Career Progression – Competency Library

The Competency Library lists all competencies used as part of the Career Progression Program. Competencies are grouped into two categories: Professional and Manager.

Supervisors will select five (5) competencies for each framework.
For positions with a job template that are in the Professional Category (P1 to P7), supervisors will select five (5) competencies from the Professional Competencies category. The competencies should be related to the job specification and/or specific discipline for the position.
For positions with a job template that are in a Manager Category (M5-M8), supervisors will select four (4) competencies from the Professional Competencies category and one (1) competency from the Manager Competencies. Manager Competencies should be related to the employee's role of providing a combination of supervisor/management over a department charged with providing a variety of cross-disciplinary services.

Explore the Competency Categories below to learn more about each competency. Each competency listed includes a title, general definition, a broad measurable and/or observable competency rank statement, and examples of development activities that an employee can participate in to develop their competency.

The competency statements developed by Human Resources should be used to aid in the development of drafting the competency statement on the framework, to generate thought about how the competency is displayed when developed at the specific rank on the job, and assist in describing the desired behavior, capabilities, understanding or expertise for the position. These are to be used as a reference and should not be copied to the Career Progression Framework. Competency statements on the Career Progression Frameworks are required to be tailored to the individual position.

Additional resources, including the Supervisor Guide to Creating the Framework, sample frameworks, and sample position specific competency statements can be found on the Tutorials and Training page.

Career Progression Competency Library (view and download)

Professional Competencies

Collaborative Leadership

Collaborative Leadership

Definition: Leads, encourages, inspires, and works collaboratively with others to reach a shared goal, solve common problems, and deliver business objectives; understands everyone has contributions to make and puts the success of the team over personal interests; creates an atmosphere of respect, helpfulness, and cooperation with others to build supportive, responsive relationships.

Previously: Teamwork/Collaboration and Leadership


Proficient Advanced Expert
·     Works towards position, unit/department and team goals and objectives.

·     Demonstrates professionalism and displays a positive approach to working with others.

·     Encourages other team members.

·     Cooperates with and supports others.

·     Weighs alternatives and consequences to make informed decisions on current operational or team issues.

·     Completes team project responsibilities independently and effectively.

·     Supports strategic direction of the unit/department, program, or team.


·     Recognizes that all teams do not operate in the same way and adapts working style/method to achieve results.

·     Nurtures strong unit/department, program, or team identity and pride.

·     Relies on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals.

·     Participates and takes initiative in developing solutions with team projects and daily work.

·     Develops and implements short-term strategies consistent with unit/department, team, or position goals.


·     Encourages teamwork across units/departments and locations.

·     Serves as a role model and coaches others in building strong working relationships.

·     Creates an environment where everyone feels safe to actively participate.

·     Communicates and fosters team commitment to a vision of what is to be achieved and instills a sense of passion in people about the work within their own unit/department or program.

·     Weighs alternatives and consequences when acting on and impacting long-term operational issues.

·     Proactively plans, implements, and forecasts for own position, unit/department, or program success.



Examples of Activities for Development:

  • Facilitates a group discussion with team members to solve a problem in the unit/department.
  • Each week, volunteers to help at least one person in the unit/department.
  • Identifies a critical issue within the unit/department. Volunteers to take lead to solve the problem that involves people from different units/departments.
  • Keeps records of involvement in committees, meetings, and informal team activities. Works to increase involvement and keep track of progress.
  • Identifies a current obstacle that impedes the team from working effectively. Determines the root causes and possible solutions. Shares ideas with manager. Develops a plan to implement the solutions identified. Monitors the results.
  • Seeks feedback about managing conflicts from colleagues and manager. Incorporates feedback into their style in the future.
  • Focuses on an incident where there was a disagreement with a group or an individual within the unit/department. Evaluates the action taken in terms of how constructive it proved to be. Implements more constructive ways of expressing disagreement in the future.
  • Identifies major repetitive or routine procedures in unit/department. At team meetings, brainstorms new and different ways to approach tasks and implements new approach(es).

Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking

Definition: Identifies and responds to short-term and long-term needs based upon an understanding of situational context, underlying issues, potential consequences, and logical analysis of relevant information.

Previously: Strategic Thinking and Analytical/Critical Thinking

Proficient Advanced Expert
·   Knows what is expected of one’s own role and how this contributes to the objectives of the unit/department.

•    Keeps up to date with developments in one's own unit/department.

•    Solicits relevant information in order to solve, document, and effectively communicate solutions.

•    Consults with decision makers, on an on-going basis, to discuss current or alternative solutions.


•      Understands not only the immediate needs, but also the broader strategic objectives of the unit/department and the key functions of other major areas within the University and how they relate to one's work.

•      Provides advice, information, and direction to others to support the achievement of unit/department goals.

•      Goes beyond simply solving problems to also documenting and effectively communicating solutions, ensuring that lessons learned are shared and integrated into future processes.

•      Takes a proactive approach to consulting with decision-makers and stakeholders, not just reacting to issues, but actively seeking their input to develop more comprehensive and effective solutions.


•      Develops a deep understanding of the interconnections between different aspects of the organization and the broader industry or societal context in which it operates, as well as emerging trends, to anticipate and address challenges before they arise.

•      Drives change and innovation within the unit/department by analyzing a situation/task and through critical and creative thinking, modifies/develops a new process/procedure that addresses all components of the task in a systematic way.

•      Leverages expertise and credibility to contribute in shaping long-term strategy and direction based on rigorous analysis and insights.

•      Establishes a culture of continuous improvement as it relates to future plans or vision for the unit/department, regularly reviewing and refining processes, systems, and approaches to ensure ongoing effectiveness and relevance.

•      Makes well-informed decisions based on weighing options and consequences.



Examples of Activities for Development:

  • Thinks of a recurring problem. Finds data from viable sources to support and describe the situation as well as potential impact.
  • When faced with a challenge to solve or obstacle to overcome, uses a systematic approach to analyzing all the components of the situation. Once has a clear understanding of the situation, discusses the findings with someone else and determines if they can clearly communicate ideas so others understand.
  • Engages in a group situational analysis to determine root cause of a condition and identifies possible preventative and corrective actions.
  • Leads a cross-functional team that requires problem-solving skills, strategic thinking, innovation, and stakeholder management.
  • Participates in strategic planning process by contributing to setting long-term goals, identifying key priorities and opportunities, and evaluating alternative strategies or scenarios.
  • Serves as a mentor or coach to junior colleagues, helping them to develop their own critical thinking skills by providing guidance, feedback, and opportunities for growth.

Customer Service and Relationship Building

Customer Service and Relationship Building

Definition: Interacts with others productively; demonstrates emotional intelligence through self-awareness and empathy; provides quality customer service, actively listening and engaging with others to understand their needs; provides accurate information and clear and calm responses; develops and maintains cooperative relationships.

Previously: Customer Service and Interpersonal Interaction


Proficient Advanced Expert
·   Receives inquiries and actively listens to understand the interests and concerns of others.

·   Responds promptly with accurate information, based on established policies and procedures.

·   Develops and maintains positive, productive, and collaborative working relationships with others by addressing their unique needs.

·   Communicates effectively using appropriate tone and manner, exercising self-awareness and displaying empathy towards others.


·  Builds strong working relationships with others, and consistently interacts in a friendly, open, and accepting manner.

·  Explains the application of policies and procedures, and uses knowledge of one's own job to create a network of resources.

·  Develops and maintains productive and collaborative work relationships in order to facilitate effective service in assigned areas and problem resolution.

·  Demonstrates social awareness, acknowledging the impressions of others based on verbal and non-verbal cues.


·  Builds strong interpersonal relationships with others across and/or external to the university by communicating transparently and building trust.

·  Acts as a role model for effective interpersonal interactions, assisting customers and colleagues with more detailed, difficult, or sensitive situations.

·  Proactively creates solutions in the best interests of the unit/department or program by aligning service delivery with customer needs.

·  Assesses and manages potential conflicts at a personal and group level.



Examples of Activities for Development:

  • Works with an especially difficult or complicated customer or problem and effectively resolves the issue and improves the relationship.
  • Conducts needs assessment within unit/department and with customers to determine and address possible service gaps to improve satisfaction with current services.
  • Works with other employees to determine the ‘the most asked about’ or ‘most frequent issue’ facing (internal or external) customers. Develops a FAQ resource.
  • Develops a process for recording customer problems, tracking occurrences, and devises a strategy to solve these problems.
  • Works to decrease the time to solve customer problems. Keeps a log that demonstrates improvements in response time.
  • Identifies someone in the organization who demonstrates interpersonal excellence and asks for coaching or shadows unique situations to learn by example.
  • Utilizes formal and informal networks to pilot service programs, tailoring to the appropriate audience, and testing assumptions before acting on them.

Ethical Practice

Ethical Practice

Definition: Adheres to organizational and professional standards; conducts work in alignment with established rules and norms; addresses unethical behavior through appropriate channels.

Proficient Advanced Expert
•   Operates within organizational and professional standards, ensuring integrity in all tasks.

•   Adheres to established rules and norms, reflecting ethical conduct in daily work practices.

•   Takes initiative in addressing instances of unethical behavior through appropriate channels.


•   Fosters a culture of ethical excellence and professionalism throughout the organization.

•   Exhibits leadership in reinforcing organizational and professional standards through exemplary behavior and communication.

•   Displays an ability to identify and resolve ethical dilemmas, cultivating a work environment conducive to ethical decision-making.


•   Practices ethical leadership by consistently embodying the utmost standards of integrity and professionalism.

•   Exhibits unwavering commitment to upholding organizational and professional standards in all actions and decisions.

•   Provides guidance and mentorship in navigating complex ethical dilemmas, fostering a workplace culture defined by ethical excellence and accountability.



Examples of Activities for Development:

  • Conducts a self-assessment of personal values and aligning them with the organization's code of conduct.
  • Participates in cross-functional projects or teams to gain exposure to different perspectives and ethical considerations.
  • Seeks feedback from supervisors, peers, and subordinates on one's professionalism and ethical conduct, and uses feedback to identify areas for improvement.
  • Engages in continuous learning through online courses, webinars, or seminars on topics related to ethics, professionalism, and workplace conduct.

Flexibility, Innovation & Problem Solving

Flexibility, Innovation & Problem Solving

Definition: Adapts behavior or methods as appropriate to suit new or changing conditions; identifies, understands, and evaluates issues/problems or opportunities to develop innovative ideas and unique solutions or suggests an appropriate course of action.

Previously: Innovation/Creativity, Problem Solving, and Adaptability/Flexibility

Proficient Advanced Expert
•    Questions/challenges current or conventional approaches with the intent of continuously improving unit/department’s potential.

•    Researches and seeks out answers to problems; uses new information to offer realistic alternatives.

•    Thinks creatively and actively contributes in brainstorming activities to generate ideas, promote improvements, and identify solutions.

•    Observes how others solve problems and collaborates to solve problems and make decisions.

•    Identifies, recognizes, and resolves routine problems.

•    Adapts to new ways of seeing and doing things and changes behavior and approach when needed to achieve tasks.

•    Analyzes the situation by practicing active listening and communicating the problem.

•    Applies a positive mindset when faced with new situations at work.


•    Assesses and resolves difficult or sensitive problems through research and review of policies and procedures for the unit/department.

•    Anticipates immediate consequences and finds alternatives to addressing problems.

•    Implements new approach, process, or service while taking feedback and customer needs into consideration.

•    Shifts attention and adjusts goals and priorities in response to changing needs of the unit/department.

•    Takes suggestions for changes in behavior and method of approach to adapt to the situation with a positive attitude.

•    Explores new ideas, methodologies, and alternatives to reach outcomes. Creates relevant options for addressing problems/opportunities identified.

•    Reviews what other departments/institutions are doing and offers suggestions to improve policies and procedures.


•    Proactive about change and actively seeks opportunities to try out new experiences.

•    Anticipates and pursues difficult or sensitive issues and problems independently by collaborating with internal and external sources.

•    Serves as a resource for others in resolving issues and problems and brings forward innovative solutions with little to no guidance.

•    Draws on options and solutions from across the University and determines effective vs. ineffective solutions.

•    Prioritizes, considers alternatives, and responds quickly and effectively to unexpected and rapidly changing conditions.

•    Seeks new ways to generate creative ideas and thinks outside the box to accomplish tasks and objectives.

•    Thinks of several possible explanations or alternatives for a situation and anticipates potential obstacles, developing contingency plans to overcome them.



Examples of Activities for Development:

  • Defines a problem and generates solutions, then challenges themselves to think how they would defend the problem from the opposite point of view.
  • Volunteers to work on cross-functional teams or with people who are known to think outside of the box.
  • Incorporates any new ideas and concepts gained from the experience in the unit/department.
  • Builds on other people’s opinions by adopting a “yes and…” instead of a “yes, but…” attitude.
  • When generates ideas, broadly scans the alternatives, challenges themselves to view the problem from at least three different perspectives.
  • Takes an issue that is concerning; finds out how this sort of problem is being dealt with by other departments or institutions. Uses these ideas to resolve the problems.
  • Continually scans the media for interesting or unusual trends (e.g., technology). Identifies one or two trends that could enhance or potentially threaten discipline of work and/or department/unit. Presents findings and recommendations to manager.
  • Listens to other people’s opinions and suggestions. Identifies all the positive aspects of their viewpoint before taking a more critical approach.
  • Defines a problem and generated solutions, then challenges themselves to think how would to defend the problem from the opposite point of view.
  • Seeks out creative thinkers and talks with them to generate new ideas that can be applied in the work unit/department.
  • Attends conferences and workshops that present innovative concepts and ideas in the field and applies them to their work or unit/department
  • Asks for feedback from manager, colleagues, and/or employees regarding your problem solving skills. Devises a plan to work on problem areas.
  • Asks manager to increase scope of decision-making authority within own position, enabling to learn more about other areas of the unit/department
  • Looks for a significant problem in the unit/department. Examines the background of the problem.
  • Determines the factors that must be addressed and develops a plan to address the issue.
  • Makes a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis when facing a dilemma to make the proper decision.
  • Identifies problems brought forth by customers that were unexpected. Sees if there is a trend.
  • Determines the root cause of the problem. Also, determines what could have been done to prevent the problem from occurring? Identifies the impact to the unit/department if the problem is not solved and identifies the impact of the alternatives that were identified.
  • To help discover problems from different perspectives, engages in a new activity. Identifies any new approaches or ideas gained that may be useful in generating ideas to solve problems.
  • Makes a list of routine processes in the unit/department. Devises a plan to implement new technology and/or techniques to make them more efficient.
  • Seeks innovative projects or projects that are different from their normal work.
  • Takes initiative to work with someone whose viewpoint or methods of accomplishing work is different.

Influential Communication

Influential Communication

Definition: Uses a range of effective communication techniques to adapt communication to the audience, build consensus, seek mutual agreement, and explores alternatives to reach outcomes that gain the support and cooperation of all parties; actively listens and demonstrates genuine interest and empathy to others.

Previously: Communication and Persuasiveness/Facilitation

Proficient Advanced Expert
•       Responds to questions within established guidelines, ensuring timeliness and adherence to policies.

•       Communicates using clear and understandable language, demonstrating proficiency in both verbal and written communication.

•       Engages in active listening, showing patience and respect towards customers and colleagues.

•       Presents compelling arguments in support of a position, clarifies situations openly, and addresses concerns of appropriate parties.

•       Identifies points of agreement/disagreement, considering the needs and perspectives of all stakeholders.


•       Adapts communication style to suit various situations and audiences, ensuring clarity and appropriateness.

•       Offers clear guidance and consultation on complex or sensitive topics, fostering understanding and agreement among stakeholders.

•       Perceives audience needs accurately and adjusts communication accordingly to effectively convey messages.

•       Presents compelling arguments while maintaining focus on key issues, guiding discussions towards consensus through positive facilitation of differing viewpoints.

•       Tailors language, examples, and impactful information to the audience's level and experience.


•       Articulately presents complex information and clarifies policies.

•       Ensures understanding through regular follow-up and clear communication of complex processes.

•       Presents several different compelling arguments supporting a position and facilitates consensus among participants.

•       Builds support for negotiated solutions and addresses objections effectively by highlighting alternative values.

•       Tailors language and examples to audience levels for enhanced understanding, and ensures follow-up to guarantee solutions meet needs.



Examples of Activities for Development:

  • Seeks feedback on communication skills from colleagues or managers, incorporating observations into presentations and interactions.
  • Facilitates focus group sessions to enhance communication abilities.
  • Strategizes for challenging listening scenarios, preparing in advance.
  • Leads team meetings to hone leadership and communication skills.
  • Actively pursue speaking opportunities in various settings to improve public speaking abilities.
  • Practices negotiation skills through real-life scenarios with stakeholders, seeking mentorship for advancement. Meets with someone whose has advanced negotiating skills. Finds out what they do and applies it to similar situations.

Planning and Organization

Planning and Organization

Definition: Effectively prioritizes work and consciously allocates specific time and other resources to thoroughly and accurately achieve goals, objectives, tasks, and projects by established deadlines.

Previously: Time Management, Attention to Detail, Planning and Organization

Proficient Advanced Expert
•    Uses time effectively and efficiently.

•    Reviews daily schedule to revise, add, and/or eliminate activities.

•    Schedules tasks and prioritizes work in order to meet deadlines.

•    Completes all work according to current standards.


•    Allots ample time for the important tasks, and balances it with urgent requests.

•    Achieves goals and tasks in a timely manner, despite obstacles encountered, by organizing, re-prioritizing, and re-planning.

•    Resolves competing priorities on own.

·   •Thoroughly reviews and double-checks the accuracy of information and work product(s).

•    Carefully monitors the details and quality of work.

•    Monitors progress on processes and resources for activity to ensure deadlines are met.


•    Plans schedule and chooses between the urgent or critical tasks, obtaining or organizing the necessary resources and support to achieve operational objectives for the activity or unit/department.

•    Considers the short, medium, and long-term while attending to a broad range of tasks.

•    Adjusts plans to take account of changes in circumstances.

•    Instructs or coaches others in the appropriate timing for tasks.

•    Identifies ways to make processes more efficient in practice.

•    Is routinely conscientious, thorough, accurate, and reliable when performing and completing job tasks.



Examples of Activities for Development:

  • Creates a schedule and blocks off certain amount of time to devote to specific tasks. Sets time limits on tasks instead of just working until they’re done.
  • Makes a master list of the tasks needed to accomplish, ranked by priority. Crosses off completed tasks as finished.
  • Creates a daily schedule and sticks with it.
  • Marks down appointments and meetings and notes any details or thoughts about each meeting.
  • Asks for feedback from a trusted colleague regarding situations where good planning has been demonstrated and others that were less effective. Determines impact on the unit/department and ways to improve.
  • Creates reverse work plans, listing projects and goals for the year. Includes the various stages, the people responsible, other people working with or who need to be informed, and deadlines.

Reliability and Initiative

Reliability and Initiative

Definition: Proactively takes action when performing job-related tasks and completing assigned projects; maintains deadlines; consistently identifies, develops, and implements methods and practices to avoid future problems, create opportunities, and enhance products and services; takes personal responsibility for quality of work.

Previously: Reliability/Dependability and Initiative

Proficient Advanced Expert
•    Takes actions toward resolving problems and fulfilling own responsibilities.

•    Responds to requests by being cooperative, available, and timely.

•    Meets performance goals, standards, and task/project quality and deadlines.

•    Approaches daily tasks with personal responsibility, engagement, and enthusiasm.

•    Demonstrates internal motivation to be conscientious, consistent, and reliable.


•    Reviews and adopts most efficient approach to achieve personal and/or team objectives.

•    Demonstrates productivity and efficiency in planning, distributing, and executing work.

•    Identifies obstacles and implements solutions in personal and/or team tasks and projects.

•    Establishes priorities, produces consistent work, and applies unit/departmental policies to each task.


•    Reviews progress and redirects action when necessary to achieve targets and deadlines.

•    Makes self available to others and serves as a resource or “go-to” person for time sensitive or complicated matters.

•    Reviews own and/or team work and projects and creates efficiencies, workflows, and processes.

•    Utilizes external developments relevant to their area, identifying trends and emerging patterns, and implementing new ideas or initiatives.



Example Activities for Development:

  • Utilizes software (e.g., Microsoft Lists) or other methods (e.g., urgent importance matrix) to track, organize, and prioritize work. Assesses project priorities regularly and adjusts work plans to address specific issues.
  • Identifies processes that make current tasks more efficient, develops a plan to implement new processes, and garners buy in. Implements changes and solicits feedback from others about effectiveness of the new process.
  • When a new task/project is assigned, evaluates the goal and deadline of the task and devises and implements a plan to exceed goals while maintaining the deadline.
  • Provides supervisor with several potential solutions when presented with a challenge.

Valuing Diversity

Valuing Diversity

Definition: Appreciates differences as well as similarities and fosters a welcome environment in which all individuals can achieve their fullest potential and in which open and respectful communication is facilitated.

Proficient Advanced Expert
·     Actively seeks to treat all people with respect.

·     Sees the value in having a diverse population at the university.

·     Supports fair treatment and equal opportunity for all.

·     Pays attention to diverse viewpoints.

·     Promotes inclusive behavior when interacting with students, faculty, staff, and the community.

·     Demonstrates respect and appreciation for cultural diversity.

·     Ensures own behavior is free from bias and discrimination.

·     Challenges and addresses bias when it is encountered in the workplace.

·    Seeks different points of view and leverages diverse perspectives;  checks own views against the views of others.

·    Exemplifies inclusiveness through own actions and organization mission.

·    Ensures compliance with diversity policies and balances the needs of diverse groups.

·    Questions own behavior to ensure it is free from bias and discrimination.


Examples of Activities for Development:

  • Actively solicits input from a wide variety of people and functions.
  • Circulates newsletters and articles talking about diversity in the workplace.
  • Creates a diversity newsletter for the unit/program. Involve others to help it expand.
  • Creates or volunteers to participate on a panel that reviews policies and practices for inclusiveness.
  • Creates or volunteers to serve on a diversity committee.
  • Seeks to have a mentor/mentee from a different background.
  • Suggests diversity issues and topics for the agenda at regular team meetings.

Surveys or conducts a focus group to gain insight regarding ways to make the work environment more inclusive.

Manager Competencies

Change Management and Adaptability

Change Management and Adaptability

Definition: Contributes to the development of a unit/department’s direction based on the larger division’s goals and initiatives considering future impact; anticipates changes to current philosophy, practices, and procedures to achieve unit/department's mission; develops strategies to navigate and mitigate apprehension among staff and customers due to changes; encourages and assists employees to engage and adapt to changes; remains flexible to meet constantly changing and sometimes opposing demands.

Previously: Vision and Change Management

Proficient Advanced Expert
•   Conveys vision of the unit/department to staff and stakeholders.

•   Involves staff in setting goals for the unit/department and conducts interviews with staff to determine needs.

•   Inspires and motivates others within unit /department to be nimble.

•   Understands basic change management strategies and principles.

•   Communicates and implements new program policies and procedures.

•   Incorporates staff feedback to streamline processes in order to meet deadlines.

•   Ensures staff have a clear understanding of the changes taking place in the unit /department.


•   Communicates vision and mission of unit /department to employees while incorporating employee feedback for ideas on accomplishing new goals and objectives.

•   Proactively develops, revises, and implements policies and procedures, supportive of changes to the unit /department’s goals and direction.

•   Identifies unit /department’s strengths and develops plans to address areas needing improvement to support the overall unit/department’s direction.

•   Leads a transition from old to new programs or initiatives at the unit /department level.

•   Adjusts unit /department priorities quickly as situations change; actively engages staff in implementing the changes.

•   Helps staff to develop a clear understanding of what they will need to do differently, as a result of changes in the unit /department.

•   Fosters program acceptance by clearly articulating changes and impacts to affected parties.


•   Anticipates trends and future changes that represent threats or opportunities and determines an appropriate course of action.

•   Generates and considers alternative options for action to achieve the long-range goal or vision.

•   Communicates the strategic direction frequently and positively with staff, inspiring them to pursue it, and encouraging them to contribute to the strategic goals of the unit /department.

•   Leads the development and implementation of vision and mission statements.

•   Leads and directs the development and implementation of unit /department goals and objectives.

•   Develops and implements a successful change management plan prior to a major unit /department change.

•   Coaches and counsels staff to develop a clear understanding and acceptance of what they will need to do differently, as a result of changes in the unit /department.

•   Regularly provides status updates, and attentively listens to concerns regarding change from the community and staff to promote sincere acceptance.



Examples of Activities for Development:

  • Talks to leadership about the goals for unit/department and how they will be reached. Communicates these to the team outlining the course of action the unit/department as a whole is planning to take.
  • Determines the most prominent problems currently facing the unit/department. Identifies the major causes. Determines if problems are related and if actions affect several outcomes. Tackles each problem in the context of the unit/department as a whole, rather than as an isolated issue.
  • Takes an interest in the strategies of unit/departments outside of their own or the university. Determines what makes the difference between more and less successful organizations and implement best practices in own unit.
  • Talks to leadership about the goals for unit/department and how they will be reached. Communicates these to the team outlining the course of action the unit/department as a whole is planning to take.
  • Determines the most prominent problems currently facing the unit/department. Identifies the major causes. Determines if problems are related and if actions affect several outcomes. Tackles each problem in the context of the unit/department as a whole rather than as an isolated issue.
  • Takes an interest in the strategies of unit/departments outside of their own or the university. Determines what makes the difference between more and less successful organizations and implement best practices in own unit /department.

Conflict Management

Conflict Management

Definition: Supports the process for two or more parties to reach a peaceful resolution to a conflict; anticipates, diffuses, and resolves conflicts in a practical and constructive manner in order to achieve results; inspires and fosters team commitment, pride, and trust.

Proficient Advanced Expert
·    Identifies and defines conflicts. Understands the need for resolving conflicts.

·    Recognizes employee concerns by providing accurate information to reduce conflict or concern within the workplace.

·    Is aware of and respects differences by avoiding disrespectful words and actions.

·    Exercises flexibility and compromises or collaborates to prevent or resolve conflicts.

·    Is objective in situations that involve personal conflicts of interest.

·    Promotes calm dialogue and cooperation.

·     Meets with employees and addresses concerns regarding critical issues in an open and honest manner.

·     Practices active listening to gain a clear understanding of information being conveyed.

·     Manages conflict among team members by utilizing mediation techniques.

·     Maintains positive working relationships despite conflicting situations and personalities.

·     Is unbiased and trustworthy in situations that involve personal conflicts of interest. Moves quickly to resolve issues to prevent bitterness.

·     Creates an environment where conflict leads to a positive change. Adapts to changes and supports the team through the changes.

·     Develops plans to equitably and calmly resolve disputes.

·     Exhibits foresight to identify and diffuse conflicts before they occur.

·     Is well respected as a fair leader.

·     Able to have difficult conversations respectfully and with resolution.

·     Steps up to conflicts, seeing them as opportunities and defuses volatile situations.

·     Identifies and diffuses conflicts before they occur.


Examples of Activities for Development:

  • Reflects on patterns of conflict that might exist within the entire unit/department. Formulates a plan to begin to address the workplace issues.
  • Identifies recurring conflict situations. Investigates the barriers that prevent agreement to help determine the root cause for disagreement.
  • When someone says something can’t be done, hears them out then encourages them to think creatively about the opportunity.
  • Brainstorms ideas on how the status quo could be challenged to improve performance, then seeks and finds supporting data to create a business case for the change.
  • Take professional development courses on communication, team building, conflict management techniques, and having difficult conversations.
  • Actively creates an environment that fosters positive communication at all levels.

Developing & Leading Others

Developing & Leading Others

Definition: Actively works to improve and reinforce the performance of their employees and help them reach the limits of their capabilities; sets clear goals and provides constructive feedback immediately; takes responsibility for employees' career development; coaches employees to improve and advance their understanding; ensures staff are appropriately utilized, developed, and treated in a fair and equitable manner.

Proficient Advanced Expert
·    Monitors work of staff, closely and ongoing, to assess and problem-solve.

·    Reviews performance on a daily basis and provides suggestions and gives instructions for improving work.

·    Assigns tasks with the purpose of developing staff strengths.

·    Considers career goals of staff and is intentional regarding their development.

·    Assists and coaches employees to improve performance.

·    Understands strengths and weaknesses of each employee.

·    Seeks out development opportunities for staff and team to meet their full potential.

·     Reviews work of staff upon completion to assess and problem solve.

·     Reviews accomplishments of the unit/department over a short-range period to ensure that performance and service meet the required standards.

·     Provides challenging and stretching tasks and assignments.

·     Aware of each direct report’s career goals and holds frequent development discussions with them.

·     Involves staff in setting developmental plans.

·     Determines resources for learning.

·     Acknowledges growth and accomplishments, no matter the size.

·     Evaluates accomplishments of the unit/department to ensure missions and goals are being met.

·     Holds frequent development discussions with staff, discussing progress and encouraging staff to adjust development plans as needed.

·     Creates opportunities for enrichment and development programs for staff and motivates them to participate.

·     Assess unit/department training plans to meet future business needs.


Examples of Activities for Development:

  • Asks employees what they can do to improve the way tasks are delegated. Listens to suggestions and integrates them into style of delegation.
  • Holds weekly team or individual meetings to clarify unit/department deliverables and priorities.
  • Schedules feedback sessions with employees after they complete a major assignment. Discusses what went well and what did not go well.
  • Considers interests and career goals of staff when determining assignments and tasks, see what they would like to do. Considers the future capabilities the unit/department that will be needed to succeed.
  • Helps staff create development plans that will be mutually beneficial, and may include opportunities outside the unit or University which benefits the employee.



Definition: Responds to difficult, stressful, or sensitive interpersonal situations to minimize conflict by carefully choosing words and using a tone appropriate for the situation at hand; senses what others are feeling and responds in a tactful manner, finding balance in the response to all parties so that a situation does not escalate further.

Proficient Advanced Expert
·    Displays self-awareness and adaptability while demonstrating integrity and maintaining ethical standards.

·    Responds and relates well to peers and to those in positions of authority.

·    Is seen as a team player and is cooperative.

·    Solves problems with peers and direct reports with minimal disruption.

·    Values experience and openly relies on their expertise to benefit the organization.

·    Fosters goodwill between groups and organizations.

·     Manages policy and rule changes with minimal disruption to the team.

·     Responds and relates well to people in all positions, inside and outside their unit/department or field of expertise.

·     Finds common ground quickly and solves problems for the good of the unit/department.

·     Represents their own interests and yet is fair to other groups.

·     Encourages collaboration and easily gains trust and support of others.

·     Manages issues and behavior to prevent internal strife or dysfunction in the unit/department by applying knowledge about people and social dynamics.

·     Responds and relates extremely well to people in all positions, initiating and maintaining relationships inside and outside  unit/department and/or field of expertise.

·     Builds trust and leads teams, encouraging others to step out of their comfort zones to form new interpersonal relationships.

·     Well-regarded and respected by peers.


Examples of Activities for Development:

  • Seeks feedback from colleagues and leadership in how a situation was handled.
  • Ask for advice and tips from someone who is regarded as successful in this skill.
  • Seek to increase emotional intelligence through self-evaluation.
  • Seeks professional development opportunities to enhance these skills.