Monday, 12 January 2015

Life Skills- You need them

Life skills are character traits or abilities or actions that are necessary in making knowledgeable decisions that enable a person to overcome life challenges and live a purposeful and goal directed life.
Life skills include:-self-awareness, emotional intelligence, goal setting, effective social interaction and communication skills.
Self-awareness is one’s ability to have a proper sense of their self- image, self- esteem, expected gender based roles and assertiveness. A person who is self-aware is expected to hold themselves in high regard in terms of confidence, self-worth and have the ability to command respect by engaging in behavior that is expected of them by family, community and culture. The individual embraces the values they hold and are not afraid to stand for what they believe in and are able to make decisions with a high sense of responsibility.
Emotional intelligence is the ability of an individual to perceive, assess, and manage one’s emotions as well as others. A person who is emotionally intelligent can accurately perceive the emotions they are experiencing currently as well as the emotions of the people around them and use the emotions to facilitate reasoning so that they can appropriately respond to any situation or confrontation in a positive way. The person can easily pick up emotional cues or understand emotional meanings expressed by other people within the immediate environment and manage their own emotions without retaliating or offending the other people.
Goals setting is a means through which people set objectives in life and strive towards achieving them. It is very important in setting priorities in life and knowing where to concentrate one’s efforts. Goals are essential in programming oneself and motivating a person towards a desired aspiration. When planning to set goals, it is important to have a major goal or a “dream” to which one aspires to attain. This goal should then be broken down into small step by step achievable goals that the person can execute on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to inspire the person towards achieving the main goal. It is key that an individual sets goals that are S- specific M-measurable A- attainable R- realistic T-timely (SMART)
Effective social interaction involves one’s ability to create a social environment that encourages harmonious interaction, fosters cooperation, commitment to productive goals and individual roles among a group of people. The modern day world has increased interdependence among people who share similar goals, this has encouraged formation of different kinds of groups to execute various duties. Every group formed has task roles, social roles and dysfunctional roles.
Task roles are necessary for the proper execution of a desired goal, these include information seeker, opinion giver and an evaluator.
Social roles are necessary in providing emotional support to the group members along the way of attaining a particular goal to ensure the group functions efficiently, these include encourager, compromiser and expeditor.
Dysfunctional roles are responsible for the discord in a group, these include, aggressor, dominator and recognition seeker.

Communication skills is a means through which information, feelings, emotions and gestures are passed on from one person from to other people. For effective communication to take place, the person communicating should encode his or her message correctly and send it through the right channel so that it is well decoded and received by the person it is intended for. People need to have good listening and observation skills in order give appropriate and constructive. 

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