Definitions of Some Related Terms That Often Confuse Many

(Refer our High Quality Management Encyclopedia “Management Universe” at:

(This is in continuation of my previous post

The terms given below are alphabetically arranged.

Ability: An individual’s capability either developed or not developed (undiscovered, unrealized and untapped). An accountant may be able to sell but has not done so.

Attitude: An individual’s tendency to act in predictable ways. A manager may have humanistic attitude and therefore, he may be compassionate towards people.

Behavior: What an individual performs or does is his behavior and that is observable. It is based on his thinking which is not observable.

Competency: It is the developed ability of an individual. One competency may be a good integration of several allied skills related to the competency. Conducting an effective meeting is a competency that calls for many allied skills like making a meeting agenda, promoting healthy group process, resolving conflicts, managing time etc. Competencies are observable and ratable/measurable.

Knowledge: What an individual knows and comprehends is knowledge. Knowledge may be obtained from formal education, observations, training and experience.

Management: It consists of planning, organizing, staffing, directing (also leading) and controlling.

Potential: It is the predicted future performance of an individual.

Performance: Actual work output/results given by an individual against the expected results or goals/objectives is his performance. It is normally the basis for appraisals and rewards.

Practice: An individual acting as per his or organizational strategies and policies is putting the policies into practice.

Skill: It is the work behavior. In a sense, every verb in a dictionary is a skill. It is micro competency. Allied skills make a competency. In earlier example of conducting meeting, listening is another skill that is essential for conducting effective meetings. Skills are observable and ratable/measurable.

Style: Patterns of behavior is style. A person with humanistic values will have particular sets of behavior towards people and that defines his style.

Traits: They are personal characteristics. For example, an individual can be harsh, arrogant, aggressive or some other person may be polite, just, assertive etc. Many a time, they may not be observable or ratable/measurable.

Read "Management Anecdotes" authored by Shyam Bhatawdekar at:

You may also like to read short articles on "Out of Box Ideas" at:

Originally posted at Saturday, December 26, 2009


About Shyam Bhatawdekar

35 years’ industrial/business experience as a top executive & 35 years’ parallel academic/consultancy experience in general management, behavioral sciences & technology. Areas: general management, production, human resources, industrial engineering, systems, MIS, computers, corporate planning, audit, sales/marketing. Penchant for information technology & behavioral sciences; integrated with conventional technology makes him unique thought leader. Conversant with academic theories & realities of business, fuses the two into practical approaches. Was associated with Tata Motors, Hindustan Motors, Hindustan Aeronautics & ThyssenKrupp; held top positions as highflier executive. Presently Chairman & Managing Director, Prodcons Group associating with 250 organizations; providing management & I T consultations & conducting seminars/workshops. Been a faculty for IIM’s, TMTC, Railway & HAL Staff Colleges, Symbiosis. Speaker with 35000 hours’ experience benefitting more than 100,000 people. Published 35 articles in Economic Times, Indian Management & Computers Today. Authored 27 books. Invited as key speaker in seminars by AIMA, HRD Network, NIPM, QCFI, CSI, NPC. Widely traveled. Education: Engineering & Management.
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