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Life Skills – Why They Are Important

Life skills are the capabilities we need to effectively manage everyday challenges, whether at work or school, or even in our personal lives. Life skills are normally taught within the home, indirectly through the child’s own observations and experiences of the child, or directly by teaching the child specific skills.

Life skills programs are offered when family structures and relationships turn unhealthy as caused by parental negligence, divorce or any other similar issues, or due to risky behavior of the children, such as substance abuse. While a definitive life skills list is yet to be created by employers, governments and educators, these are the key concepts they are discussing:

Adaptability
With the rapid rate the world is changing, the ability to adapt is vital to success. Students must learn to quickly examine what’s going on around them and adjust instantly–all while staying focused on their goals.
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Initiative
The entrepreneurial spirit is anchored on initiative–the willingness to bring in a new idea and take the risk of making it come to fruition. The evolving economic landscape demands entrepreneurs. Students must learn to set goals for themselves, build a path toward those goals, and get their plans in motion.
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Interpersonal Skills
Human beings are inherently social, ever seeking tribes in which they feel a sense of belonging. Technology now lets people belong in several tribes–coworkers in the office, other students at their school, Facebook friends, and so on and so forth. In these environments, social skills are crucial. And, as these environments become more collaborative, the more important social skills become.

Productivity
The American worker reached an all-time high during the last recession. Apparently, those who still had their jobs were able to keep them partly because they gave more than what was required of them before. The rise in productivity among workers in the U.S. shows that more has been produced by fewer people, indicating that the job market is even more competitive following the recession than during its height. Workers with lower productivity have been left behind.

Leadership

Leadership is a collection of related skills that mix all the other life skills. Good leaders have solid social skills, take initiative, and are highly adaptable and productive. They can identify goals, inspire others to also work on those goals, create a group where all members contribute based on their abilities, settle conflicts among members, educate them to accomplish their goals, help members fix their individual problems and enhance performance, and give credit where it is deserved.

Parenting itself may be considered as a suite of life skills that can be taught or comes naturally to people. Teaching a person these skills can come with teaching additional life skills for rearing a child into adulthood.