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  • Writer's pictureRené Anderegg

033 - How Competent Behaviour strengthens your Credibility ...

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

... and Incompetent Behaviour makes you untrustworthy.

Learn in this article how to achieve more competence and credibility for yourself and your company.

A success letter on the subject of credibility

In his Success Letter No. 165, my esteemed colleague, entrepreneurship mentor and author Martin Aue addresses the topic of credibility, or possible indicators of a lack of credibility in business life. It is about behaviours that can quickly make us appear untrustworthy:

For example, acting emotionally, despising others, counting on conflicts of interest, changing one’s mind frequently, being unavailable etc. You could certainly continue this list from your personal experience with untrustworthy people.

The question we should therefore ask more frequently (rather than never): What makes a supplier, a producer, a service provider, a boss, an employee, a job applicant, in short: a person credible enough that we place our fullest faith in them? How can we recognise whether someone is and behaves credibly?

Competence - the basic prerequisite

The author finally puts it in a nutshell in the Post Scriptum (PS:) at the end of his newsletter:

"Being competent in your field is the basic prerequisite for business. But if you don't make your competence visible, it won't have an impact until you get the job. But the client needs to know what you are good at and how before they award you the contract."

How right he is! This can easily be applied to any good cooperation, a successful application or a long-term and satisfactory employment, don’t you think?

Professional and interdisciplinary skills more in demand than ever before

I assume that my dear colleague was primarily thinking of more promising advertising and more effective marketing measures when he mentioned the lack of visibility. Strategies that put the professional capabilities of a company more in the foreground and demonstrate them.

In other words: he refers to the professional competences (the so-called hard factors), and less to the interdisciplinary, more personal competences of a person or a team (the soft factors).

The former can be communicated to customers relatively easily and repeatedly, and in practice they usually become quite obvious after a short time in the context of service provision.

The latter often only manifest themselves positively or negatively in the medium to long term, but their effect is no less significant for business success.

But is it necessary to distinguish 14,000 different skills and competences, as a well-known ERP provider advertised some time ago for one of their HR modules?

While professional and managerial staff (and that includes entrepreneurs) don’t even command the 4 or 6 most basic universal competences sufficiently? Hardly.

What are universal competences and why are they so important?

Universal competences are those basic competences and behaviours that are important in a professional context.

In contrast to professional and cognitive competences, universal competences could also be described as interdisciplinary, personal competences.

The better a person’s universal competences are developed, the easier it is for them to deal with change positively, to handle professional challenges skilfully or to tread new ground with confidence.

Empirical studies based on the analysis of behaviour in critical situations (so-called 'critical incidents') have shown that four universal competences are considered fundamental for successful and competent behaviour among professionals, and six among managers. You can read about these in the next section.

The universal competences for professionals and managers

1. Innovation

> Because without it there is no vision and no business idea.

2. Leadership

> Because without it there is nothing great.

3. Organisational

> Because without it something will always be missing and there is no whole.

4. Social

> Because without it, you can’t get into people's heads and hearts.

5. Teamwork

> Because without it, those who join in won't want to stay in for long.

6. Performance

> Because without it, there is no lasting drive and nothing will be completed.

You can find out which of the competences are important for professionals and managers and what distinguishes competent professionals and managers from less competent ones here or here.

Further differentiated sub-competences can be found here or here.

The good news: Competent behaviour can be learned

If you are now asking yourself what your universal competences are, or have even come to the conclusion that your behaviour leaves something to be desired in this respect, I can reassure you.

Competent, professional behaviour can be learned (similar to reading, writing or arithmetic) and represents a great opportunity for everyone. For those who already live competence have learned what they can do - as have those who live incompetence.

It is therefore crucial to recognise where you are today and what you can do to better develop your universal competences in the future and thus become more useful for your entire environment.

What a competence check can do for you

A scientific competency check determines what distinguishes competent experts and managers from the less competent - what they do, what they do differently, what they are capable of and what they think in relation to what they do.

A competence check evaluation shows you, on the basis of the competence profile, where you or your applicants currently stand in comparison to competent specialists or managers - and in the competence report you will find concrete information on what you or your applicants are already doing competently, what they can still optimise or should improve.

Consequently, the results can be seen as an opportunity to learn more about the person in question and their competence as a professional or manager, to consolidate strengths, to specify developmental focal points, to set goals and to initiate concrete measures for further development - entirely in the interest of the desirable credibility mentioned at the beginning.


A credible person is ultimately also a competent person.

Universal competences are indispensable in the professional context and can be learned and optimised if necessary.

A competence check

- shows where you, or your applicants, currently stand,

- shows you the way to further professional and business success and

- provides additional information for important personnel decisions.

P.S If you are a CEO of an SME or in a responsible position in the HR business, I have something additional for you here.

Best wishes for competence!

René Anderegg, lic.oec.HSG

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