7 Universal Competencies for Success in Any Role

Gallup reviewed three decades of research and generated its simplest and most comprehensive list of competencies required to achieve excellence for all employees in any organization.

(This post is based on my interview with Jim Harter and chapter 17 of, “It’s the Manager,” by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter.)

when things get bad - and they will - strong relationships sustain teams

7 Universal Competencies for Success:

#1. Build Relationship:

  1. Create partnerships.
  2. Build trust.
  3. Share ideas.

I’ve been asking experienced leaders for the one behavior that most advanced their careers. Often the key to success is relationship building.

Think of relationships as the foundation for results. When things get bad – and they will – strong relationships sustain teams.

Constant friction is a symptom, not a cause. If you’re always fighting fires, the problem is relationships.

Strong relationships shrink problems caused by personal agendas, office politics, and distrust.

#2. Develop people.

Help others become more effective through strengths, expectations, and coaching.

Choose to focus on strengths when developing people.

Find ways to develop people that contribute to organizational mission. Younger people want to know how you’ll help advance their careers.

#3. Lead change.

Avoid the pitfall of vague goals and vision. Many work hard, but when asked, they aren’t sure how to define success.

Embrace change and set goals that align with a stated vision.

#4. Inspire others.

Encourage others through positivity, vision, confidence, challenges, and recognition.

#5. Think critically.

Gather and evaluate information that leads to smart decisions.

Maintain a forward—focused approach when thinking critically. How does this information impact the next step, for example?

#6. Communicate clearly.

Share information regularly and clearly.

#7. Create accountability.

Hold yourself and your team responsible for performance.

Tip: Use the seven universal competencies as a framework for feedback. The seven competencies bring focus to a 360 development process.

Which competency is most relevant to you right now?

What practical behaviors do you see associated with these competencies?

Jim Harter, the Chief Workplace Scientist of Gallup, gives his best tips on the seven universal competencies: See YouTube video.

Jim Harter, Ph.D., is Chief Workplace Scientist for Gallup. He’s led more than 1,00 studies in workplace effectiveness and is the best selling author of 12: The Elements of Great Managing and Wellbeing: The Five Essentials Elements.

It’s the Manager is released on May 7, 2019.

Connect with Gallup on twitter: @Gullup