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Personal Excellence Core Competencies

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Personal Excellence

The competencies described on this page represent the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for effectiveness as an administrative professional at the University of Florida.

These key skills were identified primarily on the basis of a series of focus groups and interviews with employees in administrative positions who were identified as solid performers in those positions. The competencies represent the range of skills that became apparent as those successful in the positions described their work and how they fulfilled the positions’ demands.

These core professional skills (e.g., communication and results orientation) are essential for all administrative professionals and are required for all three certifications: Fiscal Management, HR/Payroll, and Academic Department Support. These personal excellence competencies have been organized into three subgroupings: Preventing & Solving Problems, Communication & Building Relationships, and Organizational Awareness & Experience.

Preventing & Solving Problems Competencies

Analytical Thinking—able to tackle a problem by using a logical, systematic, sequential approach

  • Notices discrepancies and inconsistencies in available information.
  • Approaches a complex task or problem by breaking it down into its component parts and considering each part in detail.
  • Identifies the many possible causes for a problem; uses a systematic process to identify source of problem and correct.
  • Understands how related ideas, actions, or procedures fit together and can execute or articulate as one process, understanding different scenarios.

Diagnostic Information Gathering—able to identify the information needed to clarify a situation, seek that information from appropriate sources, and use skillful and persistent questioning to draw out the required information.

  • Identifies the specific information needed to clarify a situation or to make a decision.
  • Identifies the sources (such as web sites) or people (such as core office or college-level contacts) who can provide needed information; seeks out knowledgeable people to obtain information or clarify a problem.
  • Gets more complete and accurate information by checking multiple sources.
  • Probes skillfully to get information; asks questions to clarify a situation.

Problem Solving—solves problems with effective solutions.

  • Evaluates options by considering implications and consequences; chooses effective options.
  • Implements solutions within a reasonable time.
  • Evaluates effectiveness of implemented solutions.

Results orientation—able to focus on the desired result of one’s own or one’s unit’s work, set challenging goals, focus effort on the goals, and meet or exceed them.

  • Determines or identifies desired result and articulates it clearly to others.
  • Develops challenging but achievable goals.
  •  Maintains commitment to desired results or goals in the face of obstacles and frustrations.
  • Exerts unusual effort, over time, to achieve desired results or goals.
  • Has a strong sense of urgency about solving problems and getting work done.

Communication & Building Relationships Competencies

Networking and building collaborative relationships—able to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside and outside the organization who can provide information, assistance, and support.

  • Identifies and builds relationships with people whose assistance, cooperation, and support may be needed.
  • Provides assistance, information, and support to others to build a basis for future reciprocity.
  • Uses network of contacts to provide information and assistance when needed.
  • Expresses gratitude and appreciation to others who have provided information, assistance, or support.
  • Shows an interest in what others have to say; acknowledges their perspectives and ideas.
  • Recognizes the business concerns and perspectives of others.

Communication—able to express oneself (including concepts and procedures) clearly and in a way that helps others understand; ensures that information is passed on to others who need to be kept informed.

  • Ensures that important information is shared with those who need to know.
  • Ensures that regular, consistent communication takes place.
  • Organizes ideas clearly and expresses ideas concisely in speech and writing.
  • Tailors the content of speech and written communication to the level and experience of audience.
  • Uses appropriate grammar, punctuation, and word choice.

Organizational Awareness & Experience Competencies

Organizational awareness and experience—understands the university setting including, managerial structure (deans, directors, department chairs), relevant university relationships to the state, University Board of Trustees, Board of Governors, etc., as well as, key resources within the university.

  • Can provide feedback and assistance to new employees (faculty and staff) in navigating the complexities of a large university, including “the big picture.”
  • Knows and utilizes resources within university to provide information or assistance, to solve problems, or to connect internal customers (faculty and staff) with resources, even for issues outside his or her daily responsibilities.

To see the requirements for the certification, view the Quick and Easy Guide to the Pro3 Series.

Organizational Awareness & Experience Skills Diagnostic Information Gathering Analytical Thinking Problem Solving Networking & Building Collaborative Relationships Communication Communication & Building Relationships Results Orientation Preventing Preventing & Solving Problems