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How to Use Lominger Competencies to Improve Key Business Skills in 2023

Kate William

30 May 2023

7 min read

Lominger competencies are like having a secret code for understanding what makes a great fit for your organization. HR teams often rely on such competency models to to figure out:

  • If a prospective employee has what it takes to excel in their role and in the company culture.
  • Do they have the right skill sets?
  • Can they stay cool under pressure?
  • Are their personal goals in sync with organizational goals?
  • Can they play nice in the sandbox with the rest of the team?

In this article, we’re going to:

What is the Lominger competencies model?

A Lominger competency is a simple model used by human resource teams across organizations to understand the way employees behave in certain situations. More importantly, this model acts as a skill management system that assesses 67 competencies, focusing primarily on talent management and fundamental leadership.

In the historical context, Lominger competencies were established by Robert Eichinger and Michael Lombardo in 1991

Interestingly, what sets Lominger questions apart is that they don’t have a specific right answer. So, if these questions are posed during interviews, prepared interviewees have a good chance of standing out.

Above all, these competencies help businesses find employees who will be a perfect fit for their culture.

How? Each of the Lominger competencies pinpoints certain skill sets and characteristics. For instance, it can be used to understand your communication level, ability to develop interpersonal relationships, collaborative mindset, and so forth.

One of the best ways to answer Lominger questions is to use the STAR method:

  • Situation: Take the case of a challenge or problem you had encountered. Here, you should set the stage for your answer. The setup of the story needs to be strong for it to be impactful to the interviewer. 
  • Task: Describe how you were involved in the situation. What were your job responsibilities during this scenario? You need to highlight how you were going about your tasks. 
  • Action: Write down the actions you took to overcome the issue. You can start with explaining how you began to come up with a solution, the first few steps. Describe the set of steps that you took to handle the problem. 
  • Result: Explain how it impacted the organization or your personal life. List out the benefits and highlight if it affected the bottom line or improved the productivity of their colleagues. 

Lominger Competencies List: 13 Key Competencies For Every Firm

There are 67 Lominger competencies. While we will not go through each of them, let us look at 13 important Lominger competencies, their behavioral-based questions, and the skills that you can understand from them. 

Competency #1: Technical Learning

  1. How did you go about acquiring new technical knowledge?
  2. Please give us examples of how you applied your new technical knowledge into your job?
  3. Can you explain us the approaches you have used while learning a new technology?

Outcomes from the above questions:

  • Easy to understand whether they have acquired new learning.
  • It shows the employer if they can pick up technologies with ease. 

Competency #2: Problem Solving

  1. What was the last time you solved a problem for your company? 
  2. What is your approach when you face a problem in the organization you work for?
  3. Please describe a situation where you faced a high level of risk and uncertainty. How did you handle the situation? 

Outcomes from the above questions:

  • It shows how they can cope with changes. 
  • Helps you understand how the employee can handle risk and uncertainty.
  • Would they be flexible during highly risky times. 

Competency #3: Innovation Management

  1. Describe us instances where you were able to predict trends and work accordingly?
  2. Walk us through your creative process. 
  3. How do you keep your team engaged and be creative during brainstorming sessions?

Outcomes from the above questions:

  • Understand they will be able to facilitate effective brainstorming.
  • The person can manage the creative process with others.
  • They have good judgement about what kind of ideas will work.

Competency #4: Timely Decision-Making

  1. Describe situations where you had to make swift decisions?
  2. What were some of the decisions you took that changed the results of your project?
  3. What were the results of your timely decisions? 

Outcomes from the above questions:

  • Make decisions without complete information.
  • Their ability to make quick decisions.
  • The employee can handle tight deadlines and pressure. 

Competency #5: Planning

  1. How do you plan a project? 
  2. What were some of the complex decisions that you have had to take?
  3. How did you implement it and collaborate with the team?
  4. How do you communicate your plan to your team? What is your method for setting goals with them?
  5. Unexpected events can happen no matter how well you plan. What kind of contingency plans do you have for potential issues that you will face in implementing your plan? 

Outcomes from the above questions:

  • Effectively scope out the length of projects.
  • Measures their ability to set goals and set up processes.
  • Break down plans into step-by-step processes.
  • Ability to predict potential roadblocks.

Competency #6: Process Management

  1. Explain how you develop process for successful projects?
  2. Have you ever had to collaborate with others for major projects?
  3. How would you simplify complicated tasks?

Outcomes from the above questions:

  • They know how to organize people and projects.
  • Their ability to simplify complex processes. 
  • Good at understanding the process behind each project. 

Competency #7: Conflict Management

  1. Describe instances where you mitigated a volatile conflict?
  2. What are some of the situations where you had to be extremely objective in your assessment of the project?
  3. How do you resolve disputes? 
  4. What is your process behind finding issues?

Outcomes from the above questions:

  • Ability to settle disputes peacefully.
  • Seeing conflicts as opportunities to find a middle ground.
  • The ability to read situations amicably. 
  • Good at understanding issues and managing conflicts.

Competency #8: Drive for Results

  1. Share us some of the results that you delivered for the most challenging project you worked on.
  2. How do you make sure that your work goes according to your plans?
  3. Think of a complex project. How did you anticipate issues and what were the steps you took to exceed the expectations from the project?
  4. Share at least two instances of how your attitude towards work resulted in excellent outcomes? 

Outcomes from the above questions:

  • Reliable enough for big projects.
  • Will be someone who will consistently rank as the top performer.
  • Pushes self and others for results.

Competency #9: Written Communications

  1. Ask the writers for several writing samples to understand their writing prowess.
  2. Walk us through some of the best presentations you have made.
  3. Give us an example of an email where you explained in detail about the project.

Outcomes from the above questions:

  • The ability to write clearly and communicate with precision.
  • Possess a variety of communication styles.
  • Can understand instructions and pass them across in written communication.

Competency #10: Peer Relationships

  1. Describe how well you interact inside and outside the organization with peers and colleagues?
  2. What are some of the steps that you have taken to create a peaceful and cordial atmosphere at the workplace?
  3. It is difficult to satisfy everyone at the same time. Think of a time when you arrived at a strategy that pleased everyone.
  4. Do you have a strategy to find a common ground with everyone in a team?

Outcomes from the above questions:

  • Can effectively solve problems.
  • Is a team player who can bring everyone on the same team.
  • Has the ability to gain the trust of people.
  • Can be fair with everybody.

Competency #11: Integrity and Trust

  1. Being confident at all times is difficult. How do you compose yourself during tough times? 
  2. Can you share us an incident where you were highly ethical despite the prevailing circumstances.
  3. Describe a situation where you were confident despite a tough atmosphere.
  4. Describe one of your most challenging situations where you were pressured to let go of ethical and moral principles, but you stood your ground.

Outcomes from the above questions:

  • Shows if they can trusted.
  • Tells that the person is truthful, has integrity, and is not afraid to take the right decisions.
  • Know that they can be helpful for anyone who needs assistance.
  • Doesn’t misrepresent themselves.

Competency #12: Dealing with Paradox

  1. Tell us about a time when you had to adopt to changes that you had no control over. 
  2. How adaptable are you when it comes to circumstances, people, and office environments.
  3. Share an experience of how you had to unlearn what you knew to work on a project in a completely different manner. 

Outcomes from the above questions:

  • It shows how differently they can adopt to circumstances.
  • Tells how flexible the person is when it comes to tough situations.
  • Shows how compassionate they can be.
  • The person is well-balanced emotionally when it comes to tricky situations. 

Competency #13: Interpersonal Savvy

  1. Tell us about a time when you had to build rapport with a particular individual or organization in quick time?
  2. Walk us through a time when you made extra effort to build strong relationships with customers and vendors, especially when the relationship was challenging.
  3. How do you react to situations in a tense atmosphere? 

Outcomes from the above questions:

  • Is good at building effective relationships.
  • Can defuse tension in a stressful environment.
  • Can manage people with different temperaments.
  • Relates to people from all kinds and backgrounds. 

Lominger Assessment: How SurveySparrow Can Help

SurveySparrow can be a highly effective tool for assessing Lominger competencies in a candidate. Here’s how:

1. 360° Assessment Process: HR teams can share assessments with the right people – managers, reportees, and peers – and gather their feedback. This feedback (which can be anonymous if necessary), is then used to create a comprehensive 360° feedback report that highlights the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.

2. Assessment Questions: SurveySparrow allows the creation of customized 360° feedback forms for employees and managers. These assessments measure performance and behavior across various competencies.

3. Conducting 360° Assessments: The platform offers a suite of tools to automate various aspects of performance evaluation, from creating assessments and inviting participants, to tracking assessment status and report generation. It also provides pre-filled questions and sections that you can edit and add to suit your needs better.

4. 360° Assessment Reports: SurveySparrow comes with an in-built reporting module that creates auto-generated reports. Managers can review the results of the assessment, add their own inputs where necessary, and decide whether to approve or reject the report​.

5. Competency Summary: The platform provides a summary of the competencies in the 360° assessment – including scores given by the Subject, Peer, Reportee, and Manager, plus the average rating. This allows for a quick overview of how the candidate performs across various competencies​.

In short, with SurveySparrow you have a customizable platform for conducting 360° assessments that can effectively evaluate Lominger competencies.

Wrapping Up

With the right implementation, Lominger competencies model helps organizations bring the right talent into the organization. Employees who eventually score well for competencies and exceeding organizational expectations means that you have hit the jackpot in terms of talent.

If there is a difference between the results from the competency model and actual behavior, you might want to re-assess your assessment model. Lominger competencies are also useful for individuals as it helps them discover their competencies and motivates them to do better. 

Kate William

Content Marketer at SurveySparrow

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