In a previous article we identified six arenas where you might demonstrate competence: academically, cognitively, socially, emotionally, vocationally, and spiritually. Each of these areas encompasses many more qualities than you may realize.
Emotional competence is the ability to identify, manage, and regulate your emotions so that they help rather than hinder your progress in the world. It’s about knowing how to take turns, to delay gratification, to share and get along with others, and to cope with different contingences like success and failure. To be emotionally competent is to understand that you need to take into account other people’s emotions and reactions.
Vocational competence is about learning to get along with people who have power – such as a boss or supervisor, co-workers, and subordinates. It’s also about learning to take initiative, assume responsibility, follow directions, and complete tasks. Vocational competence demands patience, perseverance, and the ability to attend to work that may not be interesting – boring.
Spiritual competence is about embracing a world view that is consistent with your stated beliefs. It is choosing healthy options in critical everyday situations that are consistent with values you prize, cherish, and have become your own and not those superimposed on you.
Not that you understand the depth of what we mean when we say competence know this. Very few teens are equally competent in all areas. A strength in one area, however, can build up or compensate for a relative weakness in another. For example, if you are very socially competent but not so when it comes to academics, try using your social networking ability to your advantage in school.