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Life Skills 101

Published on 20/03/17

10 Essential skills that will help you through university and beyond

What exactly are life skills? We define them as the essential skills that you will need to meet the challenges in everyday life. These skills are used to help you to manage situations better, accomplish ambitions and to live your life to its full potential.  They are the defined by the ability to foster adaptive, positive behaviours that will help you to handle problems, communicate effectively with others, and deal with stresses and frustration. These skills are not always taught, but often learnt indirectly through everyday experiences and practices.

Essential life skills

1. Critical Thinking and Negotiation When we think critically and use negotiation skills we are relying on reason rather than emotion, looking at the situation with perspective and with different points of view and we consider evidence without making harsh judgments. Thinking in this way will keep you open-minded and will help you solve problems effectively.

2. Organisation Skills Being able to organise yourself is a handy skill to master. This can be achieved by creating to-do-lists, setting goals and prioritising and managing tasks to fit in with your life.

3. Asking Questions and Listening   Listening and asking questions to gather information are two essential life skills. We use information to learn, aid decision-making and solve problems. Questioning and listening can give us a greater understanding of situations and help us understand each other better.

4. Compassion Compassion and empathy are valuable skills to have. Being able to feel compassion for others will help you understand other people and create strong friendships and bonds; it will also have a positive impact on other people.

5. Dealing with Change Nothing stays the same; dealing with changes in our lives can be challenging, making us feel stressed, or even upset!  We all feel more comfortable being in familiar situations and routines; however, it is inevitable that sometimes things will change and it is in our best interests to try and be adaptable and welcome it.

6. Numeracy and Literacy Strong numeracy and literacy skills will lead to better paid jobs - adults with poor skills are twice as likely to be unemployed as those who are competent in these areas. Having good numeracy skills will be vital when budgeting, both personally and in the workplace; those with poor skills are more likely to be in debt and less likely to have high earning potential.

7. Time Management Learning to prioritise your time is an essential skill you will need to master. Goal setting and planning, as well as focus and self-motivation, are all required for efficient time management, as it is not a stand-alone skill!

8. Manners We should all behave respectfully to each other, whatever another’s age or gender. Manners are an important life skill; they build character, and self-esteem and create a positive environment. When you show good manners to others then you attribute value to another person, and being polite will also make people react positively towards you.

Interpersonal skills9. Interpersonal Skills These skills are essential for verbal and nonverbal communication. The ability to communicate information efficiently is a vital life skill. When you are applying for jobs, you will need to demonstrate good communication skills; you will need to be able to speak properly with a variety of people and you will need to adapt and tailor your vocabulary depending on who you are talking to. Verbal skills are all about getting your message across and using the right words so that we are understood.

10. Independence and Responsibilities Being independent and responsible can apply to many things; the ability to cook a meal (both for yourself as a practical necessity, and for others as a social pleasure), hold down a job, general housekeeping skills and budgeting to meet bills. These are all going to be skills that you will need in everyday life. They are important and will give you the best chance of living successfully and being happy!