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Competency: the second primary satisfier.

I am competent. I don’t need more training. Or maybe I do? The expectations are too much from me. I am better then the jobs they have me doing. Why can’t I be more challenged?

Are the above thoughts resonating with you? Do they creep into your mind periodically? You are touching on the verge of not being satisfied at your mission. And that leads to departure or a feeling that you are trapped.

The second primary satisfier to any mission is “Competency”. As promised this is the 2nd part of a series of six blogs whereby I will review each of the primary satisfiers in a little greater detail.

As a reminder, the six primary satisfiers (compensation, competency, growth, fit, values and balance) must be attended to whether you are recruiting volunteers or hiring employees. The same promise applies to whether you are being recruited or are the recruiter.

We all have skills, those things that we are good at and enjoy doing. The first step in understanding this satisfier is to take inventory. You need to basically complete a self-assessment. This may be as easy as looking at the degree or certificate on the wall. If you are trained to be an electrician and love the work then you will be looking for work as an electrician. However, if you are trained to be a high voltage electrician and the job you are considering is residential lightening, this may be a warning sign of a “competency mismatch”. Using this example it is easy to see how a satisfaction problem could evolve. That problem can develop in all roles in any company. If you are a highly trained receptionist handling the stress and demands of a busy office environment and suddenly find yourself considering clerical role in much quieter smaller company, this too could be a signal.

One of the most common areas for a mismatch of this satisfier is found in volunteer roles. We are raised and encouraged to give back to our communities. Share our experience and help others. These are all qualities that I am big advocate and supporter of. If you are volunteering for a one-day event handing out sandwiches to help with the flood relief or some other significant cause, you probably don’t need to explore any the satisfiers with great assessment. However, if you are volunteering to be the Director of a foundation and the term is 1 or 2 years, you had better place as much emphasis on this satisfier as if you were being recruited or accepting a new career. The simple notion of volunteering and this satisfier gets quickly confused based on the concept of “I am a volunteer” so I don’t have to match my competency with the role, wrong! Mismatched competency in volunteer roles leads to huge dissatisfaction in both yourself and the group that is expecting results from your effort. Make sure your self assessment is in place relative to your competency and this satisfier prior to putting your hand up to volunteer.

The competency satisfier should be one of the easier satisfiers to accomplish or match properly between the role, function or job and yourself. The problem is generally with our own self-assessment as to what we are competent or skilled at. We either devalue ourselves or accept task that are not challenging or accept roles that are not a proper match with our abilities. We do that because some other motivator or driver gets in the way like “money” or “stress from being unemployed” or being asked to “fill a seat” in volunteer a role that doesn’t match our talents”. The way to overcome this potential pitfall is to complete the self-assessment. It is quite simple. The exercise is completed through three questions: (1) Do I have the ability to preform the task? (2) will I experience growth and challenge form the task? and (3) Am I passionate about the work? If you answered “yes” to all three, the chances are pretty good that your competency satisfier are being met.

Remember the formula:

Current skill + Desired Skill + Passion + Challenge = Competency Satisfaction

All six satisfiers must be equally attended to in order for complete fulfillment of the task to be achieved. Work hard at understanding and aligning all six and you will be dedicating hours of enjoyment towards your mission. Ignore one or all and be destined to be on the dreaded “treadmill of entrapment and despair”. Number three satisfier GROWTH is next.

“Does anybody really think that they didn’t get what they had because they didn’t have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment?” Nelson Mandela

© 2013-2014 R. Todd Millar. All rights reserved.

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