What are Life Skills?
Simply put, life skills are skills that help you face real life situations with ease. Be it any task that you perform everyday or any situation that you face, you require good life skills.
Schools and colleges today are focussing on adopting an approach where life skills are taught to children from a very young age, so that they are able to think and make decisions independently. The reason why they have done this is because many people grow up to be great educationalists or business personnel or even scientists and lawyers but they lack life skills. Formal education is not enough to develop life skills that help you sustain and survive.
Life skills can always be learnt
Before we get ahead, let’s remove all the barriers that we have. Life skills can be developed at any time and at any age. It is never too late to develop a life skill nor too soon. However, you must be aware of developing age appropriate life skills. Hence, do not find age, circumstances or past experiences pose as a barrier to learning new life skills.
Kinds of Life skills
There are many kinds of life skills that are required in the corresponding domain of your life. For example, the life skills required in your personal life are not what is required in your place of work. Hence, we must be aware of what life skills applies to which domain of our life.
- Life skills at work
Communication: Communication skills are a must at your place of work. By this it does not only mean your professional presentation and meetings. It includes they way in which you communicate with your peers and superiors internally and how you put across messages to your external stakeholders from time to time. Hence, hone your language skills in order to efficiently communicate with others to get the best results for your company. This is a life skill because this is what enables your work and this is what gives you the gratification of pursuing your tasks and the monetary benefit which helps you live a good quality life.
Problem Solving and crisis management: We plan our work and everythings feels normal and good and then, all of a sudden there is a problem, a crisis. Your ability to respond and react to a crisis management situation is a very vital life skill. Companies are aware that in a highly competitive business environment, crises are bound to happen. Hence, they prefer employees who are survivors and not people who succumb. Whatsoever the situation, you should maintain your calm and devise plans to solve the crisis. That would be a true virtue of a survivor.
Time: Punctuality and timeliness is another major life skill. You might be sincere, but if you are laid back and lazy in implementing your tasks it will reflect on your overall performance. Hence, managing your time and completing your tasks effectively is a skill that most of them value. Hence, as a life skill this has to be instilled in school children, so that they are punctual in their tasks when they grow up.
Being open to criticism and having the ability to learn: One has to be open to criticism that is constructive and should be able to learn new lessons from their experiences. Criticism is not always negative, it opens up your eyes to possibilities that you haven’t thought about and hence criticism by superiors should be looked at as a step to betterment and success and not as insult or discouragement.
- Life skills in personal life
Empathy: Empathy as a quality is good in every arena of life. However in personal equations this life skills helps you. Empathy is the quality of understanding your family members from their perspective. You have to step into their shoes, understand what is pinching them or what exactly is their state of mind and then you can be the support that they want you to be. Instead if you bring in your ego in between, it will act as a wall and create disturbances in relationships. Hence practice empathy, understand people, learn to show your love, care for others and think for others.
Self-control: One has to learn the skill to control oneself. This is also a major survival life skill. Research shows that people who have more ability to control themselves are often more successful in their lives. Hence self-control should be practiced from childhood, it is difficult to cultivate it later, not impossible though. But the earlier the better,
Managing stress and anger: This has become a part of our life. Given the current circumstances in which we live, with a fast world and busy lifestyle we have multiple responsibilities and a lot on our shoulders. It is human to feel stressed or get angry because of the same. However, you have to learn how to manage anger and stress and not let it impact your life negatively. Our ability to manage stress is vital and therefore the less you take the better your health is. Hence, we all find ways and means like yoga, meditation and prayer or any other habit that will keep your mind in balance and will help you lead a stress-free life.
Today, the emphasis on life skills has increased due to the increasing imbalances in all of our lives. For you to bring things back in order, honing the essential life skills mentioned above is a must and it will reward you in the times to come.