Competencies of an effective leader

Based on analysis and evaluation, leadership and written communication were identified as essential competencies required for the supervisor positions. It is worthwhile noting that, while all leaders have the potential to be good supervisors, not all supervisors are assured to be effective leaders. Leadership is the tactful art and proven ability to motivate, influence and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness of their respective organization. Hence, an effective leader is one who builds momentum, trust and personal accountability, can clearly communicate and effectively negotiate to address concerns and influence outcomes. Thus, effectively assessing leadership can be a complex endeavour.

However, research has established that there is a core set of personality traits and prescribed behaviours that have a positive correlation with effective leadership. For example, task and interpersonal competences can demonstrate an individuals’ intelligence, problem-solving and communication skills while character traits such as conscientiousness and integrity are examined to determine how diligent, honest and dependable an individual may be.

By employing a structured interview would assist to evaluate several of the aforementioned leadership aptitudes which will be essential to select, develop and promote supervisors. A structured job interview is a consistent, objective method to compare all applicants. To ensure impartiality, each candidate would be posed the same set of questions which would be scored and ranked against a standardized scale. This process reduces bias and subjective reviews and as interviewees are being judged on skills, abilities and experience, it fosters a sense of procedural justice.

To assess the competency of leadership, behaviour interview questions would be utilized to examine how the applicant handled a work-related situation, which is also an effective way of testing potential performance on the job. This scenario could also assist to evaluate other abilities such as oral communication or if the individual can function under pressure. Moreover, as these are positions to be staffed from applicants from within the organization, it would provide the opportunity to determine how well candidates understand the work environment, group norms and behaviours, which would potentially require them to adapt their leadership style based on the particular situation presented during the interview.

Another core competency identified is the ability to communicate effectively in writing. This aptitude is how well one expresses themself and is the articulation of information in writing to ensure that messages are understood and have the desired impact. Given that effective written communication is the foundation of working relationships, supervisors, as

leaders in their workplace, must be able to communicate efficiently with employees, peers and senior management as it has the potential to enhance teamwork, and improve the flow of information within the organization. Hence, to assess writing skills, a pen and paper test would be administered.

Employees applying for the supervisor positions could be tasked with synthesizing information and asked to write a memo that responds to a particular job-based scenario. The result of this exercise could demonstrate their ability to organize and develop ideas, produce clear, concise, logical and grammatically correct written material that is tailored to a particular audience. Moreover, this written examination would provide candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their use of the appropriate vernacular and writing style expected within the organization.