Beyond Competence - What Really Drives Personal Success and Client Choice?

Beyond Competence - What Really Drives Personal Success and Client Choice?

I read an interesting article recently that explored the relationship between technical competence, effectiveness and success. The article was specifically about the skills needed by Chief Risk Officers but the conclusions apply to all of us.

Technical competence and qualifications get you through the door. They give you instant credibility and a voice. After that, it’s a question of what personal and softer skills you can deploy. Then it comes down to your ability to communicate and influence; your curiosity and strategic thinking abilities.

A CRO can have all the technical understanding of corporate risk in the world. But if they can’t apply that knowledge to their own business, imagine how risks might evolve or, most importantly, communicate that information to colleagues and influence how they react, then they are not being effective.

There are immediate parallels to be drawn with our own careers. Our qualifications allowed us to be considered for the job. Once you’re hired it’s all down to what else you can bring to the organisation.

Personal Effectiveness

This is all highly relevant to the work we do with bid teams. Technical competence allows your business to be considered for a particular contract  - and probably allowed you to be considered for your current role. Potential suppliers are pre-selected and deemed competent to deliver the project. So the tender process is about something else. 

Business and career success are driven by more than technical knowledge.

Every discipline has become more competitive. Senior staff are expected to be effective communicators, good influencers and have the strategic vision to see how their specialist knowledge can best be deployed to support the business and its clients. 

The practical difficulty comes when executives must develop these broader skills when they face unrelenting pressure to stay ahead in their profession and keep on top of other managerial and commercial responsibilities.

High Pressure Business Opportunities

The ‘must win’ business opportunity invariably has to be attacked alongside existing day job responsibilities. Finding space to recognise and develop broader communication and influencing skills is hard.

At the Bid Coach we add value by coaching individuals and their teams on how to recognise and understand their communication strengths. We help match these strengths to what their client is seeking from a potential business partner. Typically, there are too many assumptions made about the client’s perception of a potential contractor’s strengths and how those relate to their own needs. It often helps to spell everything out clearly from an independent viewpoint.

Clarity comes from a series of realistic, thought-provoking and increasingly challenging workshops. People have the opportunity to practice and refine their communication skills and behaviours in a safe, structured environment.

Individuals gain a better understanding of themselves; how they communicate, and how their communication and behaviours may be perceived by others. They can more easily recognise particular communication and behavioural styles  and can adapt and respond to these in ways that are both natural, genuine and sustainable. 

The environment is usually related to a specific business opportunity. But the skills delegates acquire are useful in every aspect of their professional and private lives. Feedback tells us that delegates find they become more confident in themselves, which makes them more influential, impactful and respected within their business and wider industry circles.