Life skills have become increasingly important. At the workplace, 58% of the success comes from life skills. These are the skills that are important, apart from technical competence, to move ahead in life.
Possession of knowledge, skills, and attitude alone is not enough. There needs to be a way to get all that together and to convert it all into action.
Inculcation of life skills is something that starts at home and can be reinforced in school and later in college. It is a vital part of education that covers both value education and is also an important component of the Knowledge Skills Attitude construct.
Life skills not only help to develop individuals but they also substantially help them in their interactions with other people As our world is getting increasingly interconnected, it is also becoming substantially more interdependent as well. There is, therefore, an increasing need for people to work more harmoniously with others and be able to get a better response from others
There are a number of skills like Emotional intelligence, Communication Skills, Emotional Resilience Emotional labor and many more. Perhaps, there are few that are really as important as understanding the value of delayed gratification. This is brought out excellently by what has come to famously be known as the “Marshmallow Experiment”
A class of young students was given a marshmallow. They had two options. They could either eat the marshmallow or wait twenty minutes, after which if they had not eaten the marshmallow, they would be rewarded with another one. Careers of these students were tracked, and it was found that the ones who had delayed their gratification had done better in life as well.
Life skills also make a lot of difference during a recession. During a recession, inevitably downsizing takes place and a lot of people have to leave their jobs. In such a situation, the vital people are of course retained. And so are those who through their life skills have established a rapport with people at the company.
Strangely, this is also seen in the case of doctors and malpractice suits. Patients and relatives of patients are less likely to file suits against the doctor who is seen as friendly and well-meaning, even if that doctor has committed an error
Life skills matter immensely in the areas of Teamwork and Leadership as well. The synergy in a team is inevitably driven by life skills. The greater self-awareness and empathy that team members possess, the greater will be the output that they will generate.
Leadership is an area where the paucity of life skills is acutely felt. There are plenty of leaders who have the drive and the enthusiasm to move things. That notwithstanding, there are still few insufficient leaders with genuine empathy who can take people with them. There are still too many “My way or the highway” kind of people. Whereas these kind of leaders are successful in getting output, it is not sustainable. People inevitably leave the company. In fact, as the saying goes, people leave people, not companies.
How relevant are life skills for youngsters?
Very relevant. Probably more than they are for the more senior age groups. Youngsters constitute the bulk of the new entrants to any company and it is very essential for them to be in sync with the company’s culture and to fit in. Therefore, life skills are something that needs to be consciously taught out there. The sooner educational institutes realize this, the better. Not only will companies get the kind of people they are looking for, the youngsters will have a bright future as well.