Knowledge or Skill: Is One Better?

Knowledge and skill are very different. If you have a recipe for Chicken Marsala but have little cooking skill, your dish will be lacking. If you are put in a kitchen and possess good cooking skills, you probably would struggle making a new dish without a recipe. A recipe provides the proven formula for success. For a great dish you need both knowledge and skill.

Last week I wrote about my first experience of being an official mentor. I was not prepared, and I did not know I was not prepared until things went badly. I lacked both knowledge and skill. It made me reflect on how it is important to consider both when you want to learn something new.

Sometimes I lean more towards gaining knowledge and at other times more towards building skill. It also depends on what I am learning. I am determined to be more focused on how I do both. It will accelerate the learning process.

People that don’t know how to cook, do not spend time looking at recipes. Good cooks like to look at recipes and occasionally learn a new dish. A chef will spend time experimenting and developing something new, but they still get ideas from other recipes.

I think this is a good analogy to think about. If we are learning a new process, a new language, a new system, or a new hobby, we should ask, “How are we gaining both knowledge and skill?”