© 2008, AMACOM, a division of the American Management Association 49
The AMA Management
Development Competency
Knowing and Managing Yourself
e start with competencies in the category of knowing and manag-
ing yourself, because if an individual cannot master most of these
competencies, he will likely never be trusted to manage others or to
manage the business. In the category of “knowing and managing your-
self,” the competencies defined in the AMA model for individual pro-
fessionals are displayed in Table 3.1.
We will first define each competency and then illustrate each with
sample behaviors to further clarify each competency and to demonstrate
at which level (individual professional, first-level manager, mid-level
manager, or functional manager) each competency becomes important
to success. The full AMA competency model, with illustrative behaviors
TABLE 3.1 Competencies for Knowing and Managing Yourself
Emotional Intelligence/Self-Awareness
Building Trust and Personal Accountability
Resilience and Stress Tolerance
Action Orientation
Time Management
Flexibility and Agility
Critical and Analytical Thinking
Creative Thinking
and the levels at which each behavior becomes important, can be found
in this book’s appendix.
Emotional Intelligence/Self-Awareness
AMA defines this competency as analyzing and recognizing one’s own
strengths and weaknesses, attitudes, and feelings. An employee with this
competence maintains a clear, realistic understanding of her goals, capa-
bilities, and limitations. She seeks feedback about her effectiveness and
makes changes in response to that feedback. She is attuned to her inner
feelings, recognizing how these feelings affect her behavior and job per-
formance. She expresses her feelings and reactions appropriately.
Illustrative Behavior 1: Proactively solicits both positive and
constructive feedback on his or her performance.
Illustrative Behavior 2: Adjusts his or her behavior in re-
sponse to feedback.
At all levels, a person with this competency becomes self-aware by
continuously asking for feedback on his performance, whether that be
job performance, performance as a team member or leader, or in man-
agerial duties, to better understand his effects on the people with whom
he works, and to adjust his behavior to improve working relationships
with peers, managers, and peers. This sensitivity is a key element in
emotional intelligence.
Illustrative Behavior 3: Recognizes feelings and concerns
heard in conversation to address the other person’s expressed
and underlying needs.
Emotional intelligence also requires that the employee, at all levels,
recognizes the explicit and tacit feelings of others—employees, man-
agers, and peers. Emotional intelligence is not just about managing
your own feelings, but also about recognizing and reacting to the feel-
ings of others.
50 AMA Guide to Management Development
© 2008, AMACOM, a division of the American Management Association
Illustrative Behavior 4: Understands his or her personal pref-
erences for making decisions, solving problems, and working
with others; recognizes when his or her preferred style may not
be the most effective approach given the situation.
Every person, at every level of the organization, has an inherent style
of interacting with other people. In various seminars given by the AMA,
we use a variety of instruments to help people recognize their personal
styles, or ways they interact with other people. By learning your own
style and recognizing the styles of others with whom you work, you can
better understand the effects of your style on others, and of their styles on
you, and work to flex your style to improve working relationships. This is
an important competency at all levels of the organization.
Illustrative Behavior 5: Asks questions that create an atmo-
sphere in which the other person feels comfortable discussing
the situation and sharing concerns.
Illustrative Behavior 6: Expresses his or her feelings and reac-
tions in a calm, clear manner.
Illustrative Behavior 7: Communicates tactfully even when
others are unhappy or confused.
An employee with good emotional intelligence can control his own
emotions and related behaviors and can recognize the feelings of others
and adjust his behavior to keep both himself and others calm in tense
situations by expressing himself in a calm, collected manner and by
helping others to express their concerns similarly. This is an important
competency at all levels of the organization, perhaps becoming more
important as the employee climbs the management ladder.
Illustrative Behavior 8: Coaches others on the importance of
self-awareness and how to become more self-aware.
As important as behaviors 1 through 7 are for the individual pro-
fessional, when you progress up the management ladder, it becomes
Chapter 3
AMA Model: Knowing and Managing Yourself 51
© 2008, AMACOM, a division of the American Management Association

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