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For other uses, see Skill (disambiguation).

A skill is the learned ability to carry out a task with pre-determined results often within a given amount of time, energy, or both[citation needed]. In other words the abilities that one possesses. 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 useful only for a certain job. Skill usually requires certain environmental stimuli and situations to assess the level of skill being shown and used.

People need a broad range of skills in order to contribute to a 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.[1]

Labor skills[edit]

Main article: Skill (labor)


Skilled workers have long had historical import (see Division of labor) as 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[edit]

Main article: Life skills

Life skills are problem solving behaviors used appropriately and responsibly in the management of personal affairs. They are a set of human skills acquired via learning (teaching) or direct experience that are used to handle problems and questions commonly encountered in daily human life. The subject varies greatly depending on societal norms and community expectations.

People skills[edit]

Main article: People skills

According to the Portland Business Journal, people skills are described as:[3]

  • 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.”[4] The term is not listed yet in major US dictionaries.[5][6]

The term people skills is used to include both psychological skills and social skills, but is less inclusive than life skills.

Social skills[edit]

Main article: 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[edit]

Main article: Soft skills

Soft skills is a sociological term relating to a person's "EQ" (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people.[7] Soft skills complement hard skills (part of a person's IQ), which are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities.

Hard skills[edit]

Hard skills are any skills relating to a specific task or situation. These skills are easily quantifiable unlike Soft skills which are related to one's personality.[8]

Mastering skills[edit]

Mastery pertains to perfecting a particular skill set. To reach mastery, authors Malcolm Gladwell and Robert Greene claim that 10,000 hours of work will have to be put into training.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ joint ASTD and U.S. Department of Labor study -Retraining 50 Million Americans: The Electronically Mediated Solution". Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  2. ^ Cowan, Ruth Schwartz (1997), A Social History of American Technology, New York: Oxford University Press, p. 179, ISBN 0-19-504605-6 
  3. ^ Rifkin, H. “Invest in people skills to boost bottom line” Retrieved on 2009-10-14
  4. ^ “Macmillan Dictionary” Retrieved on 2009-08-18
  5. ^ Dictionary.com definition. Retrieved on 2009-08-18
  6. ^ Encarta dictionary definition. Retrieved on 2009-08-18
  7. ^ Career Opportunities News, 2002
  8. ^ http://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/hard-skills.asp
  9. ^ Robert Greene (American author)#Mastery

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skill — Please support Wikipedia.
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955710 news items

Indian Express

Indian Express
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:26:15 -0700

With the district administration seeking help from top companies, villagers of the landslide-hit Malin may get training in skill development from industrial units. District Collector Saurabh Rao on Wednesday said companies such as Thermax, Mercedes ...
Shore News Today
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:00:00 -0700

The superintendent said it was Konecny's skill that allowed him to put the aircraft down in the field. “He specifically told me that he avoided houses,” Bosak said. “Pilots only have fractions of seconds to react. One thing about pilots flying over ...
PsychCentral.com (blog)
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 07:26:15 -0700

When it comes to excelling and gaining mastery of a certain skill, it's not an easy process. It takes years and years of consistent deliberate practice to shape and mold our mental and physical capabilities. The problem most people experience a season ...


Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:00:42 -0700

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Training Camp. FOXBORO, Mass. — Tim Wright's new teammates weren't finished lamenting the loss of offensive captain Logan Mankins in the locker room on Tuesday, but they were excited to have the undersized tight end on ...
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:32:51 -0700

A friend linked me to this blog post from Lunarch Studios, an independent video game development company. And it got me thinking about how dependent many turn-based and card-style games are on luck rather than skill. TL;DR: Many pro video game ...
Bay City Times
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:50:38 -0700

White team flashes scoring skill in first Saginaw Spirit scrimmage. Cairns.jpg. Luke Cairns has a goal and an assists in a 6-3 win for the White team in the Saginaw Spirit's first training camp scrimmage. (File | MLive.com). Print · Cory Butzin ...

Pacific Northwest Inlander

Pacific Northwest Inlander
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:52:30 -0700

Embrace that skill and pay it forward by donating time and services. For most of the following nonprofits — and these are just a select few of the many opportunities — you can volunteer as much time as you have. The most important thing is to reach ...
ESPN (blog)
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:52:30 -0700

Earlier we looked at five 2016 skill players to watch. We can't forget the big guys and the guys on defense, and the 2016 class has its fair share of top players in those positions. Here are five non-skill position players to watch: OT Parker Boudreaux

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