Life Skills Meaning, Definitions20th December 2020
Any skill that is useful in your life can be considered a life skill. Tying your shoe laces, swimming, driving a car and using a computer are, for most people, useful life skills. Broadly speaking, the term ‘life skills’ is usually used for any of the skills needed to deal well and effectively with the challenges of life.
Life skills are abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable humans to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of life. This concept is also termed as psychosocial competency. The subject varies greatly depending on social norms and community expectations but skills that function for well-being and aid individuals to develop into active and productive members of their communities are considered as life skills.
Certain skills may be more or less relevant to you depending on your life circumstances, your culture, beliefs, age, geographic location, etc. However, in 1999, the World Health Organization identified six key areas of life skills:
- Communication and interpersonal skills. This broadly describes the skills needed to get on and work with other people, and particularly to transfer and receive messages either in writing or verbally.
- Decision-making and problem-solving. This describes the skills required to understand problems, find solutions to them, alone or with others, and then take action to address them.
- Creative thinking and critical thinking. This describes the ability to think in different and unusual ways about problems, and find new solutions, or generate new ideas, coupled with the ability to assess information carefully and understand its relevance.
- Self-awareness and empathy, which are two key parts of emotional intelligence. They describe understanding yourself and being able to feel for other people as if their experiences were happening to you.
- Assertiveness and equanimity, or self-control. These describe the skills needed to stand up for yourself and other people, and remain calm even in the face of considerable provocation.
- Resilience and ability to cope with problems, which describes the ability to recover from setbacks, and treat them as opportunities to learn, or simply experiences.
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