What is the Skill? Definition And Types With Different Examples

We explain what is the ability and skills that a person can possess. In addition, the types that exist and their relationship with the skill.

What is the skill?

According to the Royal Spanish Academy, the ability is understood as the ability of someone to perform a certain task or activity correctly and easily. In this way, it is a specific form of aptitude for a specific activity , be it physical , mental or social.

The term skill  comes from the Latin  habilis , which initially meant “what can be had”, and was used in the designation of some of the species of the genus Homo of our evolutionary past:  Homo  habilis , the “skillful” man who learned to use Stone tools to make your life easier. Thus,  people who have facilities to perform in a specific area are called  skilled .

Commonly, skills are understood as innate, natural talents, but the truth is that they can also be learned or perfected: a person can be born with a talent of his own for a certain sport , or he can acquire that skill with constant practice and exercise. In principle, then, the skill  implies somehow the potential talent.

A person’s skills

According to the World Health Organization, human development is based on the emergence and mastery of a certain number of human abilities:

  • Self – knowledge . Ability to know ourselves and know how we are and how we react.
  • Empathy . Ability to perceive, understand and even share the feelings of others.
  • Assertive communication . The possibility of transmitting information of various kinds to others, quickly, efficiently and accurately.
  • Decision-making . The ability to decide, quickly or slowly, but choosing the most convenient criteria given the options present.
  • Creative thinking . Ability to find innovative solutions to problems and express deep content through original symbols, signs and forms.
  • Critical thinking . Ability to perceive the underlying problems in a way of thinking or discourse , and be able to discuss them in the abstract and to be able to elaborate in depth their implications, their consequences, their causes, etc., to understand it more fully.
  • Problem and conflict management . In other words, negotiation capacity, flexibility and understanding for mutual benefit.
  • Managing emotions . The self-control and healthy management of emotional life allows you to live a calmer, healthier emotionally and with fewer health risk factors.

Types Of Skill

Cognitive skills involve mental processes.

Skills are classified according to the specific area or type of activity they involve, for example:

  • Cognitive skills . Those that involve mental processes, such as memory , speed of thought, logical deduction or the management of formal languages ​​( mathematics , for example).
  • Social skills . Those that involve dealing with others or communicating with other individuals, such as leadership , empathy, conviction, etc.
  • Physical abilities . Those that require a coordinated management of the body and its limbs, such as in sports, dancing , acrobatics or any other similar physical activity.

Skill and dexterity

The skill is usually linked to physical and manual activities.

The skill (term from the Latin  dextra , “right”), is a form of skill , which consists in carrying out in a satisfactory and easy way a task or work usually linked to the body and manual crafts. Thus, people who demonstrate dexterity are called  right-handed : a right-handed basketball player, an athlete with much skill, etc.

Difference between skill and ability

Commonly are skills distinguish skills , although there is not really a concrete and universal definition of each.

By skill, then, the innate talent that a person possesses in a certain activity or area is understood, no matter what: physical, mental or social. It is about the characteristics of an individual that allow him to perform notoriously well in a given activity.

On the other hand, as we have already seen, the skill tends to be related more to what is related to the body and the objects: skill with knives, skill for juggling, sports skills, etc.

Examples Of Skill

You can have skills in virtually any activity , although the term usually refers to those of a physical nature, such as sports , agility, balance, elasticity, strength and coordination , etc.

In general terms, when it is said that a person is right-handed, reference is made to having good physical abilities , is resilient, agile or talented for body management.

It is also possible to talk about “mental skills”, which would be a kind of metaphorical use of the term, to indicate that a person uses his mental talents or abilities in a manner comparable to what an athlete or a person extremely does with his body agile, strong, etc.

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