Attitudes and Competencies
Attitudes change with various events in a person's life. These emotional changes also vary in length of time. For example:
- I lose a loved one and my performance drops for a few months while I am in the grieving process.
- My performance appraisal is due in eight weeks. My performance increases in the hope that I will get a better review.
- I am deeply in debt and my performance drops as this burden weighs heavily upon my mind.
- One task is very complex and takes up the majority of my time. As I become more experienced, I learn several methods that speed up the completion of the task. This allows me to concentrate on improving other skills.
- My interests change. Even though I know how to perform a task to standards, I no longer worry if it is performed correctly or not as I am engaged in other tasks that interest me more.
- My career leads me to mastering certain tasks, as I am very ambitious.
- I do not believe that a task is important, so I do not spend the time to learn or perform it correctly.
- I have a cold. I do as little as possible for a few days until my energy level improves.
Many definitions of competency include attitudes, such as beliefs, values, traits, and motives. But, as shown above, people ride an emotional roller coaster throughout their lifetime, which makes performance a combination of competencies and attitudes. Emotions are more than a mood of feeling up or down . . . they include such concepts as desires, ambitions, and traits that influence the actions we take.
On the other hand, some would say that competencies fade away over a period of time if they are not used. However, if it is a real competency, then it takes an extremely long time for it to weaken.
For example, I consider bicycle riding as one as my personal competencies. While serving in the Army, there was a six-year period where I never came near a bicycle. Yet, when I returned to riding, I rode as if I never missed a day. A competency is a skill buried deep within you, and it takes an extremely long period for it to weaken significantly or turn into a liability.
For an in-depth discussion on attitudes, see Attitudes and Performance.