Difference Between Skills and Attributes

Skills vs Attributes

Skills and Attributes, like Skills and Abilities, are two pairs of words that are often confused without understanding the difference between each term in their meanings. First, let us be reminded that as we speak of people and their capabilities, we use a variety of words. Attributes, skills, competencies are some of these words. Despite the fact that we tend to use these words in a similar context each word has a specific meaning of its own. This article attempts to highlight the difference between two such words, which are skills and attributes. Attribute refers to a quality or feature that a person possesses. A skill, on the other hand, refers to competencies or else abilities of a person to perform some task efficiently and effectively. The significant difference between these two stem from an attribute being an inherent quality whereas skills have to be learnt and practiced. With this basic understanding of the difference let us pay attention to the words separately.

What are Attributes?

First when defining an attribute, it can be considered as a particular feature or quality, which can be seen in an individual. This can be very well understood through different individuals in society. Let us take the case of a young girl with very high motivation. This is an attribute because it is a certain feature that she is born with. Her personality is composed with her being enthusiastic and excessively motivated in all her tasks. In most cases, we consider attributes as inherent potentials of individuals that can be harnessed and developed. For some people, certain attributes remain hidden for a large period of their lifetime since that particular attribute does not get an opportunity to come out.

Attributes can vary from person to person and cover a vast range from a motivation to values. Sometimes attributes need to be improved through practice in order to bring out the best of it. Yet, since it is inherent, even if a person is out of practice, it does not become completely lost, but only rather unpolished and lacking the optimal quality.

What are Skills?

Skills are certain abilities that people develop through practice. These can also be referred to as competencies. Unlike in the case of attributes, which are inherent, skills are not. These are developed through practice and commitment. In our day to day life, we develop a number of skills for various purposes. Let us take the case of an elderly man who wishes to be employed. Despite the fact that he may have all the necessary qualifications which are mandatory for the job, he might lack certain skills such as computer skills. This set of skills has to be learnt and practiced, since it is not inherent. Likewise, there is a variety of skills that become necessary for our day to day activities and need to be learnt such as leadership skills, communication skills, organizational skills, etc. Even after learning these skills, there is a tendency for them to be forgotten, and hence, they need to be practiced.

Difference Between Skills and Attributes

What is the difference between Skills and Attributes?

• An attribute is a particular feature or else a quality that an individual is born with.

• Skills are certain abilities that people learn and develop through practice.

• The difference between these two stem from attribute being an inherent quality whereas skills have to be learnt and practiced.


Images Courtesy: Computer user via Wikicommons (Public Domain)

  • his s