Essential Workplace Competencies for the 21st Century

By targeting the following basic workplace competencies and their components, it is possible to facilitate the development of individuals who demonstrate high performance in the workplace.

    1. Self Responsibility
    2. Communication
    3. Mindfulness
    4. Productivity
    5. Proactivity

Competencies are the behaviourally defined characteristics which underpin effective and/or superior performance across a range of tasks. How the person should behave in order to achieve the objectives of their role and of the organisation.

Development of the five competencies listed above will prepare personnel to meet the unique and complex challenges an organisation faces in the rapidly changing workplace of the 21 st century. Furthermore, it will help grow individuals who have a skill set that will enable them to be resilient, flexible and adaptable.


  • Readiness and willingness to work - demonstrates
    • Realistic optimism
    • Energy and alertness
    • Capacity to independently work towards goals
  • Ability to take ownership - demonstrates
    • Personal accountability
    • Maximum and effective use of personal assets

When people achieve expertise in this competency they hold themselves accountable for their performance. They are ready, willing and motivated to take responsibility for their performance.


  • Listening carefully - ability to
    • Encourage others to express differing opinions
    • Clarify and act on communication
    • Incorporate corrective feedback
  • Effective information sharing - ability to
    • Customise communications to show purpose, planning, and precision
    • Give both positive and corrective feedback
    • Resolve issues

When people achieve expertise in this competency they interact effectively with others. They are able to work in a team, listen and share information effectively, and resolve conflicts.

Mindfulness :

  • Knowledge of how to learn - ability to
    • Access and use relevant or new information
    • Critique and evaluate information sources
    • Integrate and transfer new information across situations
    • Recognise the strengths and limitations of their thinking mode
  • Knowledge of how to apply thinking - ability to
    • Systematically solve problems and make informed decisions
    • Consciously utilise different thinking modes

When people achieve expertise in this competency they know how to learn. Mindful people solve problems effectively, make informed decisions, and adjust their thinking processes to maximise their effectiveness.


  • Results focus - ability to
    • Prioritize, plan, and organise time and tasks
    • Persist
  • Achievement of exceptional results - ability to
    • Complete work to a high standard
    • Continually improve work processes and exceed standards

When people achieve expertise in this competency they achieve exceptional results. They can be relied upon to get the work done to a high standard.


  • Anticipate and adjust to change - ability to
    • Look for patterns and trends from diverse perspectives
    • Adjust behaviour to accommodate change
  • Fulfilment of career and life goals. - ability to
    • Set career and life goals
    • Use self-development and self-promotion to capitalise on opportunities

When people achieve expertise in this competency they anticipate change and react quickly to unexpected change. They position themselves for success by setting goals and then developing and promoting themselves.

The starting point for the coaching process provided by RICO is to ensure that the objectives and coverage of the sessions will be firmly targeted to business drivers, individual performance expectations and the unique needs of each client.

Whatever structure is chosen for coaching sessions the coaching process would usually consist of four phases:

    1. Defining Requirements
    2. Agree Coaching Plan and Process
    3. Coaching Sessions
    4. Monitor and follow up