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Core skills

Last updated: 2022-05-23

How to use this guide

This guide helps you understand your current strengths and where you can develop, or to do the same for a colleague. It describes the behaviours that demonstrate the Core Skills relevant to everyone at Infinity Works plus the Extra Mile behaviours.

The behaviours listed here can be exhibited at many different levels of scale, complexity, impact and so on. They should be viewed through the lens of the career levels which describe how these vary as you progress. This should also be read in conjunction with the role guides which cover the role-specific skills for each specialism. Finally, see the career overview for more on how this all comes together and is used in practice.

Terminology

People in all roles have "customers", whether they are external clients, or people within Infinity Works or other organisations. This term is used throughout to refer to the people for whom your work delivers value, whatever role you are in.

Building great relationships

  • Essentials:
    • You are open and honest.
    • You do what you say you will.
    • You take an active interest in others' thoughts and feelings.
    • You listen actively to others.
    • You humbly acknowledge others' contributions.
    • You are socially aware and act appropriately for the situation.
    • You respect other's privacy and don't spread rumours or gossip.
  • You do the right thing:
    • You speak up about things that aren't right, such as inappropriate behaviour.
    • You escalate or ask for help when needed.
  • You understand others:
    • You understand what is important to others.
    • You accurately read others' emotions and act accordingly.
  • You communicate well:
    • You express your thoughts and feelings clearly.
    • You communicate in the right way and at the right time for the audience and situation.
  • You work with others:
    • You influence others constructively through open dialogue.
    • You work with others to find the best solution, even when you start with different ideas.
  • You are respectful:
    • You give constructive, balanced, regular feedback.
    • You respond well to feedback, even when critical.
    • You treat people fairly and consistently.

Analysing and deciding

  • Essentials:
    • You work methodically.
    • You use your existing knowledge.
    • You readily make use of new information.
    • You use your analysis to recommend or make decisions.
  • You analyse:
    • You analyse complicated situations, clarify and simplify.
    • You see through the noise and identify underlying patterns, similarities and differences.
    • You use established analysis techniques appropriately.
  • You combine knowledge:
    • You are objective and unemotional in your analysis.
  • You drive action:
    • You analyse just enough to move forward.
    • You form clear and well-reasoned opinions.
    • You communicate complicated information and decisions clearly.

Leading

  • Essentials:
    • You are pragmatic.
    • You don't criticise people for mistakes.
    • You are inclusive and encouraging to all.
    • You have a bias for action.
    • You work to a high quality standard and help others do the same.
    • You see things through to conclusion.
    • You are self-confident, but not over-confident.
  • You balance:
    • You do what's best for customers, colleagues and company.
    • You start simple and iterate.
    • You practice continuous improvement.
  • You are people-focused:
    • You lead by example, modelling the behaviours you want to see in others.
    • You serve and support people you lead, not the other way round.
    • You coach and mentor to help others develop.
    • You encourage others to learn continuously.
    • You share and celebrate team successes and individual contributions.
  • You are outcome-focused:
    • You deliver results.
    • You align people to a plan.
    • You motivate people toward goals.

Applying business sense

  • Essentials:
    • You do the right thing by your customers.
    • You are open and honest in the way you share information.
    • You do not needlessly share information which will hurt individual or company interests.
    • You seek value for money, not being extravagant but not scrimping excessively.
  • You are customer-oriented:
    • You understand what's important to your customers and the challenges they are facing.
    • You understand and can clearly communicate what Infinity Works does and does not do.
    • You explain the benefits you can bring to your customers without over-promising or underselling.
    • You use "value-add" activities to strengthen customer relationships.
  • You are commercially aware:
    • You can have potentially difficult conversations with your customers to reach positive outcomes.
    • You make balanced commercial decisions about rates, utilisation and commercial risk.
    • You take calculated risks.

Embracing change and uncertainty

  • Essentials:
    • You make the best of your situation, even when it is not one you would have chosen.
    • You care for your own mental and physical wellbeing.
    • You are not afraid to fail and learn.
    • You change what you are doing when it isn't working.
    • You invite challenges to your ideas.
    • You change your mind when you are wrong.
  • You handle complexity:
    • You are not daunted by big or complicated tasks.
    • You handle change positively.
  • You are resilient:
    • You are mentally and emotionally resilient.
    • You are not overwhelmed when the pressure is on.
  • You are adaptable:
    • You are persistent when you think you are right but open to the possibility you are wrong.

Being creative

  • Essentials:
    • You are curious and eager to learn.
    • You enjoy trying something new.
  • You are creative:
    • You think imaginatively about how things could be different or better.
    • You come up with creative solutions.
    • You make novel connections between different things.
  • You inspire:
    • You challenge conventional wisdom and question the way things are.
    • You inspire others to think differently.

Extra Mile

In addition to the core skills listed above, we also value the set of behaviours we call the Extra Mile.

  • You help out:
    • You go out of your way to help others.
    • You seek new challenges outside your core responsibilities.
    • You contribute to developing and improving Infinity Works, such as through advocacy, recruitment, diversity and inclusion networks, and Communities of Practice.
  • You get the balance right:
    • You manage your commitments to make sure they are sustainable.
    • You keep on top of your responsibilities.