Individuals interviewing for the role were given an opportunity to talk about three competency clusters. I admit that the process had a trick to it. For each cluster there were two similar but yet not the same areas of competence. The interview was the candidate’s opportunity to tell stories of their ability and proficiency in being able to perform. It was also a test to see if the individuals knew and understood the nuances of collaboration, teamwork, and consensus leadership.
I look back on the process with wonder. Initially my HR partner was unsure that the process would work. I suggested we let it play out with our evaluations tempered by the outcome of the experiment as a whole. As optimistic as I was, the stark outcome was surprising. One candidate had a near perfect score! He flagged the differences in each cluster before telling a story. He told us six stories, one for each competency, and provided a brief editorial on how each related to the other.
At the heart of the interview was a question about collaboration. Did the candidate believe? Could the candidate describe a story where s/he collaborated with another? Was this a priority in her/his life?
As I reflect on the contributions of the individual in the new role, I find myself asking the same question when I am looking in the mirror. One writer notes that “each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits.” (1 Corinthians 12.7) If his premise is accurate, collaboration and respect are critical! We are all in on the mission. We are a part of God’s family – everyone, no exclusions.
As I think of the day ahead, I wonder if I could succinctly tell someone about the difference. I could use the winning candidates line. “You realize that you are talking about two distinctly different competencies?” Without further explanation or questioning, he told me a story of each. He then described how each fit into his life and heart values. Words put into action.