Allowing Talent: From defining competency to aligning with leadership

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This presentation was created from a discussion in a LinkedIn Group called
HR Japan Roundtable
between Charles Pribyl and James Santagata, which took place during September 2013.

Here is the link to the discussion:

Charles Pribyl
CEO, J-PMC Consulting/PMI International

Thanks Gary
This article makes a beginners mistake by mixing skills (which are comprtencies, as they can be learned) and behaviors, which are generally strengths or potential waiting to be tapped. Decision Making is a behavior, and using Excel is a skill. The genetics behind behavioral strengths and competencies is complicated, but innate behaviors can be accurately measured. Competencies are easy to see (wow, what a wonderful PowerPoint presentation) vs decision making potential (how will she deal with multiple vendors in a 5 deal project?

James Santagata
(Interview Coach | Career Development & Acceleration Coach | Leadership Development)
Principal Consultant, Career OverDrive!

Is decision making solely categorized as a behavior? Or it is, in fact, a skill? Or both? There are any number of strategies and approaches to decision making, each of which can be learned just as with Excel. In addition, using your Excel example, the application of Excel would reveal both competencies as well as skills. For instance, given this financial situation how will she model the expected economic outcomes?

Charles Pribyl
CEO, J-PMC Consulting/PMI International

There is about 90 years of research documenting skills (competencies) versus behavior (talent). Almost anyone, with enough training and coaching, can be an average negotiator, but one needs the hardwiring to bloom into a superior negotiator. Superior negotiators rarely analyze and benefit from step-by-step rules, their behaviors are coached to perfection.

Think back to John Elway of the Denver Broncos. He never read the book on how to be a great quarterback. If I read a book on the techniques of being a great quarterback and practiced every day for 122 hours a day, I could never thread a ball 90 meters to the coffin corner while stumbling backwards, throwing while unbalanced on my left foot. He had the talent and his coaches (especially Mike Shanahan) used John's talent and built a team and game around his strengths. The team all had strengths which were not teachable.

A majority of companies make the fatal mistake of looking at competencies or 'skill sets' which is an easy way to escape from understanding someone and see if they have 'talent.' All they have to do is check a box off a list. i.e., for an insurance position there may be two 'key skill sets': (1) Five years of sales experience. Yes or no. (2) Three years in the Insurance Industry. Yes or no. Skills sets rarely have any correlation to 'Superior' performance.

Read more by joining our HR Japan Roundtable group:

More in: Business , Technology
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