Knowledge Center

Definitions for the Engagement Area

Relational – A strong culture that places importance on relationships, connections and care throughout the entire institution. Employs specific skills that aid in how self and relationships are effectively managed. 

Each competency within the Engagement area can aid in achieving:

  • professional and personal bests
  • stakeholder buy-in, acceptance and value
  • team, institution and community results

At any given time, proficiency for each competency will fall at some point along the outer ring of the framework: Awareness, Application, Mastery, Influence.

The following competency definitions are offered as a guide and are to be used in conjunction with your institution's interpretation of how these competencies can be applied on your campus. 

Building Trust
  • Uses trust as the basis for a successful culture, effective communication and building stable working relationships.
  • Knows that trust is confidence born out of two dimensions: character (includes integrity, motive and intent) and confidence (capabilities, skills, results and track record) [Covey, The Speed of Trust], and applies these specific skills to build and strengthen working relationships.
Team Building
  • Fosters a working atmosphere conducive to collaborative efforts.
  • Solicit ideas and suggestions to accomplish team, department and/or institution goals.
  • Fosters camaraderie and common purpose.
  • Invites feedback and incorporates suggestions to achieve collective objectives.
  • Establishes positive interpersonal and team relationships.
  • Employs reward mechanisms for team effort and mentality.
Self-Awareness and Accountability
  • Identifies individual challenges and seeks opportunities to grow.
  • Takes steps to evaluate and improve performance.
  • Seeks feedback from others and uses other sources of information to identify appropriate areas for learning.
  • Demonstrates an interest in and pursues appropriate learning activities that fulfill self-development/learning needs.
  • Applies new technical and business information/knowledge to practical use on the job.
Relationship Management

Develops and manages interactions with and between others with the specified aims of service and institutional success.

Constructive Inquiry
  • As a part of Appreciative Inquiry, employs positive or constructive questions to: discover what strategies have been successful to date and how success was achieved; unearth future possibilities; create change and improvement ideas to reach an ideal, future state; and collaborate to implement positive changes [Leading Positive Change Through Appreciative Inquiry, Case Western Reserve].
  • Uses constructive questions that enable effective and ongoing discussions with others.
  • Uses constructive questions to help understand others, understand others' perspectives and reach a common goal.
  • Asks about why things and people work the way they do.
  • Stays curious and open to new information, opinions and experiences.
  • Share ideas and resources and encourages others to do the same.
  • Spends time to establish a collaborative process, sets clear goals and discovers how to achieve the goals within a supportive culture.
  • Adheres to a set of core values that are represented in decisions, actions and behaviors.
  • Understands and applies knowledge of, and promotes compliance with, appropriate statutes, regulations, policies and procedures.
  • Provides advice and guidance regarding federal and state ethics statutes, regulations, and institution policies and procedures.
  • Actively takes a stand for based on beliefs and values.
  • Makes decisions without being swayed by political expediency or benefit.
  • Considers ethical implications based on employee or institution activity.
  • Listens to others and communicates in an effective manner.
  • Effectively presents and receives information and concepts in both written and oral formats.
  • Actively listens to ensure understanding.
  • Speaks and writes effectively and compellingly.
  • Demonstrates how to professionally resolve communication concerns.
Cultural Competence/DEI
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the elements of organizational culture and exhibits an awareness of aligning workplace programs and policies to support and foster that culture.
  • Identifies problem areas or inconsistencies in individual, team and institution behaviors and attitudes that do not align with the desired culture, and addresses and resolves those inconsistencies.

CUPA-HR’s Position Statement: Inclusion Cultivates Excellence

  • Instills trust in others and self.
  • Leads by example and encourages others to do the same.
  • Assumes responsibility for making decisions and for the results.
  • Fulfills all commitments and obligations on time and accurately.
  • Accepts responsibility for compliance with rules and regulations.
  • Establishes policies reflecting a strong support of institutional responsibility.
  • Takes positive action to meet growing responsibility.
  • Fosters and encourages performance excellence.
  • Employs strategies for modifying ineffective or undesirable behaviors and attitudes.
  • Provides advice and feedback to those in need.
  • Provides timely guidance and feedback resources to help others strengthen specific Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) needed to accomplish professional goals, develop skills or solve a problem.
  • Guides employees and shows sincere interest in them.
  • Commits to foster and enhance the careers of others by the giving of time, knowledge and advice.
  • Knows the essential characteristics of a positive mentoring relationship, which include confidentiality, clear purpose, trust and commitment.
  • Demonstrates communications and listening skills.
  • Provides constructive feedback about behaviors, developmental needs and enhanced performance.