30 Skills of a person: list and examples


In this article, I want to explain to you, using examples and definitions, what skills are and what they consist of.

Table of contents

People are in continuous learning, there is not a day that goes by that we go to bed without learning something new.

This learning allows that, the next time we have the opportunity to put what we have learned into practice, we can do it without difficulties or, at least, with less difficulty than the first time.

Through this learning, different skills are developed throughout our lives, which are improved from experience. However, many times we do not know what it really means to have a skill.

For the same reason, in this article I want to explain to you, using examples and definitions, what skills are and what they consist of.

1. What are the skills of a person?

Competence refers to the ability, talent or skill that people possess to perform a task effectively. We can say that when we say someone is competent, we are referring to their ability to succeed at the task they are doing because of their competence.

The skills can be considered both innate and learning, as some of them are only acquired through trial and error.

Skills can be distinguished into three large groups:

  • Cognitive skills: they are all of which mental processes are involved, that is, memory, logic and the use of formal languages ​​as in the case of mathematics.
  • Social skills: dealing with others and relevant communication with them are involved in these.
  • Physical skills: within these are those that require body coordination.

2. Is it the same skills as abilities, aptitudes or talents?

According to the RAE, we define capacity as the circumstance or set of conditions, qualities or aptitudes, especially intellectual ones, that allow the development of something, the fulfillment of a function or the performance of a position.

For its part, aptitude is defined as the innate ability to acquire certain types of knowledge and function adequately in a subject from childhood. It can be said that they are all the conditions that a "base" person has to meet specific objectives.

Talent itself is the "special" intellectual capacity to learn things easily and skillfully, develop a specific activity. Talented people stand out only in the subject in which they have facilities. They tend to excel in that activity when compared to the rest. It is an innate gift that you are born with. While it is true that it can be developed over time, the person who has it will perform the activity naturally and effortlessly, even without having to practice.

After analyzing the four definitions individually, it can be said that we are not talking about the same thing, however, all the concepts are interrelated with each other. That is, to develop a skill, it is necessary for the person to innately present a certain aptitude for it. In addition, to develop the skills necessary to carry out an action, it is not enough to have an ability to do so, but prior knowledge of how to carry out said activity is also necessary.

If a person is capable of carrying out an action, it is that they have the necessary ability to do it, however, if they are not capable, but if they have the potential to learn to do it, we speak of capacity.

The term talent is the one that is more separated than the rest when it comes to defining itself, since it is about doing something in a special way without previous experience, study or training, while ability would be the ability to perform said action through An apprenticeship.

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3. List of skills of a person and examples

Here is a list of skills that people can develop throughout their lives. I want to emphasize the first 10 which are, according to the WHO, the ones that all people should develop.

  1. Self-knowledge: ability to be aware of ourselves and to know what our qualities and defects are, as well as to recognize our own feelings.
  2. Empathy: knowing how to put yourself in the place of others is absolutely necessary to be able to make appropriate decisions that do not affect the rest of the people around us.
  3. Assertive communication: refers to the ability of a person to express their opinion appropriately, defending their point of view, but always respecting the opinion of the rest. Even if you don't agree with her. Learn techniques to develop assertive communication.
  4. Interpersonal relationships: being able to create and maintain relationships with those around us. It does not refer only to relationships with close people, but also to work relationships, daily relationships, etc.
  5. Decision-making: being able to make decisions based on reasoning and experience will help you not to rush and make decisions that you may later regret.
  6. Handling problems and conflicts: it is very important not to block yourself when a problem arises. Therefore, being able to handle these situations by making the best possible decisions will allow the person not to enter into a stressful situation. In the following article, you can see How to resolve a conflict assertively.
  7. Creative thinking: this ability offers us a way to face situations from a fresh perspective, so that we can come up with new ideas and solutions.
  8. Critical thinking: ability to evaluate things and situations through objective assessment and analysis, that is, without being carried away by opinions.
  9. Management of emotions: being able to understand our own emotions and learn to manage them is a capacity which is in continuous learning, but which allows us to improve interpersonal relationships.
  10. Tension and stress management: being able to control stressful situations and not letting them affect our effectiveness when carrying out a task.
  11. Flexibility and adaptation: all areas of society are constantly changing (technology, science, ...) so being able to learn and adapt flexibly to new changes will allow us to face new challenges with confidence.
  12. Resolution capacity: life is full of problems, so being able to create batteries of proposals to solve them will help us in our performance.
  13. Ability to work as a team : daily we have to live and interact with other people, especially in the workplace. Therefore, having this ability will help us achieve efficient and satisfactory work.
  14. Motivation and confidence: to achieve a goal, you have to visualize it and believe in yourself with confidence and conviction. These thoughts will allow us to increase our motivation, and therefore we will try harder to achieve it.
  15. Knowing how to work under pressure : getting used to handling stress and pressure helps the person with this ability to come out ahead in the best possible way. Always keeping calm.
  16. Proactivity: taking the initiative and anticipating events that may happen will help the person to function more safely, without the uncertainty of not knowing what is going to happen.
  17. Communication: being able to express oneself is a fundamental skill to be able to interact in any area of ​​our lives.
  18. Professionalism : Developing good work habits will allow us to organize ourselves and carry out the tasks assigned to us efficiently.
  19. Attention: This is a practically unconscious ability, because even if we avoid ourselves, our senses are still paying attention to what surrounds us.
  20. Memory: there are people who are surprising because of their high memory capacity, however, we all have developed this ability, because each learning we do is stored in our memory.
  21. Reasoning: we have the ability to draw conclusions from the reality that surrounds us and as a result of this act accordingly.
  22. Association capacity: this is considered the basis of any learning, because without the association of action-consequence, we would not be able to understand the causal events that surround us.
  23. Strength: some more and others less, but we all have the ability to exert muscular tension in order to overcome resistance that is presented to us.
  24. Resistance: this ability refers to both the one included within the physical ones and the one included in the social one. It is the ability of a person to sustain an effort over a long period of time.
  25. Active listening: Hearing is very different from listening, so being able to pay attention to other people and listen to what they say to us is really important for our social development.
  26. Patience: as they say in my area, it is the mother of science. Patience is a skill which helps to be relaxed and avoid getting into situations of continuous stress.
  27. Metacognition: refers to the ability to assess from our own cognition, that is, to have the ability to analyze the information that we lack in order to optimize and improve our abilities.
  28. Inhibition: it is about being able to ignore those stimuli that surround us and that are irrelevant, which could create interference in the development of a task.
  29. Speed: within physical abilities, we refer to the ability to make one or more movements in the shortest possible time. But in cognitive skills, we refer to the ability to respond or think in the shortest time possible.
  30. People Management: Being able to understand the personalities of the people around you and tailor your interaction with them to their needs.


  • Ibañez, N. Personality. James I University (2015)
  • Ibañez, N. Human differences. Jaume I University (2016)
  • Julian Perez Porto and Maria Merino. Published: 2008. Updated: 2012.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative, I have no authority to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. I invite you to visit a psychologist to treat your particular case.