The 10 ten ways to improve acumen at work and home

By: Curtis R. Sprouse

July 2015

We all have different behavioral strengths and challenges, but our individual talents vary from person to person. Success in any aspect of life is rooted in one’s ability to access talent in a broad spectrum of situations—whether it is on the athletic field, on stage, in the field of battle, in your home, or in the work environment. How do we develop and refine our abilities to access talent? The key is looking at key behavioral social and situational response dynamics, or social and situational acumen.

The basis for social acumen is defined by social skills. That is, the ability to build relationships, and goodwill, the ability to show genuine caring compassion. The foundation for situational acumen is based on a balance of compromise and accommodation. Compromise is defined as one who is open-minded and able to consider different options and alternatives. Accommodation is defined as the ability to move in new directions and meet the needs of others. The following list will provide some high level insight into how you can focus your efforts to leverage your talent.

Our research shows that strong leaders balance social skills, goodwill, compromise, and accommodation. They optimize the use of these behaviors allowing them to tap into their talent and broader spectrum of situations.

The 10 ten ways to improve acumen at work and home.

1.Be open minded, try not to be cynical or judgmental at the onset of a discussion (moderate Compromise).

2.Meet the needs of people around you, and be willing to move in new directions when the data and situation suggests you should (balance Accommodation).

3.Show genuine care and compassion to people, let them get to see that you care about them (demonstrate Goodwill).

4.Build relationships with people, start small and work your way into creating true bonds (exercise Social Skills on a broader basis).

5.Don't acquiesce your position too quickly; make sure you are contributing value (engage in a collaborative process that leads to Compromise).

6.Question those around you with relevance to help solve problems and advance ideas (increase Accommodation situationally).

7.Don't spend too much time at the water tank; be productive and relevant (manage the over use of social skills).

8.Do not be too sensitive to people's opinions and comments directed at you.
Do not become overly altruistic in your positions. Being too nice can be a big problem. (moderate high Goodwill).

9.Inflexibility can make you seem stubborn and difficult. Do not be a tough nut (it is important to balance both compromise and accommodation). One without the other creates inconsistencies leading to inefficiency and ineffectiveness.

10.Make sure you are being heard for who you are and not overly adaptable (having high goodwill, social skills, compromise, and/or accommodation), this can make you a push over. If you do not engage, you do not impact.

Note: Scores and profiles referenced in this article refer to characteristics defined in the EurekaConnect Behavioral Dynamics program

About the author: Curtis R. Sprouse is the President and CEO of EurekaConnect, LLC. Curtis has spent more than 25 years building companies and consulting for hundreds of the fortune 500 companies. EurekaConnect, LLC uses proven technologies and data driven solutions that objectively and measurably improve organizational performance. For more information please email: