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Definitions of Behaviors

This section includes definitions for each of the behaviors included in the survey.

Is a Problem Solver

How do you know someone is a problem solver? They clearly identify problems (but not only the problem) and consider solutions, too. They analyze the situation and may gather data by asking questions, reviewing information, and seeking others’ opinions. They are action-oriented and may offer up a few possible solutions, along with the pros and cons of each. When handling significant problems, they may use more formal problem-solving methodologies or tools.

Embraces and Applies Creativity

What comes to mind when you think about someone who is creative? Creativity isn’t just artistic expression; it’s a way of viewing and interacting with the world that can enhance all areas of life. A person who embraces and applies creativity generates relevant, original ideas and solutions, or applies ideas and solutions in new ways. They make connections among previously unrelated notions. They recognize the value of bringing in ideas from the outside and are not afraid to experiment to find solutions.

Makes Objective Decisions

What were the best decisions you’ve made? What helped you make them? A person who makes objective decisions makes good decisions based upon wisdom, analysis, and personal experience. They can articulate the criteria they used yet can also trust and leverage sound intuition. They can effectively weigh pros and cons and can reach conclusions confidently in a timely manner, even under tight deadlines.

Finds, Creates, and Leverages Data

When and how do you use data? People who are skilled at finding, creating, and leveraging data make a big impact with their work. They seek out relevant data to support decision making and influence others. They share their findings with others, incorporating data into presentations with skill. They can successfully analyze and synthesize different data points to reach conclusions. They often use data in innovative ways, harnessing the facts to ensure their work is relevant and meaningful.

Takes Calculated Risks

When is taking a risk a good idea? How big of a risk is too big? Someone who takes calculated risks takes action despite ambiguous circumstances or incomplete information. They show good judgment in balancing the need for information with the need for action.

Builds Trusted Relationships

Think of a friend or co-worker with whom you enjoy working. What are the qualities of your relationship with that person that make it enjoyable to work together? Someone who builds trusted relationships actively develops, maintains, and invests in relationships that inspire trust and mutual respect. They build enduring win-win partnerships and model exceptional two-way communication skills.

Influences Others

Have you had a goal that required others’ participation? What did you do to bring them on board to work with you? People who are skilled at influencing others have the ability to build consensus by persuading others. They gain cooperation from others to accomplish their goals and have credibility among peers and managers. They are adept at negotiating to achieve their desired outcomes.

Promotes Teamwork

Think back to your best experiences working as part of a team in either your personal or professional life. What helped make your best team experience successful? Someone who promotes teamwork collaborates well with others to achieve goals. They actively break down barriers between team members and identify and share best practices with others. They create a sense of unity and purpose among team members.

Demonstrates Business Acumen

What does it mean to have business acumen? Someone with business acumen understands and leverages economic, financial, customer, and industry information. They can see the big picture and comprehend the structure, logistics, and flow of the organization. They know how their area and their work supports their organization’s overall goals and their customers.

Champions Customer Focus

Being customer-focused can mean a variety of things, depending on how you define the word customer. The most obvious use of the term refers to customers to whom we’re selling products and services. But if that doesn’t apply to you, it could mean something else. For instance, if you work in a support function, such as Finance or Human Resources, it could mean customers within the organization: your “internal” customers. It could mean peers, fellow students, or truly anyone whose needs you are responsible for meeting. After you define your customer, championing them means consistently providing high customer service standards. People who do this see every customer interaction as an opportunity to leave a great impression. They actively seek to understand their customers’ needs and recognize their own role in serving customers. They do what it takes to ensure and exceed customer expectations. They understand the link between service and business results.

Plans and Organizes

Think of people in your life who you would describe as “extremely organized.” What systems do they implement? How do they plan? People who can effectively plan and organize select and align their work to best support their organization’s goals. They break down work into separate steps and accurately scope out time and resources for each step. They anticipate and prepare for obstacles and establish organizing systems to increase their work efficiency. They manage many projects and priorities at once and store and arrange information (paper and electronic) in a useful and efficient way.

Sets and Drives Priorities

When you have a lot of tasks, how do you decide where to start? If you don’t have time to do all the tasks, how do you know which ones are most important? People who set and drive priorities spend time on what’s most important. They align the teams they work with and help them see which work has the greatest effect on the end goals. They collaborate and delegate effectively and follow up to ensure the highest-priority work is completed.

Overcomes Obstacles

Think of people you know who are resilient and resourceful. What tools or approaches do they use? Someone who overcomes obstacles gets the job done despite obstacles in process, people, or business. They can maneuver through challenges with skill and confidence. They have a sense of urgency. They adapt when needed and shift gears comfortably. They are skilled at negotiating with others to secure the resources needed to meet their commitments. They call upon connections as needed to resolve issues.

Demonstrates Technological Savvy

Our world moves faster all the time with the constant development of new technologies. How businesses leverage technology can often determine their level of success. People who demonstrate technological savvy are quick and confident adopters of new technologies. They make it a priority to seek out and learn the latest advancements in technology and tools to drive the business forward.

Writes Effectively

A great writer can write clearly and succinctly across a variety of different communication mediums, such as articles, presentations, emails, and such. Great writers break down complex information into bite-sized, readable messages. They write in an engaging and conversational way, use proper grammar, and demonstrate good email etiquette.

Develops and Delivers Compelling Presentations

Think about the best presentation you have ever seen. What made it successful? People who develop and deliver compelling presentations create coherent and convincing presentations using technology effectively to enhance the experience for the audience. They present with authority, poise, and confidence. They command attention and can manage the group process during the presentation.

Tailors Interpersonal Approach

Different skills are required to interact successfully with many different kinds of people. The ability to tailor our interpersonal approach makes us come across as warm and approachable. People who tailor their approach know when and how to adapt their communication style for different types of people. They listen patiently to understand and are good at reading others’ reactions. They show empathy for others’ experiences.

Shares Information

Sharing the right information at the right time is crucial to communicating well. People who are skilled at sharing information in a workplace provide information people need to know to do their jobs. They are timely with information and share and leverage what they know to help others. They are careful not to over-communicate.

Adopts a Cross-Cultural Mindset

The diversity of people in our country grows every day, and the ability to work with and learn from others different from ourselves is increasingly important. People who adopt a cross-cultural mindset are role models in seeking and respecting diverse perspectives and contributions. At work, they recognize and address the complexities associated with being part of a global team. They seek to understand cultures and norms that are different than their own.

Collaborates Across Boundaries

In today’s work world, it’s increasingly common for employees to work across boundaries of culture and location. Working with people in different locations presents opportunities to expand the talent and resources you have available to you and your work. It can also be challenging because it’s not easy to observe people, and you might not have easy access to the people you work with. People who collaborate well across boundaries take care to build trust and communicate clearly with peers in other locations.

Demonstrates Integrity

What does it mean to demonstrate integrity? People with integrity can be counted on to do the right thing in any situation. They keep confidences and readily admit mistakes. They are direct and truthful. They make ethical judgments in all cases and have a strong moral compass. In demonstrating these behaviors, they fuel relationships of growing trust and mutual respect.

Relishes Accountability

People who relish accountability willingly take responsibility for their actions. They do not make excuses, and they own their successes and failures. They seek out new and different responsibilities and demonstrate confidence in their ability to deliver on results. They follow through on commitments and hold others accountable as well.

Exhibits Intellectual Curiosity

What would you love to learn more about right now? Have you sought out ways to learn more? People who exhibit intellectual curiosity are relentless and versatile learners. They collect information from a wide range of sources and make connections among previously unrelated notions. They enjoy the challenge of unfamiliar tasks and ask meaningful questions. They are personally committed to continuous learning.

Develops Self

What does it mean to develop yourself? People who develop themselves learn quickly when facing new problems. They are open to criticism and feedback. They gain insights from mistakes and are constantly looking for, and taking, opportunities to learn new skills and improve existing ones.

Challenges Norms Appropriately

Think back to a time when you stood up for something you knew was right, even if those around you did not agree. People who challenge norms appropriately demonstrate the courage and initiative to speak up when encountering something that doesn’t seem right or when they have a strong conviction. They ask questions assertively and respectfully, and thoughtfully question both their own and others’ assumptions. They develop a solid case for change and present alternative solutions without undermining other leaders. They are able to still “fall in line” and show support if their proposed alternatives are not approved.

Manages Courageously

People who manage courageously are open and forthright without being perceived as threatening. They deal with problems (people-related or other) fairly, firmly, and in a timely manner. They act with the view of what is best for their organization long-term. They don’t hold back on anything that needs to be said, and say it respectfully so others can hear it. They aren’t afraid to take negative action when necessary and shoulder responsibility for their own and team decisions.

Navigates Ambiguity

Sometimes it’s not possible to have the information or clarity you would like to have in order to make a decision. People who navigate ambiguity well can comfortably handle uncertainty. They can move forward without complete information and can shift gears with ease. They aren’t upset when issues are unresolved, in spite of everyone’s best efforts. They are adaptable to change and help lead others through change.

Creates a Culture of Innovation

How comfortable are you with thinking outside the box? People who create a culture of innovation use insightful, often unorthodox, methods to discover and develop new ideas, products, or processes that are viable to the organization. They demonstrate and encourage creativity within their team. They are able to draw out innovative thinking from those around them. They are an advocate for innovation and consider failure as opportunity to learn.

Motivates Others

You often need the cooperation and support of others to accomplish your goals. Motivating those around you is a critical leadership skill. People who motivate others are persuasive and influential. They leverage positive reinforcement to guide and inspire others, and they are committed to bringing out the best in their team. They lead by example and are able to assert themselves without diminishing other leaders.

Selects Talent

How comfortable are you with selecting talent? People who select talent well are a good judge of talent. They ask relevant and probing questions during interviews. They accurately predict how individuals will perform in different situations, and they assemble diverse, talented teams.

Develops Others

Think back to mentors and teachers who had a profound influence on your growth and development. What approaches did they take and what qualities did they have? People who develop others use a structured and sustainable approach to guiding, coaching, and developing others. They have a track record of developing great talent.

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