Life skills: Life and social skills

Imagine what it might be like for an individual, sitting in a classroom or boardroom, who is unable to listen to or fully understand the nuances of communication. This leads one to ask further, how well do people listen? Do they make eye contact? Are they comfortable and confident in social situations? For both children and adults, the effectiveness of these interactions along with the development of a strong self-concept are the hallmark of essential social skills. While it was traditionally felt that only those individuals who displayed some particular difficulty with social skills required training, that view has changed. Social skills training are now often used in a pro-active way to enhance skill proficiency, to develop advanced learning capacity, and to promote competitiveness. Specifically, adults have been receiving specialised job training and executive coaching skills, while children are now being taught to develop and sustain interpersonal relationships in order to achieve life long success. It is for this reason that social skills training courses are being offered and are in such great demand.

Some of the more common and essential skills include the following:

•Friendship Making

•Understanding and Expressing Emotions (one’s own and those of others)

•Increasing Attention and Listening

•Accepting Responsibility

•Developing Assertiveness and Self-Concept

•Learning Effective Problem-Solving Strategies

•Working Cooperatively

•Dealing with Teasing, Bullying and Victimization

Social skills are life skills that give each person greater control and autonomy. They are key to maintaining employment and relationships. The ability to develop and maintain appropriate interactions is recognized as an important influence on success. This is because the establishment of relationships is vital for social skills.