13. Essentials of Work Study (Method Study and Work Measurement)
  14. Essentials of Time Management (Taking Control of Your Life)
  15. Essentials of 5S Housekeeping
  16. Essentials of Quality Circles
  17. Essentials of Goal Setting
  18. Essentials of Anger Management
  19. Essentials of Assertive Behavior
  20. Essentials of Performance Management and Performance Appraisal
  21. Health Essentials (Health Is Wealth)
  22. Essentials of Effective Communication
  23. The Romance of Intimacy (How to Enhance Intimacy in a Relationship?)

Novels, Stories, Biographies and Travelogues

  1. The Peace Crusaders (Novel: how the peace crusaders established permanent peace on a war strewn planet?)
  2. Love Knows No Bounds (Novel: a refreshingly different love story. Also available with the title “Good People”)
  3. Funny (and Not So Funny) Short Stories
  4. Stories Children Will Love (Volume 1: Bhanu-Shanu-Kaju-Biju and Dholu Ram Gadbad Singh)
  5. My Father (Biography)
  6. Travelogue: Scandinavia, Russia
  7. Travelogue: Europe
  8. सीमाओं के परे: एक अलग प्रेम कहानी
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About Shyam Bhatawdekar

35 years’ industrial/business experience as a top executive & 35 years’ parallel academic/consultancy experience in general management, behavioral sciences & technology. Areas: general management, production, human resources, industrial engineering, systems, MIS, computers, corporate planning, audit, sales/marketing. Penchant for information technology & behavioral sciences; integrated with conventional technology makes him unique thought leader. Conversant with academic theories & realities of business, fuses the two into practical approaches. Was associated with Tata Motors, Hindustan Motors, Hindustan Aeronautics & ThyssenKrupp; held top positions as highflier executive. Presently Chairman & Managing Director, Prodcons Group associating with 250 organizations; providing management & I T consultations & conducting seminars/workshops. Been a faculty for IIM’s, TMTC, Railway & HAL Staff Colleges, Symbiosis. Speaker with 35000 hours’ experience benefitting more than 100,000 people. Published 35 articles in Economic Times, Indian Management & Computers Today. Authored 27 books. Invited as key speaker in seminars by AIMA, HRD Network, NIPM, QCFI, CSI, NPC. Widely traveled. Education: Engineering & Management.
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