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  • Writer's pictureGirish Karnad

How Important are Life Skills at Work?

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

Our education system has been predominantly knowledge based. At every stage of learning, whether in primary schools or in college, we have learnt to memorize information. While our education system prepares us with knowledge, making a life requires wisdom. To survive in life, we need to learn skills such as how to negotiate, manage conflicts, communicate effectively or manage money. Most education institutions do not believe that these skills should be included into a broad based curriculum which would prepare students for their career and life.

A dynamic global economy along with fast changing technological advances have made an impact on education, workplace and our home life. The changing environment is making it essential for us to learn skills which will help us face the challenges of everyday life. The younger generations will see many new jobs over the course of their career, along with associated pressures. They will feel the need to manage stress and frustrations and be more flexible. The development of life skills helps students derive benefits for themselves, their employment and the society.

Life skills help students to build confidence in spoken skills, resulting in better group co-operation and collaboration. It teaches them to take responsibility for their actions and find new ways of thinking and problem solving. It helps them analyse options and take right decisions. It develops a greater sense of self-awareness and appreciation for others.

Today employers are not only looking for academic proficiency, but also key employability skills. These skills include the ability to understand the business, manage one-self and solve problems; work as part of a team and manage time and people efficiently; adapt to different roles and flexible dynamic environments with agility and the potential to lead by influence.

Developing these skills will help our young professionals succeed in their career. Many organisations have recognized the absence of life skills in these young professionals and have made it a point to include training in critical life skills at different levels, starting from the time they are inducted into their new roles.

Last but not the least, developing life skills brings benefits for our society by way of easier international co-operation based on cultural awareness, a more tolerant society through greater empathy, imagination and creativity; and peaceful resolutions to problems based on better negotiation and networking skills.

It is time educational institutes understand the importance of incorporating life skills into their curriculum. Knowledge helps us make a living, but life skills help us make a life. A confluence of the two is a need for achieving success in our career and life. ^

^ Connect with a Talent Professional if you have the need for developing life skills for your organisation.

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