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Skills

Skill comes so slow; and life so fast doth fly, we learn so little and forget so much. Sir John Davies


The skills and experience of its staff is often an organization's most valuable asset. It is both the individual's and the manager's responsibility to ensure that skills are appropriate and are maintained and upgraded, otherwise they will not meet the needs of the organization. There are two main types of skill:

  • General skills are required for people to participate in an organization effectively - conducting oneself in a professional manner, dealing sympathetically with people, numeracy, report writing, telephone technique, etc.

  • Specialized skills are required for the individual's specific role, such as teaching, surgery, brick laying, or managing.

Skills are assets: Although skills and experience are widely accepted as an asset of the organization, their worth is rarely quantified. Skills are the practical application of knowledge - whether hanging wallpaper or teaching students. They are about being able to do something rather than just knowing how.

Experience and temperament: 
Some jobs, such as negotiating, depend as much on the experience of the individual as on formal training. Skills can be learnt, experience can be acquired over time, but temperament is innate and may also be a key factor for a particular job - a salesman needs a different temperament to a nurse!

Skills are associated with roles: 
Skills are associated with particular roles and also with the type of workplace which the individual is using. A medical consultant uses the following skills - General office (dealing with hospital processes, negotiating, administration); Consulting room (interviewing, listening, counselling, diagnosis); Operating theatre (physical dexterity, dealing with stressful situations, leadership); Ward (diagnosis, confidence building, teaching, empathy);  Accident & Emergency (diagnosis, decision making, diplomacy, self-defence). >>>