What are life skills?
Life skills are a set of basic skills acquired through experiential learning that enable us to effectively handle challenges and problems commonly encountered in daily life.
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.
These are all essential skills for healthy societies and individual success in our society.