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The Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0058| June 18, 2002
7,700 Subscribers


Facilitating Workplace Competency
 Identify and facilitate development of skills inherent in workplace success.

The Point

Some time ago, I was involved in the development of a workplace competency program at my local community college. In fact I learned many of my present facilitation skills while engaged in this program, which involved a focus on the skills and qualities that many employers see as requisite for success in the modern workplace. We're not talking specific technical skills, but those foundational skills and qualities that enable success anywhere at any time.

We came up with about 16 competencies in cooperation with local employers and with input from research done in this field by various agencies. We discovered that these competencies really represented life-mastery and that we as facilitators learned as much or more as the students in our efforts to teach and model this material.

I thought you might find a summary list of these competencies useful in any work you might do with people seeking more effectiveness in the workplace. We also identified a associated performance criteria for each competency that I may include in an upcoming book or booklet on workplace mastery, or how to become a master worker. Please let me know if you have any interest in this project.



  • Maintains a POSITIVE ATTITUDE in the workplace.
  • Makes customers priority ONE and understands how important this is for long-term business success.
  • Has good telephone skills. Makes customers feel welcome over the phone.
  • Generally, has good personal relationship skills. Gets along with people!


  • Understands BASIC business concepts: capitalism, organizational structures, customer relations, productivity & PROFIT!
  • Understands how these BASIC business principles contribute to short and long-term business success.
  • Treats the job as their OWN business and knows how he/she contributes to organizational goals.
  • Understands the employee/employer relationship (i.e. "at will").


  • Understands BASIC workplace requirements and house rules.
  • Gets to work ON TIME. Works the full required time, and is generally punctual.
  • Dresses appropriately for the job.
  • Complies with drug-free workplace policies.
  • Practices good grooming and personal hygiene.
  • Maintains good health practices for business productivity.
  • Understands and complies with relevant safety rules.
  • Clearly understands the zero tolerance rules regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Basic keyboard and computer skills.
  • Basic office skills: capable of filing, organizing, etc.
  • Keeps business and personal matters separate.


  • Clearly defines the problem and its impact -- WHO and WHAT it effects.
  • Identifies what can be changed and what can't.
  • Breaks down a problem into components and prioritizes work.
  • Researches the history of the problem. Collects, organizes, analyzes data.
  • Generates imaginative solutions and alternative solutions (brainstorming).
  • Asks for help as needed.
  • Is proactive, states problems and acts to solve them.
  • Makes informed decisions!


  • Consistently performs obligations and duties (in spite of personal ups and downs).
  • Capable of working independently.
  • Completes assigned tasks efficiently using resources.
  • Chooses a course of action and accepts the consequences of that action.
  • Accepts shared responsibility for the total picture as well as individual duty.


  • Meets deadlines! Able to effectively carry a project to completion by managing people, time, money & resources.
  • Writes down assignments and keeps checklists.
  • Keeps some form of calendar for recording important dates.
  • Estimates time to complete tasks, time available and task deadlines.
  • Develops and follows an effective schedule.
  • Tracks progress and adjusts schedule as necessary.


  • Has a TEAM attitude and is open to ideas, even if it's isn't THEIR IDEA. Willing to compromise.
  • Understands group dynamics, consensus building & facilitation.
  • Is NOT territorial, shares all resources with peers. Does NOT encourage "cliques" or group division.
  • Generally cooperates and works well as a part of a team--does FAIR SHARE of the work.
  • Provides positive input to group problem solving sessions.
  • Demonstrates willingness to share the workload in a group


  • Demonstrates a desire to continually improve.
  • "Self-Starter," originates ideas and action items.
  • Willing to take on ADDITIONAL tasks. Speaks up when tasks are done, so other tasks can be assigned.
  • Open to new ideas, and has ongoing interest to learn new techniques.
  • Puts new ideas and techniques to good


  • Is capable of performing the specific tasks that they CLAIMED they could perform on their resume.
  • Is honest, fair, and respectful of others. Possesses deep-rooted value
  • Puts moral or ethical consideration ahead of personal gain.
  • Keeps one's word and follows through with commitments.


  • Openly compliments the good work of others.
  • Deals with others directly regarding differences or misunderstandings, with diplomacy and compassion.
  • Appreciates capabilities of others and accepts them without comparing them to pre-conceived standards.
  • Displays common courtesy, listens without interrupting, does not keep people waiting.
  • Detaches personal opinion from professional behavior.
  • Accepting of others regardless of sex, race, etc.


  • Understands verbal instructions and is capable of interpreting basic body language of speaker.
  • Assumes listening posture (good eye contact, receptive body language, etc.).
  • Listens patiently and with acceptance -- suspends judgments.
  • Gives and receives feedback effectively.
  • Uses perception checking (Example: paraphrasing techniques).
  • Takes good notes recording the essence of the communication.


  • Expresses thoughts clearly and concisely. Organizes content appropriately.
  • Capable of writing appropriate material (Example: letters, manuals, reports, proposals, etc.).
  • Researches and uses resources effectively.
  • Selects proper format and style for audience/recipient.
  • Records information accurately and legibly.
  • Uses correct grammar, punctuation and spelling.
  • Fills out forms accurately and completely.


  • Properly prepares material and adequately knows subject matter.
  • Adjusts speaking to different levels as appropriate (knows the audience).
  • Presents ideas in a logical fashion.
  • Conveys confidence and enthusiasm verbally.
  • Good grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and enunciation.
  • Uses a variety of techniques to keep the audience's interest.


  • Defuses hostile situations. Resolves work related and personal differences and disagreements.
  • Separates fact from fiction. Gathers data in neutral mode.
  • Sees the conflict from both sides.
  • Establishes credibility.


  • Exhibits confidence, pride and belief in oneself-recognizes personal contributions and accomplishments.
  • Accepts and understands constructive criticism.


  • Recognizes the symptoms and causes of stress.
  • Balances work, family and emotional needs using stress management techniques.
  • Maintains self control in stressful situations.
  • Non-personalize the thoughts and feelings of others.
  • Maintains and uses support network as needed.


This week, read these competencies and choose one you feel could use improvement in your work life and list three things you could do to make progress. I'd love to hear you're perspectives and experiences. Please email your comments to us.

cartoon image of a talking man.

Reader Survey 

What skills or qualities of the "Master Worker" are missing or should change from the above list?

Please send us your input and we'll send the entire collection to everyone who contributes.

If you know someone who might benefit and enjoy this newsletter, please send this link to a friend.

picture of Steve Davis, editor of the Master Facilitator Journal.

About the Author: 
Steve Davis is a Business and Life Coach facilitating others to reach  their full potential in their business and personal lives. Please email your stories, comments, suggestions, and ideas. Or call me at 800-216-3854. I'd love to hear from you. If you find this newsletter helpful, please forward it to your friends. Thanks for reading! 

In the Spotlight

The costs associated with preparing, editing and distributing the Master Facilitator Journal are covered 100% by our daily sponsor.  If you're curious about becoming a sponsor, view details here.


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Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal.  Look for your next issue on June 25, 2002.   

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