Why you must actively develop your capability at work

Oct 20, 2016

From the moment you start work, managers, colleagues and customers will want to know only one thing about you: do you have the capability to do the job?

No matter what type of work you do or industry you work in your single most important goal each and every day on the job is to develop your personal capability.

From the moment you arrive at work to the moment you leave, you must demonstrate that you are capable at doing your job and more by bringing value to the tasks entrusted to you.

Job application processes, interviews, probationary periods and supervisory or feedback sessions are all designed to interrogate and test your capability on the job and this testing is never ending.

You must work to acquire mastery and competence at the job. Only then will you be able to truly release your full potential in your working life.

And it is right for it to be so – after all, there is a business or organisation to run and your employer needs to justify what you are being paid to address the problem you are there to solve. Also, without these tests of capability you would neither grow as a person nor find personal satisfaction through your achievements at work.

What is personal capability?

In this two-part blog we will be looking at how to develop your personal capability so you can release the potential within. But let’s first begin by looking at the components of capability – what’s it made up of

Your capability is made up of: knowledge, skill and competencies. You must have knowledge of the field and industry you work in, such as a financial analyst working in digital marketing.

Next, you must have the skills required to do the job, so knowing how to communicate well with clients or to analyse data. Next, you must become competent in these areas, which determines how well you make use of both your skills and your knowledge in decision making, solving problems and meeting a deadline. Being able to discern the underlying intricacies of a client’s problem and the latest market information affecting him will enable you to become much more effective as solving that problem, and you become increasingly better at this over time.

So, knowledge, skill and competency make up the contents of your capability briefcase. Developing capability also requires the skill of knowing what the right mix of these components are for each task you are required to carry out. That’s the only way you are going to know what to focus on developing the most.

Capability = unique personal force or power

People development expert professor Richard Dealtry describes developing capability as building your “unique dynamic personal force”. Once built, you can use this personal and unique force to develop recognition and create open doors for yourself.  You will be better at making informed decisions that make you better off.

Like a set of rusty wheels attempting to move up hill, developing capability starts off slowing and difficult at first. You may be in your first job after graduating or have just started a new position where you are having to learn lots of new things all at once. It’s also a case that those you work with are having to get to know you too. But as time goes on you will begin to see progress and find things much easier.

The need to develop capability is a life-long exercise because industries are subject to constant change: technology, new emerging markets and people movement all require the constant updating of skills and knowledge in order to do our jobs well.

So, given that proving your capability to your manager and colleagues as well as those who benefit from your ability to do your job well (customers, services= users, suppliers etc.) is the key to releasing all that’s within you, what can you do to start developing it and get that rusty cog moving much more quickly?

We will tackle exactly how to develop your capability at work in part two of this blog.

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