What is a Skill?
A skill is the learned ability to carry out a task with pre-determined results from within a given amount of time, energy, or both. In other words it is the ability that one possesses.
There are two types of skills:
Domain General Skills
These skills are Time Management Skills, Teamwork and leadership skills, Self Motivating skills and so on.
Domain Specific Skills
These Skills are useful only for certain jobs like software developer, Car- mechanic etc.
Skills require certain environmental stimuli and situations to access the level of skill being shown and used.
What are the different types of Skills?
We possess and develop different types of skills throughout our life:
Skilled workers have long historical importance as electricians, carpenters, printers etc.
These are a set of human skills acquired via learning or direct experience that are used problems and questions commonly encountered in daily life.
These Skills require us to understand ourselves. These skills help us to build relationships of trust, respect and productive interaction.
Soft Skills is a Sociological term relating to a person’s “E.Q.”(Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, Social graces, communication languages, Personal habits, friendliness and optimism that characterize relationships with other people.
Hard Skills are any skills relating to a specific task or situations. Unlike Soft Skills, these skills are easily quantifiable.
Transferable Skills are usually associated with the skills sets that can be easily transferred from one job to another. For Example, Good listening skills, Interpersonal skills are important in all aspects of life.
Mastering pertains to perfecting a particular skill set.10; 000 hours will have to be put into training.
What type of Soft Skills do the Employers want?
Here are few of the critical employability skills that employers demand from Job-Seekers.
Communication skills are listening, verbal and writing skills that are required by every employer. Successful communication is critical for business.
Analytical Skills deals with your ability to access the situation, seek multiple perspectives, gather more information and identify key issues to be addressed.
Almost all jobs require some basic understanding of computer hardware/software.
Deals with your ability to manage multiple assignments and tasks, set priorities, and adapt to changing conditions and work assignments..
The ability to relate to your co-workers, inspire others to participate and mitigate conflict with co-workers is essential given the amount of time spent at work day.
These skills deal with your ability to change and manage your workers.
There is possibly no bigger issue in the workplace than diversity, and job-seekers must demonstrate a sensitivity and awareness to other people and cultures.
This Skill deals with your ability to design, plan, organize and implement project and tasks within a given time.
Problem solving, Reasoning, Creativity
These Skills involve your ability to find solutions to problems using your Problem solving Skills, Creativity, Reasoning and Past experiences along with the available information and resources.
This Skill incorporates your ability to work with others in a professional manner with attempting to achieve common goals.
What are the Personal Values that Employers seek in Employees
Of equal importance to skills are the values, personality traits, and personal characteristics that employers seek.
Here is our list of the 10 most important categories of values.
Employers probably respect personal integrity more than any other value, especially in light of the many recent corporate scandals.
Deals with openness to new ideas and concepts, to working independently or as part of a team, and to carrying out multiple tasks or projects.
Employers seek job-seekers who love what they do and will keep at it until they solve the problem and get the job done.
There’s no question that all employers desire employees who will arrive to work every day — on time — and ready to work, and who will take responsibility for their actions.
Employers want employees who will have a strong devotion to the company – even at times when the company is not necessarily loyal to its employees.
The job-seekers who get hired and the employees who get promoted are the ones with drive and passion — and who demonstrate this enthusiasm through their words and actions.
Deals with acting in a responsible and fair manner in all your personal and work activities, which is seen as a sign of maturity and self-confidence; avoid being petty.
Look at it this way: if you don’t believe in yourself, in your unique mix of skills, education, and abilities, why should a prospective employer? Be confident in yourself and what you can offer employers.
Self Motivated/Ability to work with little supervision
While teamwork is always mentioned as an important skill, so is the ability to work independently, with minimal supervision.
Willingness to learn
No matter what your age, no matter how much experience you have, you should always be willing to learn a new skill or technique. Jobs are constantly changing and evolving, and you must show an openness to grow and learn with that change.
Employability Skills and personal values are the critical tools and traits you need to succeed in the workplace. You can learn, cultivate, develop and maintain over your lifetime.
Once you have identified the most sought skills and values, access the degree you have possessed , then must be able to document them and market them(in your resume, cover letter and Interviews) for job search success.
What are Soft Skills Gap
Problem solving, delegating, motivating and team building are all much easier if you have good soft skills. Knowing how to get along with these people and displaying a positive attitude are crucial to success.
- When your workforce has lots of technical skills but the absence of soft skills, you have a Soft Skills gap.
- If you are really good at hiring clients but not good at retaining them, there are chances you have a soft skills gap.
- You have lots of staff turnover and have to keep retaining people, chances are you have a soft skill gap.
- You have lots of managers but no real leader in your organization, you may have a soft skills gap.
Soft skills must accompany the hard skills and help an organization to grow competitive and more productive.
How to Develop Soft Skills you need for Life
Whether you are at work, a job seeker, a student, a teacher, a parent, or just interested in developing your key skill, you will have to develop essential life skills to improve your personal and professional life.
Personal Skills for body and mind
Personal skills are the skills you need to maintain a healthy body and mind. These skills are essential building blocks for all other skills. Learn some key skills that will help you to feel more energized, feel better about yourself, be more motivated and increase your self-confidence.
Personal development is a lifelong process. It’s a way for people to assess their skills and qualities, consider their aims in life and set goals in order to realize and maximize their potential.
Practical steps can be taken to enhance personal development, including:
- Organizing your time
- Producing a personal CV or résumé
- Undertaking a skills appraisal
- Looking at your transferable skills
- Overcoming barriers to learning a new skill.
At a basic level, the term ’empowerment’ simply means ‘becoming powerful’. Building personal empowerment involves reflecting on our personal values, skills and goals and being prepared to adjust our behavior in order to achieve our goals. Personal empowerment also means being aware that other people have their own set of values and goals which may be different to ours.
Personal empowerment gives an individual the ability to:
- Take control of their circumstances and achieve their own goals in their personal and working life.
- Become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses and therefore be better equipped to deal with problems and achieve goals.
- Enhance the contribution they make both as an individual and as a member of a team.
- Take opportunities to enhance personal growth and a sense of fulfillment.
Developing personal empowerment usually involves making some fundamental changes in life, which is not always an easy process. The degree of change required will differ from person to person, depending on the individual starting point.
Most people associate learning with formal education at school, college, university etc.
Knowledge can be acquired and skill-sets developed anywhere – learning is unavoidable and happens all the time. However, lifelong learning is about creating and maintaining a positive attitude to learning both for personal and professional development.
Lifelong learners are motivated to learn and develop because they want to: it is a deliberate and voluntary act.
Lifelong learning can enhance our understanding of the world around us, provide us with more and better opportunities and improve our quality of life.
There are two main reasons for learning throughout life: for personal development and for professional development. These reasons may not necessarily be distinct as personal development can improve your employment opportunities and professional development can enable personal growth at an early age..
Personal Change Management skills
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971).
Why do some people seem to sail gently through all the changes life throws at them, while others get upset if they have to change even their breakfast cereal?
The key is in how you view change, and your level of acceptance of uncertainty.
There is plenty of evidence that what we find most stressful as human beings is uncertainty, not change in itself. Even the most difficult life events, such as divorce or marital separation, can be more stressful in terms of the uncertainty.
“Reflective practice is an active, dynamic action-based and ethical set of skills, placed in real time and dealing with real, complex and difficult situations.” – Moon, J. (1999)
Reflective practice is, in its simplest form, thinking about or reflecting on what you do. It is closely linked to the concept of learning from experience, in that you think about what you did, and what happened, and decide from that what you would do differently next time.
Self-motivation is, in its simplest form, the force that drives you to do things.
Self-motivation is a key life skill and something that everybody interested in personal development should think carefully about.
Motivation pushes us to achieve our goals, feel more fulfilled and improve overall quality of life. People who are self-motivated tend to be more organized, with good time management skills and have more self-esteem and confidence.
Understanding and developing your self-motivation can help you to take control of many other aspects of your life.
Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking might be described as the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking.
Someone with critical thinking skills can:
- Understand the logical connections between ideas
- Identify, construct and evaluate arguments.
- Detect inconsistencies and common mistakes in reasoning.
- Solve problems systematically.
- Identify the relevance and importance of ideas.
- Reflect on the justification of one’s own beliefs and values.
Critical Thinking is a way of thinking about particular things at a particular time.
How is it that some people always seem to be able to generate new ideas and think creatively, and others seem to struggle to do so?
Although at first glance, creative thinking techniques may sometimes look a bit ridiculous, there are good principles behind most of them.
Here are a few of the many techniques available.
“The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” – Linus Pauling – Double Nobel Laureate, chemist, biochemist and peace campaigner.
Engaging your Right Brain
Much research has been done over the years on the way in which the two sides of the brain work differently.
- The left side of the brain is supposedly focused on logic and order.
- The right side of the brain focused on the more ‘messy’, creative and innovative aspects.
Mind mapping is a technique originally created by Tony Buzan, and adapted by many others since.
This technique uses words connected with arrows or lines. It’s a good way of representing a large amount of interconnecting information in a fairly compact way, and many people also use it for planning presentations or taking notes in meetings.
Mind maps usually start with a single word in the centre, and connected ideas and concepts radiating out via branches.
Role-play situations are probably the ‘Marmite’ of management development courses: you either love them or you hate them. But love them or hate them, they can have some dramatic results.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP, provides practical ways in which you can change the way that you think, view past events, and approach your life. It shows you how to take control of your mind, and therefore your life. Unlike psychoanalysis, which focuses on the ‘why’, NLP is very practical and focuses on the ‘how’?
NLP was co-created by Richard Bandler, who noticed that conventional psychotherapy techniques didn’t always work and was interested in trying different ways.
NLP works from the starting point that you may not control much in your life, but that you can always take control of what goes on in your head.
Your thoughts, feelings and emotions are not things that are, or that you have, but things that you do. Their causes can often be very complicated, involving, for instance, comments or beliefs from your parents or teachers, or events that you have experienced.
NLP shows you how you can take control of these beliefs and influences. Using mind techniques such as visualization, you can change the way that you think and feel about past events, fears and even phobias.
You can’t always control what happens, but you can always control how you deal with it
Emotional Intelligence (EI)
Many of us are aware of IQ (Intelligence Quotient) an individual’s score when performing a series of tests designed to measure intellectual intelligence. Higher IQs indicate better cognitive abilities – these include the ability to learn and understand – and people with higher IQs are more likely to do well academically, without exerting the same amount of mental effort as those with lower IQ scores.
A logical assumption, therefore, is that people with higher IQs will be more successful at work and through life. This assumption has been proven incorrect – there is more to success than simply being ‘clever’.
Emotional Intelligence (EI or sometimes EQ – Emotional Quotient) is a more modern concept and was only fully developed in the mid-1990s.
Emotional Intelligence is the measure of an individual’s abilities to recognize and manage their emotions, and the emotions of other people, both individually and in groups.
People with higher emotional intelligence find it easier to form and maintain interpersonal relationships and to ‘fit in’ to group situations.
People with higher EIs are also better at understanding their own psychological state, this can include managing stress effectively and being less likely to suffer from depression.
There is a saying that nobody looked back from their deathbeds and said that they wished they had spent more time in the office.
Aristotle suggested that you could look back and say that you had lived a ‘good’ life if you had shown:
- Courage, and not cowardice or impulsiveness and extreme risk-taking;
- Self-control, instead of self-indulgence or selfishness;
- Generosity, and not wasted resources or opportunities;
- Friendliness and politeness, not rudeness, flattery, or other unpleasantness towards others;
- Tact and discretion;
- Truthfulness and integrity;
- Good temper, even in the face of provocation; and
Aristotle described these as the ‘virtues’ by which he believed people ought to try to live.
Self-control is the ability to control oneself, in terms of having mastery over one’s desires and appetites. Those who are self-controlled can temper what they want, to ensure that they do not over- or under-indulge.
Self-controlled people can be thought of as having acquired three habits.
People having this skill have a healthy attitude towards ‘things’ and focus on what they need in order to live, rather than what they want. They use what they need to enrich their lives, but do not overindulge. Such people do not try to exploit others in any way.
They know their own value, and are comfortable in saying what they think in a way that allows others to speak too. They are firm but gentle with others, and do not put themselves or others down.
The way to self-fulfillment is closely linked to resilience. Those with self-control are able to understand that it is important to persevere with difficult activities if you are to develop skill in them. However, if you do persevere, you will learn the skill and will get pleasure from it.
Resilience is the ‘rubber ball’ factor: the ability to bounce back in the event of adversity.
Put simply, resilience is the ability to cope with and rise to the inevitable challenges, problems and set-backs you meet in the course of your life, and come back stronger from them.
Resilience relies on different skills and draws on various sources of help, including rational thinking skills, physical and mental health, and your relationships with those around you.
Resilience is not necessarily about overcoming huge challenges; each of us.
Improving Self Esteem
You may think of it as your inner voice – the voice that tells you whether you are good enough to do or achieve something. Self-esteem is about how we value ourselves, our perceptions and beliefs in who we are and what we are capable of. Our self-esteem can be misaligned with other people’s perception of who we are.
Assertiveness means standing up for your personal rights . expressing thoughts, feelings and beliefs in direct, honest and appropriate ways. It concerns being able to express feelings, wishes, want and desires appropriately and is an important personal and interpersonal skill.
In all your interactions with other people, whether at home or at work, with employers, customers or colleagues, assertiveness can help you to express yourself in a clear, open and reasonable way, without undermining the rights of yourself or others.
The way that we manage our time has a direct effect on how we feel. This topic outlines some of the ways you can improve your effectiveness at getting things done – achieve more and feel more motivated and self-confident. Priorities categorize and organize your time to maximum benefit
Minimizing Distractions and Time Wasters
There are many things in life that can, potentially, waste a lot of time. By minimizing distractions and removing time-wasters from our day we can accomplish more and potentially become more successful.
Chambers English Dictionary defines procrastination quite simply as “to put off till some future time, to defer”.
Procrastination is, therefore, nothing to do with the relative pleasantness of the task, but simply the physical deferral to a later stage.
- Sometimes it’s because the task is unpleasant and they’d rather be doing something else.
- Sometimes, they don’t really know how to do a task and so are avoiding it.
- Perfectionists often procrastinate, because they’re not sure they have the time or capacity to do a task perfectly.
- Other people may struggle because they are not sure exactly what task to do.
- Sometimes procrastination can be helpful!
Interpersonal skills are the life skills we use every day to communicate and interact with other people, both individually and in groups. People who have worked on developing strong interpersonal skills are usually more successful in both their professional and personal lives.
Communication is simply the act of transferring information from one place to another.
The different categories of communication are:
Spoken or Verbal Communication
Face-to-face, telephone, radio or television and other media.
Body language, gestures, how we dress or act – even our scent.
Letters, e-mails, books, magazines, the Internet or via other media.
Graphs and charts, maps, logos and other visualizations can communicate messages.
Learn how to plan, organize, write and deliver a presentation. Follow the tips and step-by-step guide to improve your presentation skills and reduce your nerves.
Presenting information clearly and effectively is a key skill to get your message or opinion across and, today, presentation skills are required in almost every field.
Whether we like it or not, at some point in our lives we will almost certainly need some fundamental leadership skills. Learn how to become more charismatic and a successful leader.
The ability to lead effectively is based on a number of key skills. These skills are highly sought after by employers as they involve dealing with people in such a way as to motivate, enthuse and build respect.
Leadership roles are all around us, not just in a work environment.
The ability to write coherently and correctly is important both in job/business and in your personal life.
Writing skills are an important part of communication. Good writing skills allow you to communicate your message with clarity and ease to a far larger audience than through face-to-face or telephone conversations.
The word ‘mathematics’ is scary for a lot of people; many people have a less than perfect understanding of basic numeracy and moths. By developing some basic numeracy skills you can save time and money, analyze and understand data and as a result improve your well being.