Patton Associates, People Development Coaches - Gary Patton, Peoples Coach

HI! I'm Gary, 'The People Development Guy'. I manage, as Senior Partner & Coach,

I specialize in helping people learn how to better relate to one another and organizations how to better practise relating to their customers.

Operating as usual


I am waiting for the coming
Of Earth's long expected Lord;
For the signs are now fulfilling
That word He gave us in His Word.
I am watching, I am waiting,
For that promised happy day;
Yet I do not cease my working;
I must work as well as pray.
W.S. Cruzan


“Competencies for Personal & Team Developmental Growth”

Another S-M-A-R-TBriefing™

by: Gary F. Patton

Competencies? Say What??

Do you get confused when HR people and managers you know start throwing around the HR jargon words ‘competencies’ and ‘KSAOs’? Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between a ‘skill’ and an ‘ability’, which is what the ‘K’ and ‘A’ stand for in the acronym KSAO?

If you have, don’t worry because most managers aren’t clear about these concepts right along with you. Regrettably, even many HR practitioners won’t be able to give you a clear, understandable definition of either term. Or why they’re important!

Further, there’s no significant difference between skill and ability when one checks a dictionary. They’re synonyms although most HR people I’ve know in practising and teaching in the HR field for years use them both. That’s also true of most articles you’ll discover on the Web.

While so-called HR experts talk about synonyms, they ignore the most important ’A’-word in human performance. (More about that shortly.)

Despite the confusion, these two terms are extremely important when it comes to hiring the “right” people. And then assisting them to reach their full potential. So...

Here’s Your Opening S-M-A-R-TTip™

“A ‘competency’ is a set of clearly defined knowledge, skills, attitudes, and other behavioural/personality qualities (KSAOs) which empower a person to produce superior performance.” ~ gfp '42©

You’ll note that in my definition, the power ‘A’-word is ‘attitude’. Wouldn’t you agree that most people can only be coached in how to improve if their attitude is appropriate?

OK! Here’s Even More Clarity For You!

You’ll find it equally helpful to think of performance competencies in terms of an iceberg.

"Technical competencies" are at the tip ...the portion above the waterline that is clearly visible ...and therefore easier to perceive, assess and coach. "Behavioural competencies" are those below the waterline. Usually hidden, personal and unique, these are more difficult to assess, and harder to develop or grow.

Our behavioural competencies are best understood as manifestations of how we view ourselves (self-image), how we typically behave (traits), and what values (motives) drive us, consistently.

How Many Did You Say?

In their 2001 book The Leadership Machine, Michael Lombardo and Robert Eichinger presented a leadership competency framework that included sixty-seven competencies of great leaders. Yes, you read me right ...67.

That’s a lot of competencies for us to master! Their list covers the universe of leadership competencies some might say. But, it’s just too much information for many!

Isn’t there a core group I can work on and help my team with, you ask? You’ll be glad to hear I feel there is! Based on my 30+ years of management and management consulting experience, I’ve defined what I call my “Top 10 Leadership Competencies”. And most leaders will agree my first one is foundational to all the rest.

I’ll be happy to email you a complimentary copy when you ask!

Here’s Your Closing S-M-A-R-TTip™ as a Bonus:

“The best indicator of future performance is past performance. Using a professional, carefully check the background and statements, not just references, of your short-listed candidates before hiring anyone.” ~ gfp '42©

Please e-mail me at the linked address below regarding your questions about this article.

© 2003-2020 Gary F. Patton

Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
E-Mail: [email protected]

You may share what God has given me in this article only in accordance with the Creative Commons 3.0 License

How to Stay Productive During COVID-19 Outbreak? 05/16/2020

An excellent article including some helpful tips.

How to Stay Productive During COVID-19 Outbreak? If you're feeling anxious and depressed during this season of COVID-19 quarantine, here's what genuine productivity looks like in a new normal.


Reviewing lists of difficult interview questions like those on the WWW might be some help for those seeking a career change.

But, memorizing canned responses to regularly asked interview questions is what I call “old-school”! For over 20 years I taught my coaching clients a better way.

You will discover some of my key S-M-A-R-T Tips on how to best get ready for difficult job interviews in my short article on my confidential website at

Candidate Evaluation – What is the best, most defensible method? | Fulcrum Search Science Inc. 06/05/2018

Need a strong, legally defensible candidate evaluation process for your hiring purposes.

In this short article, my long-time, trusted Friend and head-hunter colleague, Bruce McAlpine, shares some helpful, practical advice on how to develop one.

He suggests using behavioural interview techniques coupled with a simple and effective, numeric scoring system.

Candidate Evaluation – What is the best, most defensible method? | Fulcrum Search Science Inc. Candidate evaluation using behavioural interview techniques tied to a scoring system


"Block Out Time for Quiet Time Contemplation"

The volume of information and stimuli coming at us every day makes it more difficult to focus on our priorities than ever.

To do the careful thinking that decision-making and leadership require, one must step back from the noise of the world.

Schedule 15-minute breaks once or twice a day to sit quietly or take a short walk, anywhere. Commit to these breaks as you would any other important priority. We all know that if do not schedule moments of quiet, something else will fill the time.

Use these quiet times to think about your to-do list, especially the tasks you should stop doing. Solitude gives you the space to reflect on where your time is best spent.

During these quiet times, strive to achieve clarity on specific activities you'd be wise to stop, e.g. committees will step down from, invitations you will politely decline, toxic relationships you will end, etc..

Adapted from: “In a Distracted World, Solitude Is a Competitive Advantage,” by Mike Erwin

Who am I REALLY looking for? | Fulcrum Search Science Inc. 03/19/2018

It is easy to screen potential job candidates for education and experience.

But fit is a very tricky issue. Lack of it is why many new hires do not succeed and employers waste energy, time, and money.

Bruce McAlpine is a skilled recruiter with many years of experience. His tips will help you address the difficult issue of fit.

Who am I REALLY looking for? | Fulcrum Search Science Inc. Clarity on who you really want to hire. Difference between Job Specification and Job Description. Figuring out Fit


Happy Birthday, my fellow Canuks!

Sign the Petition 04/20/2017

Please make your views known!

Sign the Petition Click 'Sign Up' if you think Kathleen Wynne should be held accountable for her disastrous policies.

5 Management Practices Needed for Flawless Service Delivery 01/22/2017

Be a leader in customer care by providing consistently customer-delighting service!

5 Management Practices Needed for Flawless Service Delivery The time has come for these ideas to be embraced and instituted across every business that wants to compete on service.In the past, I've written other articles on the subject of strategy and competition. To summarize the messages from earlier articles, it is my belief that every business competes ac...


Thankfully, here's helpful information on an important subject for we ordinary human beings.

Gig economy: Just the ticket for transitioning boomers? 07/20/2016

There are some great tips in this article re how entrepreneurs of all ages can turn the gig economy to their advantage.

Gig economy: Just the ticket for transitioning boomers? This column is part of Globe Careers’ Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their views and advice about leadership and management. Follow us at@Globe_Careers. Find all Leadership Lab stories

No, you are not ‘running late’, you are rude and selfish 04/16/2016

The thesis of this article is truth which will upset many business people ...despite its truthfulness!

Always, always, always protect your integrity and reputation by under-promising and over delivering!

No, you are not ‘running late’, you are rude and selfish Firebrand founder Greg Savage posted this no-holds-barred post about the importance of showing up on time that we felt we just had to share. Greg has not only founded four incredibly successful staffing businesses, but is a very compelling and highly-sought after international keynote speaker.

Match Fit in Hiring | Fulcrum Search Science Inc. 03/24/2016

The linked article will assist you avoid poor “fit” during the hiring process.

This will reduce one of the biggest causes of employee resignations/terminations right at the front end, thus reducing the significant costs associated with employee turnover.

Match Fit in Hiring | Fulcrum Search Science Inc. minimize resignations/terminations by focusing on fit in the selection process

How does your salary stack up to the rest of the country? A look at what Canadians make 12/06/2015

Canadian, might you need to get up, get going, and move on because your salary is not competive?

Or, check below and you may feel proud of yoiurself!

If you're not happy, three of my friends are among the best headhunters in all of North America. Please let me know if I can give you a referral?

How does your salary stack up to the rest of the country? A look at what Canadians make With so much focus recently on tax brackets and who stands to benefit (or lose) based on their income, now is the time to compare. Ted Rechtshaffen crunches the numbers

5 Essential SEO Predictions to Watch in 2016 | DAC Group 12/05/2015

If you have a Website but you don't understand most of the techie terms in this excellent article, you're probably in trouble.

5 Essential SEO Predictions to Watch in 2016 | DAC Group As the Google machine continues its evolution, we're making a few SEO predictions on what new advances could be in store for 2016...

Timeline photos 10/29/2015

You don't have to be ADHD to self-identify with the graphic below ...just unmanaged Type 'A' like I usta be!

Mobile uploads 10/22/2015

After 48 years of business experience, I commend the lesson of the graphic to you!


A founder can never be pushed out of her own organization!


Read Heidi Roizen's tale of woes and take your own percussions!

What’s Holding Women Back in the Workplace? 10/01/2015

The men on the Boards of major corporations will not like many of the finding of a major new study of women in the workplace.

LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. conducted the research. They gathered data on promotions, attrition and trajectories from 118 companies. They surveyed nearly 30,000 men and women.

You may be shocked how little change there's been since the hard-drinking, sexist guys of the 1950s and 60s, who are accurately depicted in the TV Series, “Mad Men", rode roughshod through the North American workplace!

What’s Holding Women Back in the Workplace? Despite support at the top, gender equality is a long way off at most U.S. companies. A study by Lean In and McKinsey reveals why—and what employees and companies can do about it.

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Reviewing lists of difficult interview questions like those on the WWW might be some help for those seeking a career cha...



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