A boy named Akshay, who studies in 9th standard, is gauche and awkward in social situations. He slouches while walking, is all elbows, and has the nervous habit of biting his nails. He mumbles to himself staring at the floor instead of making eye contact and answering his teacher. He has very few friends, and not good in communication. He is very intelligent but loses out just because he is unable to write clearly in English. He has very low self-confidence which does not let him to take part in any school activities.
Akshay is a boy like a diamond who need polish to shine in life. The soft skills will do that polishing job. They smoothen the rough edges and help the person to succeed in relationships, academics, profession and life in overall.
Teach Your Kids Soft Skills
Soft skills in the global world:-
In a competitive, globalized world the value of soft skills is further enhanced. A Psychologist Pratima Bhattacharjee elaborates, “ Today, those who are successful are not only masters in their chosen fields, but also have the skills to communicate their knowledge, translate it into action, lead from the front, listen, understand the other’s point of view and empathize with others.”
Social networks and media:-
The world has shrunk today, thanks to the social networks and media. In today’s world life skills and softskills gain importance in today’s world with our children being bombarded with many unrealistic messages from films, social networks and peers. “Apart from academics, children should be taught how to deal with life, emotions and relationships, and express themselves appropriately”, says a trainer.
The WHO and UNICEF outline a module of 10 skills to be incorporated as part of mainstream academic education in schools worldwide.
- life skills like self-awareness
- creative thinking
- critical thinking
- coping with emotions and stress
- soft skills like communication
- interpersonal skills
The employability factor:
Confident, balanced human beings are needed in the workforce and not just candidates with a bunch of certificates. Only about 25% of the total students graduating from the various colleges in India are employable. Students with soft skills turn out to be better performers at jobs and are more employable. There are students who are eliminated in the final round of interviews in spite of good academic scores and domain knowledge. The reason is a lack of soft skills. Even if they are hired, they require rigorous and expensive training before they start functioning in their respective role.
Life skills being subtle, involve the development of personality, and are often learnt experientially, as the growing child faces certain situations. The school is the child’s second home, owing to the time spent there. Situations need to be created in school for the child to experience and learn these life skills. Soft skills, on the other hand, are more governed by rules, involving specific instructions and tools. They can be easily taught to a child. When the child learns how to communicate clearly, he not only gains considerable confidence, but his academic performance is also considerably improved. Moreover, if children pick up soft skills in school itself, it will help them deal with authority figures in school and peers who may sometimes indulge in teasing and bullying. They will also have an easier time navigating college life, which requires independence, confidence and sound interpersonal skills. It will be easier and more effective if training is started at the school level. This is because the environment in schools is more homogeneous than in colleges or in a job situation.