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A skill is the learned ability to perform an action with determined results with good execution often within a given amount of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills. For example, in the domain of work, some general skills would include time management, teamwork and leadership, self-motivation and others, whereas domain-specific skills would be used only for a certain job. Skill usually requires certain environmental stimuli and situations to assess the level of skill being shown and used. A skill may be called an art when it represents a body of knowledge or branch of learning, as in ''the art of medicine'' or ''the art of war''. Although the arts are also skills, there are many skills that form an art but have no connection to the fine arts. A practice is when the learned skill is put into practice. An art or skill may be the basis for a profession, trade, or craft. People need a broad range of skills to contribute to the modern economy. A joint ASTD and U.S. Department of Labor study showed that through technology, the workplace is changing, and identified 16 basic skills that employees must have to be able to change with it. Three broad categories of skills are suggested and these are technical, human, and conceptual. The first two can be substituted with hard and soft skills, respectively.

Hard skills

Hard skills, also called technical skills, are any skills relating to a specific task or situation. It involves both understanding and proficiency in such specific activity that involves methods, processes, procedures, or techniques. These skills are easily quantifiable unlike soft skills, which are related to one's personality. These are also skills that can be or have been tested and may entail some professional, technical, or academic qualification.

Labor skills

Skilled workers have long had historical import (''see'' Division of labor) as electricians, masons, carpenters, blacksmiths, bakers, brewers, coopers, printers and other occupations that are economically productive. Skilled workers were often politically active through their craft guilds.

Life skills

An ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic, and sustained effort to smoothly and adaptively carryout complex activities or job functions involving ideas (cognitive skills), things (technical skills), and/or people (interpersonal skills).

People skills

According to the ''Portland Business Journal'', people skills are described as: * understanding ourselves and moderating our responses * talking effectively and empathizing accurately * building relationships of trust, respect and productive interactions. A British definition is "the ability to communicate effectively with people in a friendly way, especially in business." The term is not listed yet in major US dictionaries. The term ''people skills'' is used to include both psychological skills and social skills but is less inclusive than life skills.

Social skills

Social skill is any skill facilitating interaction and communication with others. Social rules and relations are created, communicated, and changed in verbal and nonverbal ways. The process of learning such skills is called socialization.

Soft skills

Soft skills are a combination of interpersonal people skills, social skills, communication skills, character traits, attitudes, career attributes and emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) among others.

See also

* Communication skills * Deskilling * DISCO - European Dictionary of Skills and Competences * Dreyfus model of skill acquisition * Game of skill * Online skill-based game * Procedural knowledge * Transferable skills analysis

References



External links


American Society for Training & Development Australian National Training AuthorityNCVER's Review of generic skills for the new economySKILLS EU Research Integrated Project
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