Today’s youth is brimming with untapped potential while also inheriting a world that has evolved to be vastly dynamic and hyper-competitive. This is why they require a well-rounded and comprehensive education that empowers them with dedicated skills that bring out the best in themselves.
Moreover, the recent unprecedented developments in the world have had a massive impact on every area, including education, business, and personal life. Hence, it becomes more crucial than ever to arm students – who are indeed our future – with essential skills that will empower them to navigate this new world smoothly. These skills must not only be limited to helping students survive and cope with the fast-paced modern lifestyle but rather flourish and thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of their chosen fields.
However, they are skills which go beyond traditional textbooks and conventional classroom settings. But they go hand-in-hand with the steady growth and development of a child and can assist them in managing their life effectively and achieving success. These life skills bring together the social, emotional, and cognitive capacities of an individual to deal with any circumstance, achieve any goal and possess the presence of mind to confront any challenge. Since they are critical for a student’s holistic growth, numerous educational institutions are gradually introducing multidisciplinary learning that helps students inculcate these essential life skills to help them work, learn, and live better.
Some Essential Life Skills And Why Students Need It
Life skills encompass a broad range of capabilities, including critical and analytical thinking, interpersonal relationships, communication, creative thinking and adaptability.
Critical and Analytical thinking: Critical thinking is self-directed, self-monitored, self-disciplined, and self-corrective thinking, which helps students in every aspect of life, from academic to professional. It presupposes assent to meticulous standards of excellence and entails problem-solving abilities, effective communication and also a commitment to overcome an individual’s native egocentrism and sociocentrism. Developing critical thinking skills prepares students to be rational, responsible, independent, and productive thinkers.|
On the other hand, analytical thinking skills enable students to break complex problems into single and manageable components and fix issues quickly and efficaciously. Both these skills enable students to view the world through a broader lens and become systematic thinkers besides enhancing their ability to navigate crucial decisions in learning and in life.
Communication skills and building interpersonal rapport: Effective communication skills are becoming exceedingly imperative today. Increasing advancement in altering career landscapes and fierce competition in the workplace and educational institutions demand exceptional communication skills from today’s students. Practising the best communication skills allows students to express their ideas, feelings, and thoughts to others in a manner that is clear and convincing, boosts confidence, and opens many doors of opportunity. Furthermore, it is a step towards a remarkable personality, a lucrative professional career and also great leadership prowess.
Interpersonal skills are generally interaction skills and social skills, which prepare a student to communicate socially in person or in a group, and this in turn, helps to develop meaningful conversations and a willingness to embrace different points of view. This further helps an individual to develop teamwork and collaborative attitude alongside sharpening their presence of mind.
When communication and interpersonal skills work in tandem, it can encourage great collaboration to solve issues and achieve a common goal cutting across multiple fields.
Creative thinking: In today’s fast-paced world, creativity has become vital for success in every field. Creative thinking skill helps students to create something new that makes an individual realize the gaps in the missing elements, allows the freedom to explore and learn new things, come up with novel perspectives that have not been previously considered and also search for indicators and evidence to fill these gaps and make the required adjustments.
Likewise, it enables students to become more productive and confident, besides helping improve practical thinking skills. Moreover, the creative procedure involves plenty of trial and error. This productive struggle helps build resilience, teaching students to push through challenges to reach success. Not just that, but creativity also boosts emotional development.
Adaptability: As the world is becoming more complex by the day with an accelerating pace at which technologies develop, the mantra to sustain has been and continues to be – learning, unlearning, and relearning. And this cycle demands an adaptive mindset, which embraces challenges as opportunities and emphasizes being receptive to newer and different perspectives, ideas, and information. Students with an adaptable mindset can take quick action in any unfavorable circumstances, be more productive, have higher self-confidence, and be more resilient. Developing the skill of adaptability is essential for students as it is something that they will carry with them throughout their lives which will help them find professional success.
The Bottom Line
In order to aid students in leading a successful life, educational institutes must recognize the importance of life skills as well as facilitate a learning environment that enables students to put them into practice in their day-to-day life. A few fundamental ways this can be implemented by educators is by allowing students to make their own decisions, encouraging them to initiate and engage in conversation, allowing them to think outside the box, making room for mistakes and cultivating a positive attitude. All this and more will help students build a society where they can flourish successfully
How To Develop These Essential Life Skills
- Keep learning
For developing and improving these life skills, a student must always be ready to learn. Learning prepares an individual to face new challenges, helps find solutions by keeping one’s mind sharp and continuously improves one’s abilities. One can learn through books, interaction with people, online workshops, etc. Learning helps a student to grow both professionally and personally.
- Enhance teamwork
Educational institutions should organize activities that require participation from students which in turn, helps them get in touch with others of their age group. This gives the students a chance to interact and build a connection with them. Teamwork is necessary which will help them in their careers, without feeling out of place.
- Surround oneself with positive people
Life skills help to realize that failures are inevitable and there is always room for improvement. Hence, it is important for students to surround themselves with people who do not lose courage in encountering failures. Such people will not only motivate them but also help them to learn and grow constantly and perform well both professionally and personally.
- Practice self-awareness
The ability to have insights into one’s capabilities and limitations helps one to grow. When students develop self-awareness, it helps them to rectify their imperfections and excel in their life. To develop and practice self-awareness, a person can ask for performance feedback and understand areas that need improvement.
Authored by: Prof. Dishan Kamdar, Vice Chancellor, FLAME University