Are your skillful or intelligent – a HR message

THE HANS INDIA |   Sep 09,2017 , 10:08 AM IST

Representational Image
Representational Image

People in the most corporate often used to get confused a lot with the terms viz., ‘skill’ and ‘intelligence’ and they very lavishly interchange the meaning of either of the terms. Frequently they refer/describe to the work that they have done with great skill to be as an act of intelligence. More often the skill is described and understood to be as intelligence. These employees also would complain that despite them being so meticulous and very skillful, promotion and good increments were denied to them. The interesting question is whether the skill or intelligence would help one to become successful? The skills and intelligence no doubt plays a very dominant role in industry in general? When the industry is looking for experienced candidates for the job, are they not indirectly looking for the ‘time tested skills’ than ‘intelligence’? 

The bitter truth is that the organization that is governed directly by the owners or as family show does the above mistake often.  The unstated working philosophy of most corporate is to recruit more of skilled people in other words less intelligent people in the organization. The statement should not be misinterpreted as skilled people are not that intelligent or vice versa. The corporate want their employees to boast more about the skills than intelligence. The result achievement come more with skills than intelligence as intelligence only breed innovation. Most corporate wants to be a mere copy cats and do not want innovation or creativity. Hence the corporate want the employees to preferentially and predominantly use the skills than intelligence.  

It is as simple as ‘contractor’ and ‘worker’ equation. There will be only one contractor whereas many skilled workers will be working for him. The people who graduate themselves from skilled worker to creative thinkers, they could become another contractor, while others would continue to remain as skilled workers.  

When we consciously peep into the animal world, we can easily understand the fact that most animals relay largely on intelligence than skills. The question is not about who is the most intelligent – man or animal? It is not about the quality of intelligence either. Whether the life of animals is governed by intelligence or skill? 

The most ironic aspect is that when an animal tend to develop certain skills like chimpanzees using sticks to catch ants, we call such animal and such an act as ‘very intelligent’ act. Are we rightfully connecting ourselves perfectly with the mere word or its meaning?  

Whenever an animal exhibits a different array of behaviour than the normal, we call them intelligent. The animals use tools are described to be intelligent. The closer perusal of such animal behaviour will reveal that these animals use different tools only at a particular situation and otherwise it uses only its native intelligence for its survival.  

Remember that if you want to be successful, be intelligent and if your focus were just to survive, use your skills the best and develop them. The final choice is yours.

Dr S Ranganathan

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