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Are you competent?

#assessments #competencies #eqfit Jul 17, 2023

Are you competent? What a question, right?! There are so many different meanings to the word "competency". For us, let's focus on competencies that add to our life and work success and satisfaction. I define competency as a resource you develop within yourself to provide enhanced outcomes in life and work. They are the foundational resources you build skills on and may be skills themselves.

So, where do we start? Here are a few categories of competencies:

  • EQ (emotional intelligence)
  • Sales
  • Leadership
  • CQ (conversational intelligence)
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Professionalism
  • Reasoning (abstract, numerical, consequential, logical, strategic)
  • Technical
  • Decision making

This list is just a sample of competencies for life and work. I am sure you can think of others.

The challenge with competency

Like most things in life, competency means something different to everyone. Even when thinking of the same specific competency, people can vary widely in their opinions of what a good level of that competency is. Why is this important?


In our personal lives, we want to be able to build competency in things that give us satisfaction and joy. Maybe that is a sport, like golf. Maybe that is playing an instrument or singing in a group. Maybe that is serving in a charity or with special needs individuals. Maybe that is raising kids or helping to raise grand-kids. If we can align our personal competencies with our passions, then we can achieve greater success and satisfaction and possibly make the world a better place.

For every competency there is a measure. Many of those come in assessments. Think of being able to take an assessment online and getting deep insight into competencies that are important to you. Gaining that insight and awareness gives you clarity and confidence to create the best path forward for your personal development. There are so many good resources available but many people do not realize this or choose not to explore their competencies.

If you could gain great competency in one area by tomorrow, what competency would you choose? While it does not work that way, you might be surprised at how quickly you can enhance specific competencies. The key is to work on one or two at a time, not 6-8 at the same time.


There are so many good assessments for measuring competencies in the workplace. To be clear, many of these are just as valuable in our personal lives. The reality is that our personal and work lives are so intermingled (in our minds) that increasing competency levels in one will impact the other. Just about every role in the workplace has a set of competencies that are critical to reaching maximum success. The more success you experience, the more satisfied you will be...and the more confidence you will have which leads to even more success and satisfaction.

Leadership, sales, client relationships, interpersonal communication, soft skills, hard skills, project management, innovation, management...there are so many competencies that can be measured with good assessments. The measure is the starting point. From there you can create development plans, succession plans, contingency plans and so much more.

Pre-hire assessments that measure competency can make a huge impact on increasing the percentage of successful hires.


I was sitting in a room with 10 business owners recently. We were talking assessments. Two of the people in the room are my clients. The discussion turned to the value of the assessments versus the cost. This is one of my assessment clients spoke up and said, "The only time this year we made a hire without using Steve's assessments it came back to bite us in the..." Then he asked, "How many people have made a bad hire in the last 12 months?" I thought I would see about 50% raise their hands. I was surprised to see every person in the room raise their hand. 10 out of 10 owners had made a bad hire (or someone in their organization did) in the last 12 months. This is when the other client of mine spoke up and said, "On the bright side, Steve worked with one of our leaders and using his assessments, was able to save that leader for us. This is someone who has been with us almost 15 years."

I share this story not to boast about myself or my company. I share this story to express how important it is to utilize the tools available to you to make the very best decisions and investments. Whether in your personal or professional life, better data leads to better insight and likely better decisions and actions.

Competency solutions

What can you do with good competency measures? First, let me define what I mean by good. I utilize highly validated assessments that have proven to be effective in measuring what they say they will measure. I go beyond that though. I never add a tool to my assessment toolbox until I have tried it out and seen the practical applications it brings. It must bring accurate measures and real value. That is how I assess the assessments. One key indicator is if the assessment has a certification process that someone must go through before they can give the assessment to others.

So, what can we do with good competency measures?

  • Create a personal or professional development plan with practical goals and action steps.
  • Enhance specific skills.
  • Help a team become a higher performing team.
  • Give leaders a look at how they are showing up to lead others and create a path for their development.
  • Build a team with complementary strengths.
  • Increase satisfaction and joy in your life.
  • Build new skills.
  • Enhance communication and collaboration.
  • Improve thinking and reasoning skills.
  • Improve hiring success.
  • Improve performance.
  • Increase profitability

Really, the list of benefits is just about endless!

3 Things to do

Here are 3 things you can do to explore your opportunities:

  1. Think of areas of your life or work where you would like to be more competent.
  2. How would that impact your life? (motivation for moving forward)
  3. Explore ways you can get the measures and help you need to grow those competencies.

I have a phrase I use when talking about personal or professional development. "I can guide you, but you are the one who will have to do the work to get where you want to go." Is it hard work? Maybe. But consider the satisfaction of knowing you invested in yourself (or in others) to become the best you can be...and then ask yourself, "What can I accomplish next?!"


For more, check out our other resources:

EQFIT® YouTube Channel


EQFIT® Podcast

 Copyright © 2023 EQFIT® - Author: Steven Goodner. All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permissions contact: [email protected].

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