People Skills are Life Skills

Comm Skills
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We are quite different from monkies because we can think and learn. More than that, we can learn from the experiences of others, that is not a faculty with the animals. That makes us social as we know how to connect and how to make use of the competence of speaking. We know what a language is and also make good use of it to expand our 'circle' in the world. 

In the 21st century, one of the most-demanded employability requisites is 'Inter-personal Skills'. To understand what it means in this ultra-advanced age of advanced communication, we need not look back in confusion. Rather, we need to look around. How people talk and what they make each other feel through the intensity of their ideas and emotions. For sure, we are bound to see a disappointment more often. People do not talk these days - that is not true. They talk, a lot in fact. The virtual or face-to-face is no difference. What is missing is the credibility that used to be the hallmark of routine conversation.

'Conversation' is the word that is not a part of the 'Communication' we do. The picture is not as dark as we see but the small-stumbling stones can be fatal in the absence of corrective action. The missing segment is 'Conversation'. We do not interact or intend to put forward a message for feedback. There are two poles in the process of sending a message but they seem to have got their eyes in the opposite direction. Communication among humans has never been this challenging, even when the two talking to each other had different languages. The sense of 'consideration and courtesy' is what we are talking here today. This pursuit is related to Communication Skills per se Life Skills. 

When we teach a child about life, talking to others comes as the first lesson. The sense of trust and respect we inculcate is the fundamental feature of our life. They develop into adults with blasts of energy and rebellion in their minds, and there we lose control of the wagon. Our education, be it in the classroom or at home, becomes ignorant. We cannot put the blame on the curriculum as it always has the intent that can add life skills to the learners. While we teach them any subject - they need to go for 'Collaboration' with their peers. This will ask for a special strategy in the mind of the teachers, administrators and even parents. Alas! That is missing. We are more of machines who hunt blindly. Marks and grades we see as the only motive and that kill the whole essence of learning. 

There is one truth to be told about the pursuit of grades and marks. With the change towards a holistic approach in teaching (not in education), we can achieve better grades and even better results. The reason is simple - sincere, relevant and thoughtful lessons will ultimately bring results as well. This will make them smart for the rest of their lives and not just at their exams, they will shine everywhere. The reason is that we have trained them in skills that relate to life, not just academics. 

Coming back to the topic of the post, People Skills - commonly known as Public Relations Skills. Professionally we know them as Inter-personal Skills. It is intriguing to know that the basic attributes of being human - communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking - are now branded as 21st-century skills. This is what we need to know about People Skills as well. Getting connected to hundreds of people and engaging them in a conversation that impresses them about you, is the motive. When we are learning a language and reading books to enhance vocabulary, the purpose is to make people listen to you. The words that we have, adjectives and adverbs primarily, lead our image into their minds. The way we influence fellow students, co-workers or unknowns by the appreciation, acknowledgement and empathy is what remains of us after we are out of that place.

In the market of soft-skills or even the professional development domain, the firms providing you with a guarantee about 'upskilling' shall end up doing one thing only: Giving you content and training to TALK TO OTHERS. This you can keep with you and tell others as well. Talk the family members, neighbours, shopkeepers, relatives, friends of friends, teachers and the staff at the office, sales executives or even your pets. You need to possess an unending Readiness to engage in a conversation. That is the magical formula to develop into a People's Person. 

Becoming popular and considered a good person to talk to' is the best earning and learning one can have in this world. This is neither a pipe-dream nor the Americal Dream. On the basis of being liked, you may not end with diamonds, but you can still go to the entrance of the mine - that have the rewards, maybe diamonds as well. So, if you are a teacher, teach them to talk, that is enough to develop 'Communication Skills'. Give them concern and competency to say what they want to say. Teach them not just what to learn but HOW to LEARN. As a parent, you can lift the restrictions and allow them to be 'no-nonsense' chatterboxes. 

For the people of my age as well (I am not so old or young though) - Let's reconnect with the old curiosity and enthusiasm to talk about everything. Who has more people around; whom people want to call and listen from - is the one who has a rewarding existence. There are hundreds of web-pages with - How to Do Small Talk, How to Influence People, How to Speak to People or How to Make a Good Conversation - tips. We are insisting on the need and concern about the same. If you start feeling that there can be a correction or an improvement for you in your 'People Skills". You are the best judge to streamline things for your own development.

We just wish, you do!

About the Author
Author: Parveen Sharma
'You Create Yourself' is the belief that drives the EklavyaParv Life Long Learning Mission. The trilogy of Enhance-Empower-Encourage motivates us and we share learning contents on Communication Skills, EdTech, Life Skills, Blended & Innovative Learning and Insights about Education. These resources are Open Educational Resources (OERs) under CC-BY-NC-SA licence. Parveen is an EdTech Evangelist and has been working in the field of Innovation-driven Education for more than a decade. He writes and delivers training on EduSoMedia, E-Learning, OERs, MOOCs, EdTech, ICT, Blended and Flipped Learning, Academic Intervention, Classroom Makeover, Employability Enhancement, EdTech and Teacher-Student Learning. EklavyaParv is the celebration of his belief in the Learning Spirit of Mankind!

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