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I'm about 90% done with the book and have gotten some really good tactics I'm working on implementing.

I am, however, struggling with the difference between talents and knowledge/skills. I'm having difficulty wrapping my mind around how the author's differentiate between the two.

Has anyone else gotten through this? Any suggestions on how to approach this when assessing staff?

Thanks!

kklogic's picture

Dani,

Talent is simply raw ability. I may naturally run a little faster than everyone else. However, to turn this into a true strength, you have to add knowledge and experience.

So, to run in the Olympics - I would need to learn about the best running techniques, diets, training programs, etc. I would also need to compete in high level competitions so I'd "been there" before and could perform optimally.

A skill is an actual, tactical thing. So, while I may have a talent for understanding computers -- knowing Excel well is a skill.

I would recommend you pick up StrenghsFinders and see if that doesn't help. We have had Gallup in where I work to train us on it - so I'm pretty comfortable with the subject matter. Feel free to private message if you have questions you'd rather ask there.

Mark's picture

Dani-

I'm with you, and that's why I don't recommend this book more strongly. I think the differences are subtle enough that most managers can't really apply the book with great detail.

The one thing about the book that I would want folks to take away from it is that managers don't try to force a round peg into a square hole. Expecting a research-loving engineer to be a party hostess is simply a waste of firm resources.

Sorry this took so long.

Mark

Dani Martin's picture

Thanks, Mark. That helps me feel better... and less dense! I re-read that part of the book several times and just didn't "get it." I'm glad to know I'm in good company. :D