What is the difference between ‘Skills’ and ‘Competencies’?

What is the difference between ‘Skills’ and ‘Competencies’?

Do you know the difference between ‘Values’, ‘Competencies’ & Skills? The more senior you get the more important it is to know this.

Does the company you are looking to join recruit based on behaviours and values as well as skill set – what’s important to you in a job..?

Within a job you are going to need to demonstrate skills, competencies, and values?

Do you know the difference between these?

What are your own personal values?

If you’re values are not being met both in your personal life and work life then the likelihood is that you will feel distressed, restless and generally unhappy.

Background Info

Values are much more personal and in essence are what is important to people, competencies are skills and abilities. So our values for example (top 3 anyway) are honesty, professionalism and fun trust??

They are what matters to us in our day to day business. What matters to yours in your day to day business and in your day to day personal life?

For yourself it is the answer to the question “what is important about anything (Work, relationships, life etc).

Competencies can be taught, values are acquired but not really teachable (except actually by social pressure but that is a red herring in this case). I think there is a subtle difference between skills and competence because it is possible to know how to do something and yet still feel unable/unwilling to do it. I for example know how to ski but my fear means that I am far from being a competent skier. So I would say competence is a mixture of having a skill and the confidence to use it appropriately.

You can identify both competencies and values through behaviour though. People confuse them because organisations have both and people are on the whole, not trained in spotting the distinctions.

Consultants for example have values around things like fun, learning, autonomy (can you see the resemblance!), working with high performing peer groups, making a difference, variety and challenge. Their competency framework however, lists leadership, management, team work, planning and organisation, sales and marketing. The values list is what motivates consultants, the competency list is what they do which is the medium in which they express their work values.

Values are traits or qualities that are considered worthwhile; they represent your highest priorities and deeply held driving forces. When you are part of any organization, you bring your deeply held values and beliefs to the organization. There they co-mingle with those of the other members to create an organization or family culture.

Value statements are grounded in values and define how people want to behave with each other in an organization, an institution, a company, or a family. They are statements about how the organization will value customers, suppliers, and the internal community. Value statements describe actions which are the living enactment of the fundamental values held by most individuals within the organization.

Ambition, competency, individuality, equality, integrity, service, responsibility, accuracy, respect, dedication, diversity, improvement, enjoyment/fun, loyalty, credibility, honesty, innovativeness, teamwork, excellence, accountability, empowerment, quality, efficiency, dignity, collaboration, stewardship, empathy, accomplishment, courage, wisdom, independence, security, challenge, influence, learning, compassion, friendliness, discipline/order, generosity, persistency, optimism, dependability, flexibility

Why Identify and Establish Your Values?

Your values are made up of everything that has happened to you in your life and include influences from: your parents and family, your religious affiliation, your friends and peers, your education, your reading, and more. Effective people recognize these environmental influences and identify and develop a clear, concise, and meaningful set of values/beliefs, and priorities. Once defined, values impact every aspect of your life.

You demonstrate and model your values in action in your personal and work behaviors, decision making, contribution, and interpersonal interaction.
You use your values to make decisions about priorities in your daily work and home life.
Your goals and life purpose are grounded in your values.

Choose the values that are most important to you, the values you believe in and that define your character. Then live them visibly every day at work and at home. Living your values is one of the most powerful tools available to you to help you be the person you want to be, to help you accomplish your goals and dreams, and to help you lead and influence others. Don’t waste your best opportunity.


IT, Technical, Budget Management,



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