How do you incorporate soft skills into a competency model that revolves around hard skills?
Remember that the competency model describes what people need to do in the job to execute their part of corporate strategy. Usually that’s the hard skills. But it’s the soft skills that determine how WELL you do the hard skills.
Therefore, we generally use the soft skills to differentiate levels of proficiency for a hard skill.
For example, instead of having 3 skills in the model on analyzing and reporting out data, tailoring communication, and influencing, we have one skill “Analyze data and report findings”, where the behavioral examples are:
Level 3: Analyze data and generate a report
Level 4: Tailor communication of the analysis to the needs of the stakeholder to whom you’re presenting
Level 5: Make a recommendation based on the analysis and successfully influence leaders to adopt it
And these higher level examples might be reflected in many hard skills, perhaps without much change, since these are what separate good from great.
A person could be able to influence others related to one hard skill, but struggle with influencing others related to a different hard skill. This is not because they have a problem with influencing per se, (though it could) but rather because they don’t have the same credibility in that hard skill.
For more on how to do build these levels of behavior, see the free ATD webinar on creating a competency model in weeks.