Methodological competence - this is how you acquire a lot of knowledge

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Methodological competence - this is how you acquire a lot of knowledge

The whole of life consists of learning processes that begin in infancy, continue in school and do not end even in advanced professional life. In order to be able to acquire knowledge, however, you need methodical competence. The latter is the building block of professional competence. In the following article, we will explain to you what methodological competence is all about and how you can acquire it.

What is methodological competence?

Put simply, methodological competence describes the Ability to acquire knowledge. These include, for example, elementary basic skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic. Without these skills, no one would be able to acquire new knowledge. Methodological competence also includes the ability to distinguish between unimportant and important information.

Having methodological competence also means making the best use of learning techniques. Simple example: What good is it to know how to read if you don't know which book to look up? Methodological competence is also of interdisciplinary importance. You need them in every professional sector. Analytical thinking is also an essential part of this core competence.

Methodological competence itself is subordinate to the area of action competence, which in turn is based on the following four competencies:

  1. Personality competence: Ability to Self-reflection.
  2. Social competence: ability to interact constructively with fellow human beings.
  3. Professional competence: Presence of professional knowledge.
  4. Methodological competence: imparting interdisciplinary knowledge.

Why is methodological competence so important?

We have already mentioned it at the beginning: Methodical competence is the basic prerequisite for acquiring professional competence. Every employee should have the latter in his or her area of expertise. Especially in vocational training, but also afterwards, the topic is therefore of great importance.

Simply put: No knowledge acquisition without methodical competence. No professional competence without knowledge acquisition. No (professional) success without professional competence.

If you have methodological competence, you will be able to apply learning strategies and work techniques in a relevant, targeted, and situationally appropriate manner. This includes the following skills:

  • Filtering out important and unimportant information
  • Ability to research topics
  • Formation of opinion including justification of own point of view
  • Recognition of correlations
  • Ability to analyze complex issues
  • Problem solving skills

The above-mentioned skills are particularly relevant in professional life (e.g. in the context of project work), but methodical competence is also useful for your private goals.

methodological competence examples

What methodological competencies should managers possess?

Managers are expected to have a special level of professional competence. However, the professional world is extremely fast-paced. New knowledge and working methods are constantly being added. Technical possibilities are also constantly evolving. As a result, specialist knowledge once acquired can become obsolete just a few years later.

As a manager, it is therefore imperative that you continue your education on a regular basis. This is where methodological competence comes into play again: Holding a management position requires the ability and willingness to learn quickly and effectively. It is essential to stay up to date at all times. A company that clings to outdated standards is not fit for the future.

Methodological competence is, how could it be otherwise, composed of a compact bundle of subordinate competencies. The following five competencies are the most important for managers:

1. self-management

Go to Self-Management is, above all, the goal-oriented prioritization of tasks: What needs to be done first? How much time do I need for this? Managers should be able to plan ahead. If you know exactly what needs to be done and when, you stay motivated and don't sink into chaos.

2. presentation strength

Presentation skills are an essential component of methodological competence. This includes preparing the acquired knowledge in a larger context and presenting it in a way that is comprehensible to other people (e.g., one's own employees). Accordingly, the manager must know exactly what content he or she wants to convey.

The clearly structured presentation of learning content ensures that the audience remains attentive until the end. After the presentation, each employee should know exactly how to apply the information in practice.

3. communication ability

Communication skills encompasses much more than the gift of expressing oneself in a chosen way. Rather, it is about perceiving and correctly interpreting the verbal and nonverbal signals of the environment. For this purpose, it is necessary for the manager to approach his or her employees openly and without bias.

The methodologically competent supervisor recognizes signals that indicate DissatisfactionThe company reacts appropriately to the situation. In this way, conflicts can be resolved quickly - sometimes even before they arise.

4. decision-making ability

Managers make numerous important decisions every day. Hesitation can sometimes have serious consequences for the company, such as the loss of an order. It is not always possible to discuss every decision down to the smallest detail.

A method-competent manager has up-to-date specialist knowledge and numerous empirical values, so that he can rely on his intuition in many respects. This saves time and sometimes also (company) money.

5. ability to delegate

It is a common misconception that a manager must be able to do everything and do it alone. Much more important is the ability to recognize when an employee is better qualified to handle a particular task. In this case, a method-competent manager would delegate the work assignment so that the best possible end result is achieved.

The Delegation also brings the advantage of saving time: in the time that a capable employee is working on the respective order, the manager can devote himself to his actual tasks.

How can I learn methodological competence?

Methodological competence is a skill that is based on numerous subordinate competencies (see above). For this reason, it is somewhat difficult to promote it specifically. However, it is possible!

If you have a wide range of interests and are constantly learning in different areas of life, you will automatically develop your methodological skills. However, reading technical books and articles alone is not enough: you also have to apply the theoretical knowledge. To do this, it is necessary to face challenges and to develop your own Leave comfort zone every now and then.

Another way to actively develop your methodological competence is to take advantage of special coaching offers. We will discuss this in more detail later.

5 tips for developing methodological competence

Do you want to become more successful professionally and therefore develop your methodological skills? Then the following five tips can help you:

1. looking beyond the horizon

Don't just focus on your area of responsibility, but always try to grasp the big picture: What goal is the company working toward? How could the individual departments work together more effectively and efficiently to achieve this goal? What could your concrete contribution to this look like?

Develop concepts and present them across departments. Your proposals may not appeal to everyone. Still, dare to step out of your comfort zone. If you are already in a leadership position, it will be easier to get your voice heard. But even - or especially - if this is not (yet) the case, you should take the risk.

2. remain curious

Methodical competence requires Will to learn ahead. It's best to make a list of all the topics that excite you. These can be both professional and private interests. Choose one new topic per quarter that you would like to deal with intensively, both theoretically and practically (!): How about a language course, for example?

It is important that you take the issues seriously. Half-hearted actions will not get you anywhere. Depending on how complex the respective topic is, the acquisition of knowledge can take more or less time. Accordingly, the tip to turn to new topics every quarter is not set in stone, but only an approximate guideline.

3. practice time management

Are you one of those people who like to get bogged down? Then you should take targeted countermeasures: Get yourself a calendar and carefully note down all your appointments and tasks. Then prioritize them and stick to them.

4. school your rhetorical skills

As you already know, methodological competence includes not only the acquisition of knowledge, but also the ability to communicate one's own findings to other people. Reading can help you expand your vocabulary. Frequent reader are also more creative, according to scientific findings.

If public speaking is a problem for you, it is advisable to practice in a protected setting: Ask friends and family to listen to your presentations and give you honest feedback.

5. cultivate a positive error culture

Methodological competence includes dealing constructively with failures. So don't condemn yourself (and others) for bad decisions, but try to analyze them: What information was missing? How can a similar annoyance be avoided in the future?

method competence definition

The importance of methodological competence in coaching

The teaching of methodological competence is a component of numerous coaching concepts. Especially in the area of career and Business coaching it comes into play. In the first step, the coach explains to his client what methodological competence is all about and why it is important for his future (professional) success.

With reference to the client's specific questions, the coach then looks at the ways in which the client can apply the methods. In order to train the skills, the coach can assign his client exercise tasks that can only be solved with the application of methodological competence. Role plays are also a good option. Afterwards, the results are discussed.

The importance of methodological competence in coaching education

Anyone who has a Training as a Business Coach comes into contact with the topic of methodical competence. Numerous clients will later turn to you to lead a happier and more successful life. Therefore, as a coach, you must be able to provide them with the necessary tools. It is completely independent in which coaching direction you specialize.

In order to teach methodological competence to others, you must of course be able to apply it yourself. Therefore, most coaching trainings first emphasize that the trainees work on their own life issues with the help of methodological competence. This is a very instructive practical exercise from which you will also benefit privately.

As a trained coach, you can later supervise individual clients and/or conduct group training sessions. Many companies now hire coaches on a permanent basis to train their employees in methodological competence on a regular basis. Furthermore, there is the possibility that you specialize in methodological competence for managers.


Methodological competence is essential for acquiring new knowledge. Since life is like a constant learning process, without this competence success in many areas of life (especially at work) falls by the wayside. Those who cannot learn effectively also do not acquire professional competence. However, the latter is the basic prerequisite for climbing the career ladder.

For this reason, importance is already attached to teaching children methodical competence at school. Students who master this skill have been shown to have better grades. This is shown in the textbook "Contemporary methodological competence in teaching". described in a practical manner by Roland Heppler.

Fortunately, methodological competence can still be learned or developed in adulthood. It is often worthwhile to hire a professional Coaching to make use of them. But you can also do a lot in your everyday life to train your skills. You can even do this in a playful way: stay curious and interested, read a lot, and apply theoretical knowledge in practice.

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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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