Life Skills

Life Skills is a term that describes the learned capacity that help us to live more harmoniously and to do deal with the challenges of life effectively.Essentially, life skills enhance a person’s emotional, physical and mental well-being.


As a general term, Skills refers to the the know-how or abilities required to act effectively. A skilled person spends less resources, time and energy to produce the desired results.


It is a mistake to think that someone is born with certain skills, the truth is that all skills in life can be learned and improved through  practice and consistent action.

There are three universally recognized categories of life skills :

cognitive skills for analyzing and using information, personal skills for developing personal agency and managing oneself, and inter-personal skills for communicating and interacting effectively with others.” (UNICEF).


3 essential life skills categories – World Health organization  (WHO)

Thinking Skills

  • Creative and critical thinking 
  • Decision making & problem solving skills  

Interpersonal and Social Skills

Personal/ Coping skills

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Ability to cope with stress

Here is a list of other important life skills:

  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Writing Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Parenting Skills
  • Adaptability
  • Analytical
  • Apologizing
  • Seeking help
  • Effective body language
  • Conflict management
  • Etiquette
  • Flexibility
  • Independence
  • Concentration and Focus
  • Influence
  • Listening
  • Literacy Skills 
  • Mindfulness
  • Networking
  • Numeracy Skills 
  • Organization
  • Public speaking
  • Professionalism
  • Respect for self and others 
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Willingness to learn

Essential Life Skills in Detail: 

 As we have established,  Life skills are the ability for malleable and positive behavior that enable people to deal skillfully with the demand and life difficulties .


This concept depends on community expectation and social norm .Skills that nature and aid individual to develop into diligent and fruitful members of society are considered as life skills.


In addition, having life skills reduces chances of engaging yourself in drugs and other addictive behaviors due to hopelessness.


The most difficult part in any trial is how to get started. However, once you get started, you will always feel good and motivated to keep improving and pursuing to be the best.


Effective communication skills                          

Communication skills is a set of skills that helps an individual to communicate effectively.


We interact regularly with other individuals and express ourselves, mastering these communication skills is first principle to social and personal development. Communication is conveying information from one place to another this can be through speaking, listening, writing and reading. Advancing your communication skills assists in all aspects of life.


The capability to communicate information faultless, understandable and as planned is fundamental life skill and should be taken for granted. 


Effective communication skills at work. Individuals who works extra hard  a times  do not always receive the attention they need , this depends on how the ideas  are delivered to  power persuasion , effective communication skills  enables us to  develop effective  ways  to reach wide variety  of people.


Professionally,  when applying for a job or when  looking for promotion it is important to  show  good communication skills such as ; speaking relevantly with spectators, keeping good eye contact, listening and presenting your ideas effectively.


Most of these are fundamental skills that employers wants. An individual with good communication skills is the most outstanding candidates in job interviews.


Effective communication skills in education.  Effective communication skills enhances our personal relationship and welfare. Training good communication skills from early stage is the best way to develop these skills in our natural environment.


It is crucial to improve our communication with children to help them become competent in adulthood .Finally, we should be good communicators in order to educate in communication. 


Effective communication skills in everyday life; we require these skills to communicate frequently both in small and complicated interaction we need effective communication.


Communicating well makes life enjoyable and reduces wastage of time.


Effective communication skills in a difficult conversation; miscommunication is very usual especially  when interactions are complex .it is important to consider the feedback of the audience  so that you can have an idea on how frame and deliver your message  without offending your listeners.


Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are the skills that we use daily   when interacting and communicating with people both in person and groups. Individuals with good interpersonal skills are successful in personal and professional lives.


In addition, People with good interpersonal skills have the ability to communicate  appropriately  with others whether family ,friends,  clients  and colleagues. Interpersonal skills are crucial in all zones of life.


Good interpersonal skills are usually viewed as the foundation of a good working and social associations. It is hard to develop important life skills without good interpersonal skills.


Importance interpersonal skills

Many careers needs constant interaction with other individuals. Even if you are brilliant in technical aspects of your job and stubborn to work with in the office, it will be hard to be treated with respect.


The most important part in developing your interpersonal skills is to know you strength and weaknesses. You may have the ideas of the areas that you require to develop but it is important to seek feedback form other individuals, this will enable you   to do interpersonal self-assessment.


The most essential thing you can do to a person is to listen attentively   to what they are saying. In addition, it is important to consider both verbal and non-verbal communication .Using tactics like questioning and reflection shows that you are listening and interested. Practice clarity and seek feedback from others individual to make sure that message has been understood. Asking questions efficiently enables you to know other people understanding and   learn more from them.


Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the measure of individual capability to know and control their emotions, and emotions for other individuals both in person and in groups.


It is important to develop a mature emotional intelligence skills which help you understand, empathize and negotiate with other individuals.


Major categories of emotional intelligence

  • Self- awareness. This is ability to realize your personalities which including strength and weakness, and your emotions and motivations and how to control them.

  • Self-regulation.  This is the ability to control emotions.There are some techniques that you can use to control negative emotions such as anxiety and depression. A few of these techniques include taking a long walk, meditation or prayer. Self-regulation include 
  1. Self-control, handling troublesome impulses
  2. Keeping high standards of honest and honorableness
  3. taking responsibilities  for your own production
  4. Flexibility to handle change.

  • Motivation.it requires  positive  attitude and clear goals  to inspire  yourself   to achieve great achievement .Although you may have encountered either negative or positive  attitude  you can put effort to learn  and  think  positively, It is important to ignore the negative  thoughts and focus on positive thoughts in order to achieve  your goals.

  • Commitment .Orienting with goals of the organization

  • Initiative. Preparing yourself to act on any available opportunity

  • Empathy. The ability to know how individuals feel is crucial for success of your life and career.

Presentation skills

Presentation  skills can be  defines as  potential  that helps  a person to; interact  with spectators; transmit messages  clearly ;involve the spectators  in presentation  ;clarify and understand  the mindset of the audience.


These skills rectify the way you put your messages and they enable your influential powers.


Importance of presentation skills

Interacting with other people is important in the current era. The importance of good presentation skills is enhanced on the following basis.

  • They enable a person to enhance development opportunities.in addition. It educates the personality of the presenter and upgrade his confidence level.
  • It is important for business executives to understand the spectators especially when striking deals and obtaining clients. Good presentation skills enables a person to frame his message according to the characters of the spectators. This increases chances of prosperous transmission of information.
  • Business executives have to arrange  conference   and give presentations  daily .good  presentation skills increases personal  chances of prosperity  and helps  him  to add great value  to organization.

How to improve presentation skills

  • Research the audience before presenting. This will help you understand the characters of spectators. You can make information that will be better understood by your target listeners.
  • Structure your presentation effectively. The appropriate way to do this is to start by telling your listeners in the introduction what you are going to present. Follow this by presenting the   idea and wide up the presentation by repeating the main points.
  • Do a lot of practice. rehearsal  enables an individual to reduce  anxiety and  gain confident  on the presentation  time .ensure that you practice  out loud  to enable  you identify  and  to get rid of the  mistakes effectively. Avoid memorizing anything as it will make your presentation look inattentive. This can decrease the level of spectator’s attentiveness

Leadership skills

Leadership skills are the skills you use when organizing other people to reach a common goal.


Leadership skills require you to inspire others to enable them finish a series of chores whether in management position or when leading a project.

Importance of leadership skills

Efficient leaders are crucial to any firm. They can help create strong team which ensures initiated projects and other functions are well performed.


Good leaders supports a positive environment that enables an organization to remove barrier form their team. Good leadership characters motivates colleagues to put positive leadership traits in their personal work.


How to improve leadership skills.

You can practice good leadership skills in any role and level. For instance, assisting to coach and train the less experienced co-workers   is an example of leadership. Here are techniques to develop leadership skills


  1. Take leadership training courses. You can take online or in person course that enable you learn and teach about leadership skills.
  2. Find leadership opportunities outside of work. It is important to seek leadership opportunities away from your working place .This may include volunteering in leadership position with a community firm
  3. Read books and other materials on leadership. Reading book and materials may help you develop your leadership skills .you can visit book stores and library where to you can get this book and for inspiration.

Parenting skills

Parenting skills are the ability of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parents with good parenting skills are referred to as good parents.


Importance of good parenting skills

Good parenting skills are in different classification which are; love and affection, behavior management, stress management, life and relationship skills and healthy safety.


Children depend on parents to be compatible, children who cannot rely on parents have high level of anxiety which affects their behavior. Children can express what they are feeling through behavior.


If you observe change in behavior in a child it is important to think your own predictability.

Aspects of good parenting skills

  1. Stress and anger management, knowing how to manage and control your anger is very crucial part of child development because children imitate their parent’s way of handling matters. For instance ,short tempered parents  loses temper and reacts which leaves their children  confused  and anxious to know what mistake they have done.it is important to control your mood swings  so that it cannot interfere with  your child development and break the  closeness  you had with your child.
  2. Boundaries and behavior management. It is important to teach your child about boundaries from the young age .A parent or a guardian should ensure that a child has adhered rules which governs effectively. Giving your child rules and boundaries enables him to identify what is good and what is bad and gives a child clean way to walk on. This enables behavior management to child since he know what he can do and what he cannot.
  3. Validating, children do not have fully developed understanding  to know why they are feeling a certain way, it is important to let your child share their thoughts and feelings without criticizing, judging or abandoning them. It is very crucial to let your child feel heard and understood .As a good parent you should show them love despite what they are thinking and feeling.

Teamwork

Team work is  sense of unity  and enthusiasm  for  common responsibility and interests  among  a group of individuals  jointly related  in  chore. Team work is the bond that enhances unity and support in an organization.


Team work has the ability to support so much of what is important in work. The advantage gained as a result of team work is more important for effective management of resources.


How to improve team work skills

When  giving team roles it is important to focus on personal strengths of the team members to create a conducive atmosphere of success and achievements.

  1. Focus on positive feedback. It is crucial to ignore negative feedback and focus on positive compliments .Positive feedback motivates and encourages positive surrounding within the team and ensures that everybody in the team feels treasured.
  2. Have open door policy. Team members should be in a position to communicate challenges they are encountering and positive development regularly
  3. Build a routine. It is essential to create working schedule for better performance and to reduce antipathy within the team. For instance, there should be a schedule in a place to solve problems and negotiation. When a team encounters a challenge they should know the route is to solving it.

Time management

 Time management is the process of organizing and practicing conscious control of time spent on specific activities. Mostly to increases effectiveness, efficiency or productivity.


Using time effectively accords an individual choice to manage affairs at their own time   time cannot   be managed because it is fixed .However, time management   can be  aided  by a number  of skills  and techniques  used  when  finishing  a certain  chore ,projects and complying  achievements  with a due date. Time management is regularly important   in projects growth and it is influenced by project accomplishment period and range.


Importance of time management skills

  • You become more efficient. Good time management enable a person to do what you are supposed to do without short cuts and without reducing in quality in order to do other task later.

  • Have more energy .The act of accomplishing chores on time makes you  feel   contented  and  with positive energy  that makes you feel good ,this will enable an individual to do  endorphin  releasing activities

  • You achieve what you want and need quickly better time management helps you accomplish what you started sooner.

  • Develop more qualities. when you use skills   and techniques  you  will find  that  they work hand on hand  with qualities  we have but does not utilize  such as self-discipline, self -confident  and   determination develop.

  • You enjoy life more. The more usefulness you put on time the higher ability to learn to do what is important so that you can enjoy your life more. Good time management brings fulfillment and pleasure. The importance of time relies on the usefulness we put on our time.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the basic human capability to fully focus on what is going on to what you are doing and what is happening   around us. When we are mindful ,we  reduce the  stress and  improve performance ,gain perception  and  realize  through observing  own mind  and increase  attention to  well-being  for other people . Mindfulness give us time to oscillate judgment and release natural inquisitiveness of work in the mind. Here are few things you need to know about mindfulness;


  1. Mindfulness is not obscure or foreign.It is common to use  because it is what we  do every day
  2. Mindfulness is not special added thing we do. We have the ability to present without changing who we are. However , it is important to practice these qualities in order to benefit yourself
  3. Mindfulness does not require  individual to change to be what you can’t be .it accept  and  finds the best of who we are as human beings

Importance of mindfulness

  • Mindfulness improves well –being. Increasing your value for mindfulness reinforce many attitudes that contribute to a happy and contented life. Mindfulness enable an individual to engage in projects and create a greater volume to deal with untimely events. Mindfulness boost self-esteem and enables individuals to interact with others.
  • Mindfulness improves physical health. Mindfulness helps a person to reduce stress, lower the blood pressure and treat heart disease.
  • Mindfulness improves mental health. Psychotherapists have found that mindfulness can treat problem like depression, drug abuse, eating disorders.

 

References

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  2. Change Your Brain Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness 1998
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  4. McHugh Schuste, Pamela (2010). Communication for Nursing: How to Prevent Harmful Events and Promote Patient Safety. USA: F. A. Davis Company.
  5. Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (2008). Program on Negotiation Webcasts.
  6. Meditation classes raise attorneys mindfulness (2009). New Orleans CityBusiness.
  7. Definition of Terms. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/lifeskills/index_7308.html