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Competencies for Professional Success: Personal Attributes That Contribute to Success

Health information professionals function in a demanding environment with highly educated and skilled health care colleagues. Beyond mastering core information knowledge and competencies, the librarian will achieve optimal success when formal education is complemented by other skills and an array of personal characteristics and traits. This blend of skills allows information professionals to apply their formal education, manage operations, collaborate with a wide range of individuals, and exercise leadership in innovation and service excellence.

Because of the tremendous volatility of the health care environment, the continual uncertainty created by rapidly evolving technology, and the continuing evolution of professional roles, health information professionals must tolerate and thrive in a world of unceasing change. The personal characteristics described here are not unique to library or information practice, but form an essential complement to the core areas of professional knowledge and skills delineated in succeeding pages.

  • Practice-related competencies:
    • conflict resolution
    • delegation
    • effective risk taking
    • evidence-based decision making
    • goal setting and outcomes assessment
    • understanding of human and organizational behavior
    • identification and anticipation of trends
    • management of the change process
    • political savvy and negotiation acumen
    • superlative communication and interpersonal skills
  • Personal characteristics:
    • ability to work independently or in groups
    • versatility
    • adaptability and flexibility
    • balance of personal and professional life
    • creativity, imagination, and resourcefulness in problem solving
    • curiosity and commitment to lifelong learning
    • leadership skills and qualities
    • forward looking
    • personal integrity and ethical behavior
    • self-motivation
    • skill in spanning generational and other differences

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