MSD competency C5


Seek feedback to self-improve, collaborate, take risks, acknowledge mistakes and add value to a team

MSD competencies

Competency definition

Practitioners work effectively with their colleagues, looking beyond their defined role to compromise, share work tasks and help others. They are willing to share failures openly. They are able to ask for feedback and use that input to improve their contribution to the team.

Knowledge areas

Practitioners with this competency will be knowledgeable about concepts and ideas described and explored in these resources...

Skills and experience

Practitioners with this competency will have acquired qualifications, skills and practical experience that may include:

  • coaching and explicit mentoring to improve on-the-job learning
  • working through personal development plans, including the use of 360-degree feedback and structured learning

Guidance for teaching this competency

Research assignment
Get practitioners to gather feedback from 10-15 different people in their work and life using the framework of the Reflected Best Self process. Specific stories and narratives are gathered, analysed and then develop a clear ‘strengths profile’ that maps unique strengths to work roles and tasks. Facilitate a sharing session so team members can understand each other’s strengths and be aware of each other’s development goals.

Facilitated discussion 
Develop an internal practice of hosting regular market facilitation clinics (using the guide linked above) where practitioners can share specific challenges they are facing and get input, feedback and suggestions from others. These clinics can be structured around different aspects of market systems development work: geography, sector, intervention type etc. Look for opportunities to connect with staff from other programmes to maximise the diversity of experiences. Clinics should be supported/facilitated by an experienced market facilitator.

Coaching & mentoring advice

  • Because this competency can be less visible it is particularly important to notice and reward practitioners who engage in self-learning. Create openings in team meetings for people to share new learning and to discuss videos, reports or other resources they have found helpful.
  • Ask practitioners on what aspects of their performance they would like feedback on. Take a few weeks to make detailed observations before sharing your findings.

Guidance for assessing this competency

Traditional questions
Ask interviewees for an example of when they had to change their approach to a work task significantly based on feedback they received. Probe to understand the context around the incident. Ask follow-up questions to understand what new learning the practitioner incorporated into future work.

Direct observation
There is a wide range of possible behaviours to observe for this competency: Do practitioners engage in online networks and reading and do they bring this back to the team? How often do they ask for feedback from peers or managers? To what extent are they seen to be actively helping their teammates on difficult challenges?

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