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Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC)

KASH - Knowledge, Attitude, Skills & Habits

I was recently introduces to the KASH model and thought it was an excellent tool to share.

Each team member (TM) brings four distinct characteristics to an organization – Knowledge, Skills, Attitude and Habit – which affect performance and hence the success of the individual.  While most of the organizations focus on selecting employees based on the knowledge and skills they possess, successful companies differentiate themselves by focusing not only on the Knowledge and Skills - left side of the brain- but also on those soft aspects of the personality - right side of the brain - namely the Attitude and the Habits. Knowledge, Skills, Attitude and Habit can be configured it into a way that would make more sense for people. The K.A.S.H. Box









The purpose of this K.A.S.H. Box was to show that more often than not poor performance is not just an issue of knowledge and skills, but also includes poor attitudes and habits. Yet, individuals spend most of their resources developing knowledge and skills yet fail to develop the necessary attitudes and habits for success.
Knowledge: How to do things Knowledge is what you know and is sum total of learning - theoretical and practical - that an individual acquires over a period of time. Knowledge of the subject, environment, general matter, form the building blocks for the ability to understand, internalize and deliver on the performance objectives. Knowledge however is highly overrated

Attitude: How the employee comes across to others while carrying out his tasks Attitude isn’t about “good” or “bad,” but it describes your outlook and perspective on how you think.  Thoughts drive actions. Actions drive results.  While knowledge and skills are important, the ability to put them to use is defined by the attitude of the TM who possess them.  The attitude that a TM develops that will help him in leveraging his knowledge and skills to perform in the work place.  Attitude is the most critical ingredient of success to the KASH model – Remember Attitude determines ALTITUDE!

Skill: How well to do things Skills are those capabilities and competencies that are gained through experience and learnt through practice. Technical skills, communication skills, analytical skills, and presentation skills are some such skills that will help the employees in their communication and delivery of performance.

Habit: What we repeatedly and consistently do without any effort Habits are those aspects of our behavior that reflect what we do repeatedly and believe deep within and is what truly defines our capability to perform. Successful organizations want winning to be their habit. Success is a product of doing the right and desirable things repeatedly. This happens when the employees are habituated to work hard, work smart, work systematically and perform consistently.


Positive attitude and good habits of the employees are invariably the reason behind the performance of great companies. Successful organizations realize that it is the negative attitudes and wrong habits of the employees are mostly the reasons behind the failures and not lack of knowledge or skills.


Training programs at successful organizations are focused on improving all the four aspects of the employees.  The left side - Knowledge and Skills -  is all about learning – the acquisition of knowledge and are typically acquired through teaching. While the right side - Attitudes and Habits -  is all about performing – the application of knowledge and these are learned through coaching. Habits are usually very difficult to break and a smart companies leverage on the habits of effective people to make it an organization habit and later on, it becomes the culture.


So, the next time you wish sustainable success for yourself, ask yourself this simple question: Will my success be dependent upon the acquisition of new knowledge and skills or will my success be because of my consistently applied positive attitudes and habits? Another way to ask this question is: Have my past failures been a result of a lack of knowledge and skills or due to poor attitudes and habits? If you answered attitudes and habits, then what you are doing to build those attitudes and habits on a daily basis? Anyone can go buy a book or take a class to gain knowledge, but very few people take the time to develop and redevelop the true obstacles to their success!

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