Talents versus Skills
Can you differentiate between your talents versus skills? Do you know what talents you have? Do you know what skills you have?
For most of us, the answer to both questions will be I do not know. We might be able to say something about our skills but …. talents…. well….
Most of us have forgotten what talents we have. They have been blurred into building our career, making money, paying the mortgage, putting our kids through college, saving for retirement,…...
For More: Larry Bird, Winners, Talents and Skills
Lets look at the definition of Talent. According to Dictionary.com
Lets look at the definition of Skill. According to Dictionary.com
1. the ability, coming from one’s knowledge, practice, aptitude, etc., to do something well: Carpentry was one of his many skills.
This might be a hard skill like programming, hardware design, technical writing, web design, content marketing,…..
This might be a soft skill like negotiating, project management, people management, …..
Make a list of all of the skills you have. This will take a while.
What talents enabled you to learn these skills?
Again, I ask what are your talents versus skills? Getting any easier?
For an example check out this post – Larry Bird, Winners, Talents and Skills
I quoted the great basketball player Larry Bird – A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals
What are your God-given talents?
The Crux of the Problem
If you have been working for thirty plus years like me, you have developed a lot of skills. I have been paid a lot of money to produce products and services using those skills.
The crux of the problem is many of us are now saying we are sick and tired of using those skills.
Why did we develop some of those skills? Many times it was because our employer paid us to develop those skills? Did we like using those skills? Many times using those skills was okay!When were required to use those skills over and over and over and over….. it got old real fast.
When we say, we have had enough you may hear:
- You are so good at it, why would you want to quit?
- They pay you a lot of money, why would you want to quit?
The problem is the overuse of those skills that were developed because someone else wanted you to learn those skills.
Over the last twenty-five years, I have inhaled many complex technologies and spit them back out in culturally neutral stories, analogies, pictures, animations, and other adult learning formats. I am really good it. I enjoy the design and creation of the materials but if I have to inhale one more complex technology that has no real social value well …….
I am really good at the inhalation process, but that is a skill that I have developed. I do not want to do it anymore!
What about you? Want to learn more?Marc Miller
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Roger L. Cauvin says
A talent spans every aspect of a person’s life and doesn’t merely manifest itself in a work environment.
Buckingham and Coffman wrote a book on the conclusions of an extensive study on the most effective management, and they found that the best hiring managers hire for talent, not so much for skills or experience.
Unfortunately, most hiring managers want to “fill a slot” and simplistically look for someone whose experience and skills can “drop directly in the slot. They should instead spend time to consider the talents that someone who excels in the role possesses, and then look for people with those talents.
I agree with you completely!! I claim most hiring managers do not know how to evaluate talent.
Brian Sparvieri says
Absolutely Guys, absolutely.
I presume you have some experience with this. True?
Lynne Sharp says
Marc, Great article! Having recently gone through the Highlands Ability Battery, I have a much deeper understanding of what a talent is–you are right, talents are those innate abilities you are born with. It’s something you do without having to think much about it. There are some abilities that you wouldn’t even think much about, but they play an important role in our career path. And talent managers need to recognize the difference. I can learn many skills, but unless i also have an ability to match the skill, performing it will be much more difficult. for instance, a person with a strong ability to discriminate between musical pitches, may make a great wine-taster or pilot, because they will find it quite natural to perform those functions of the job–. Also, someone with an ability to sing has always found it easy to do that, but to do it well enough to make a living at it is not something everyone who sings can do. I can sing, but I can’t make a living doing it. Thank you for getting this out. Being in job search mode myself, I truly want the hiring managers to understand the difference. I may not have the skill that is needed to perform the job, but do I have the ability to learn the skill an perform it satisfactorily? Absolutely!
I have developed some extraordinary skills that are not connected to my core talents. What I can say is I use an immense amount of energy using those skills. The problem is if I overuse those skills I get burned out.
A good example is I am an incredible trainer/presenter but that is not natural. I spoke to a group the other night. I was “on” for almost 3 hours. I was exhausted as soon as the event finished.
I am so much passionate about the topic “talent” and “skills”. I refer to talent as a gift. Webster defines gift as “special ability” which is connected to skills. A talent is a person’s natural ability to do certain things that can be developed through training and practice. Everyone must discover their natural ability, develop and master it to be effective along a chosen career path. Discovery of personal talent is very crucial in building an effective career portfolio/personal brand.
You are correct. This is a life long challenge that easily gets missed in the day to day grind of work.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, that was a clear cut explanation.
Chrisanne Modeste says
i dont no my talent
This is not unusual. Try this exercise. Go back to your childhood. What did you love to do and could not get enough off?
I have no talent. I have mediocre skills at drawing. I’m unskilled in the rest.
Fluffy Unicorn xx17xx says
Nodlys, everybody is talented. Perhaps you don’t know what your talent is, but I’m sure that there is something that best suits you for you. You must be really good at something; maybe it’s something you’ve never tried before? And practice makes perfect – I for one have mediocre talents, but I’ve put a lot of work into developing my skills.
Talent vs. Skills. Most managers just want to get a young body into the seat, train them since they got them for bottom line, and hope they work out. The process is broken. Too many absolutely worthless Recruiters, HR People till you may find the manager. And, even some Recuiters, well, there are 2 layers of them to get thru. Much of this is for ‘legal purposes only’. Companies want someone to point the finger at if a hire goes bad. I don’t want a Spanish Major recruiting a Civil Engineer – but that is what happens. Grab a recent Grad., sit them on a phone and call, call, call.
And produce nothing.
And the job posting are looking for people who are NOT in the human race. You look at them an they are insane.
So what do you do?
Austin, to me, seeks out youth period. They don’t care about ‘experience’ just get a pretty face in the office. Wisdom and thinking problems through is seen as a waste. Its all about looks in Austin more so than other cities.
Walter Earl Roper
Austin, TX (Aboretum-DOMAIN)
University of Illinois
I feel your frustration. As we discussed, the Austin job market is very youth oriented.
I have no talent…
How can recognize our talent and skills? I’M so sad about it?
Hi some people are born with no talent at all such as myself. We have to grind through life with blood sweat and tears to acquire skills in order to survive.
Like most of us in the 2nd half of life, we have long forgotten what are talents might be or society is not willing to pay for our talents.
You have talents.
This article really enlightened me about the difference between talent and skill
Please can I get your views on talent versus education,which is more profitable.
We get paid for our skills which typically comes from education. The problem is when you overuse a skill that is not based on a talent that is when burnout occurs.
Does that help?
I definitely go with talent. Talent is like the identity of a person since he/she was born. You are born naturally with talent. You can learn skills but not talent. I saw an inspirational video about teaching a fish how to climb a tree, I think I can relate the message of the video on this topic.