Human being is a peculiar creature in the planet Earth. His peculiarity depends on some techniques, ability, capability and knowledge he/she use to control nature different from other creatures. Besides, it is an organism which can think critically and solve complicated problems both physical and psychological one, using certain methods, ability, skills and technique, these are what referred to as life skills.
Meaning of life skills
No one can give a clear definition of life skills but before having knowledge on what do life skills mean the meaning of life should be given. Advanced learner’s dictionary defines life as period of time from someone’s birth until death or a state of living which animals and plants have before dying. Therefore, management of individual’s life needs a certain skillsskills – is the concept which means ability, experience and knowledge used by man in controlling his/her nature.
Therefore, a life skill is the knowledge, ability and experience which lead a man to control his environment or nature.
Sources of life skill
A life skill has got some sources from which human being attain. These include the following:-
Parents are responsible in inculcation the acceptable behavior, culture and value to their children. Besides teaching of their children from, they also add some knowledge and ability to their children which becomes resourceful in their future.
Learning institution such as college, universities and schools. It is from these institutions where learners get various skills like how to contain some diseases, how to play a certain game and sport and how to manage resources.
Government is also the source of life skills. It is the government which makes law and regulations through parliament and punishes the law breakers through imprisonments. Thus, sometime government uses coercive measures against people who break law. Being imprisoned these people normally change their behavior. It is government which acquires knowledge on different issues.
Religion. Religions are an institution which people draws life skills. Religions motivates faithfulness in people, Religious teachings assist human being change from bad behaviors to good one. Thus, religious followers get skills from religions leaders, holy books such as bibles and Quran.
Non- Governmental Organization (NGO’s) are independent charities or association delivering services to people. They play a role of helping different group of community members to address their problems. Some NGO’s deals with issues pertaining education provision about HIV/AIDS, issues on guidance and counseling, but also organizes seminars and workshop to drug addicted Youths. They have also mandatory function of taking care to orphans, and provide necessary skill to these orphans. Example of NGO’s in Tanzania includes Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA), Tanzania Lawyers Association (TAWLA) and Tanzania gender networking program (TGNP).
Peer groups, is the group of people with the same age either teenagers adolescents or adults. People do acquire life skills like how to have relationship with partner, how to form business, how to become an artist like musician, actors and craft of different nature. Besides, peer group especially teenager do acquire curiosity behavior like drug taking, drug trafficking, prostitution and other crimes like robbery and theft. It is good to learn from peer group but taking a firm precaution that the learnt behavior can be good or bad.
Importance of life skills
Life skill knowledge has much importance as follows.
- Life skills make people to explore alternatives and weight merit and demerits of certain issues which ultimately lead to make rational decision.
- Life skill enrich people with different knowledge which assist him/her to solve complex problems like counseling and guidance and assist to lessen psychological problems from the society
- A life skill induces proper good relationship among people but also create self awareness of the people in the given society. The relationship among the people should be positive.
- Life skills education helps people to live comfortably and more productive in a healthier socially oriented ways. It builds skills for health behaviour.
- Life skill enables politician to address the mass of people but also assist much in conflict resolution through arbitration and reconciliation ways.
- Life skills assist entrepreneurs, individuals, manager and economists to engage in different economical activities such as management, innovation, consultation, negotiation, financial management, accounting procedures and investment.
- Life skill knowledge increase the ability to plan head and choose effecting solutions to problems but it also disclose various hidden talents incubated by individuals in arts, sports and games and so forth.
Life skills knowledge is very vital to an individual’s development. It aids a lot in man struggle to control his environment by eliminating some puzzled problems and barriers. It is important for individuals to acquire life skills from the sources such as peer groups, education, religion, government and non-governmental organization (NGO’s)
PERSONAL & INTERPERSONAL SKILL
For effective addressing of a certain problems personal and personal skills is very crucial. Human beings are always inflicted with many problems, some beings psychological, but other are socio-economic problems. These owe critical measures from a certain person or from any institution concerned. A person who is giving a certain counseling service for instance is always coupled with such skills.
Simply put, interpersonal skills are skills human beings use to interact or deal with others. Interpersonal skills are sometimes referred to as soft skills, people skills or communication skills (intercommunication skills).How we deal with others greatly influences our personal life as well as our professional, these build confidence and enrich our relationship with others.
All human beings as already noted have interpersonal skills. They have attained it from their environment since birth. People learn how are likely to react to other people way of living (culture), practices, behaviors and the way people says. People with good interpersonal skills have positive relationship with others, but also are able to learn in order to identify which are the best ways of interacting with others in different circumstances.
Interpersonal skills are easily developed, but yielding from them pays huge rewards in personal or professional lives, though needs efforts in practicing and developing in order to obtain such reward and skills as well.
Problems solving skills
Problems solving skills is a tool, a skills and a process as well. When considered as a tool is when, it helps a person to solve a problem or goals achievements. When considered as a skill is that a personal or individual use it repeatedly throughout personal or individual’s life. When considered as a process, involves a prolonged procedures used to address a certain problem or used in attaining a certain goals.
Any problem is always in need of certain procedures to address it. In other words in order to attain intended goals for individuals should put in place some ways of attaining such goals. Though, he/she can encounter with some obstacles. It is a problem solving skill which when effectively utilized will overcome barrier and obstacles for attainment of goals. A number of skills are integrated for addressing such obstacles and barriers.
How problems are solved by using problems solving skills
As already shown previously that problem solving skills is a process that requires procedures in order to address it .The following are such procedures or process used in problem solving:-
- The first step is problem identification.
Before taking any action to address a problem, the first thing is to be aware with a problem in place deeply. A person concerned ought to be informed about what the problem really is. It can be easy to get distressed by solving a different problem than what actually causing distress, if it is easier than dealing with the real problem than what actually causing distress, if it is easier than dealing with the real problem. In this step individual or a person ought to pose self question like-
- What obstructs my path toward achieving my goals?
- What strategies should I employ with given situation in order to achieve my goals?
- The second step is Problems analysis.
After identifying a problem, you need to think about it from different perspectives .It is done in order to ensure that all dimensions of problem is well understood. In this step some questions are put in place like
- How the problem affect or likely to affect me?
- How the same problems affect other people?
- How other people deal with this problem?
After you have completed this step check to make sure that your definition of the problems is still compartible.It is usually at this point to find that the problem you really want to solve is different from that you have identified at first place
- The third step is to establish your goals
After cross-checking the problems from different dimensions, a person can now decide what he/she want to achieve and establish some goals. An individual has to answer some specific questions like what are my immediate goals.
- To improve my academic performance.
- To make sure that my small business is excelling and prospering.
- To accomplish my project task on time.
- The fourth step is to generate possible solutions
At this stage the goal is to generate as many possible solutions as you can. There is no need of doubt or worry about whether or not they are practical, effective or realistic. In several occasions some solutions which are set initially can be improved or eliminated in order to put in place some effective and genuine ones. At this conjuncture, an individual should be aware with what he/she did in the past when faced with similar problems, and how other people dealt with similar situations. Additionally, you can also consult some professionals such as counselors and teachers or other sources like books and internets to obtain ideas for solutions. Be sure to write down all the possibilities you have generated to solve your problems in detail.
- The fifth step is to generate or establish some alternatives (cost benefit analysis)
At this stage, an individual is to examine each alternative and writing down some advantages and disadvantages. The crucial way is to evaluate whether the chosen alternative can realize benefits with minimum cost. Some questions are put in place like ‘is this step relevant to my situation’? Is it realistic? What are the consequences both good and bad? What are the best alternatives to help me reaching my goals?
- The sixth step is implementation
The last step is to implement the solution you have chosen. This step involves identification of all steps necessary to implement it and also going on with a task of monitoring of an effectiveness of some solutions by making sure that it is actually solved the problems. During this stage some questions are put in place.
- How effective is the solution?
- In what extent it has achieved what I wanted?
- What consequences did it have in my situation?
If it happen that some solutions was successive in helping you solve your problems, then you can feel satisfied with your efforts and what you learned. If you find not satisfied in some ways, you can find alternative solutions, or begin the process again. Remember that problem solving is a cycle or process-involves searching for a solution to a problem that will lead to various possible solutions which then need to be evaluated. If the problem is solved, then you have found an effective solution. If the problem has not been solved then you start the process again