Sunday, August 10, 2014

Talent vs. Skill

Talent could be the right balance between "heart" and "head," the right balance between what is innate and what is developed and trained.

Talent is an innate, or natural ability to do something well. So it has to be identified as distinct from a skill, which is acquired by learning and practice. Talent is something deeper that empowers or boosts skills, but how to identify it, acquire it, improve it, or stimulate it? Talent is like DNA: DNA defines what you could be; not what you will be. Someone once said, "Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.” Backed by the proper application of training and practice, talent can become useful, profitable skill; without training and practice, talent is unmet potential.

Talent is something in the building. You feel comfortable doing it no matter how long or times you want to do it to your fullest, talent is a natural quality in certain people. But the effort and training can help one improve talent-based skills and keep one to be competitive. It is the ability to put the skill to proper use, hopefully for something good or useful. It’s intangible; it can't be measured easily or quickly. Talent is a gift. Talent represents what an individual has a natural gift to accomplish or perform an innate ability to do well. It differs from skill. One of the simplest ways to describe talent is that it's a natural gift that you have. It was once said, 'it's impossible for us to wear out our gifts because the more you use them, the stronger they become.' Skill, on the other hand, represents something you need to do/learn in order to achieve success. You may not be naturally inclined or particularly gifted in an area, but you need to develop a skill or competence to achieve success in your roles/positions/jobs. A skilled person could learn something and do it very well without being naturally talented it. But when a person has a special talent for something and he/she is actually interested in it and matched with the right position/job fit, he/she will outperform others in that role. When we match a person's talent with organizational needs, we hit the jackpot, and the learning curve isn't as steep.
Talent is strictly related to the GREAT performance he/she can achieveEveryone, well skilled and trained, could achieve a good, really acceptable and appreciated performance. Yet, only talented people who perform what they like (the gift) could achieve extraordinary performance (if trained). Being talented at something and liking it are two different things. Sometimes you enjoy working in the field where your talent lies and sometimes you don't. You have to like doing what your "talent" is. You may have a gift for numbers and math or for speaking but not necessarily like performing the work of, but it comes natural and you do it well so people take notices and you get asked to do it more and more. Although being talented at something or liking it are two different things, but more often, talent is what you 'like' to do. Then, surely, you have to practice and be motivated to excel in application, skill, and performance. Isn't it? If so, the other question is: How can you find the talent? How can you find what you like it?

Talent is something that comes naturally with some people who are born with certain talents, which can be recognized at very early stages: If they are raised in a good environment then the talent is developed and well utilized and serves the people. Also, it depends on if you are using you right brain or left the brain. At early stage talent or better "I like to do it - I feel comfortable, I feel good - but I don't know why" comes from "heart", from your human nature, from instincts, from passion, from emotions, from feelings. And it is not rationale. Then, at an advanced stage, it is mixed with brain and rationality, trained, developed and it becomes TALENT. So talent could be the right balance between "heart" and "head", the right balance between what is innate and what is developed and trained.

Everyone is born with some "talent" or the other hand, the inability to understand their own gifts is what ends it, especially since it needs nurturing and training! If not done early, other social influences will blind the ability to recognize this gift! The next question may be, how do you undo this blind spot and understand the gift? The attitudes (positive or negative) multiply the potential impact of the combined Talents + Skills +Knowledge. When you use goal setting to focus all that energy, it creates positive behavior change that leads to improved results.


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