The Three C’s of Interpersonal Competence

Interpersonal competence is one of the keys to career and life success that I discuss in my book “Straight Talk for Success.”  Interpersonally competent people understand themselves, and use this self awareness to better understand others.  Besides becoming self aware, if you want to become interpersonally competent, you need to build and nurture mutually beneficial relationships with the people in your life.  You also need to know how to resolve conflict in a positive manner.

If you read this blog with some regularity, you know that I am a big fan of “Women’s Edge” Magazine.  It’s published in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina and it features local women, but many of the articles contain great common sense career success advice – no matter your gender or where you’re located.

That holds true for the July 2008 issue.  I really liked an article written by Tom Stevens and called “The Influence Edge: Consistency, Congruence and Coherence.”  Mr. Stevens suggests that these “Three C’s” are your key to becoming an influential person.  I think they also are important for becoming interpersonally competent.

Here’s a quick look at how he defines each C…

  • Consistency brands you as someone who is reliable.  It is about repeating over and over the strategic actions and behaviors for which you want to be known.
  • Congruence communicates your authenticity.  Congruent people do what they say they’ll do.  Mr. Stevens says that the expression “walk the talk” captures the essence of congruence.
  • Coherence occurs when your identity is recognizable, your purpose is evident and your actions over time tell a story.  In other words, coherence happens when you connect everything in your life and create a meaningful whole.

I really like what Tom Stevens has to say about the “Three Cs”.  How about you?  Which do you think is most important?  Are they all important?  Is the sum of the three greater than the whole?  Please leave a comment letting us know your thoughts.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are interpersonally competent.  The “Three C’s” – Consistency, Congruence and Coherence can help you become interpersonally competent.  Consistent, congruent and coherent people know and understand themselves.  They also find it easy to build strong relationships because they come across to others as reliable, authentic and recognizable; great traits for the people you want in your life.

That’s my take on interpersonal competence and the “Three C’s.”  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment letting us know your take on these ideas.  I really appreciate every comment on this blog.  I encourage you to share your thoughts with all of us.  As always, thanks for reading – and writing.


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