Impact of communication skills in competency mapping process

In this era, more important than evaluating employees on “performance” is- finding the “Potential” in them. Organizations gain competitive advantage over each other by developing their “people” for, it is the only non-replicable resource. PDCs- Potential Development centres is tried, tested and well known tool for assessing incumbents on the competencies they possess and identifying the developmental areas and the potential which the employees harbour.

The process starts with defining the competencies at each level, applying behaviour indicators against each competency and developing tools to measure competency level. The incumbents are then exposed to Development Centres, at the end of which we get a competency map of each assesse which gives a complete picture of his strengths, weaknesses and development areas. While I am sure everyone is already aware about the process mentioned above, the issue which I am bringing in this blog is “impact of communication skills on the scores of assesses”.

Having conducted numerous assessment and development centres, I have observed many times that assessors sometimes get carried away with the communication skills of the assesse and tend to give them higher rating than what they deserve. It holds true even more when the exercises involve display of communication skills, for e.g. Presentation or Group Discussion exercises. Sometimes the higher-level competencies like, “problem solving” or “developing others” get shadowed if the assesse does not converse with a flair!! It would be interesting to conduct a research on this topic and come out with some concrete conclusions. Will soon write another article with research findings to give an insight to readers whether or not communications skills really cause a positive bias amongst assessors!!


Blog by
Prof. Shikha Sindhu
Indira School of Business Studies, Pune.


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