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Life skills for adults - Shaping their personality


Guest articles > Life skills for adults - Shaping their personality


by: Sujatha Venkatesh, Counseling Psychologist


Youth development is a process of mental, physical, social and emotional growth during which young people prepare to live a productive and satisfying life within the customs and regulations of their society. It is a very important period in one’s life which if properly nurtured will determine a bright future ahead. Therefore it is the responsibility of teachers, parents, counselors, educators etc. to help bring in effective changes if necessary in the individual through systematic training and guidance so that the individual becomes a well rounded personality and also successful in life. Here life skills play an important role in molding the individual.


What are life skills? 

The World Health Organization has defined life skills as “the abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life”.

UNICEF defines life skills as “ a behavior change or behavior development approach designed to address a balance of three areas: Knowledge, attitude and skills”.

Thus in short, life skills are essentially those abilities that help promote mental well being and competence in young people as they face the realities of life.


Core Life skills strategies and techniques

UNICEF, UNESCO and WHO lists the ten core life skill strategies and techniques as:

  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Effective communication skills
  • Decision making
  • Creative thinking
  • Interpersonal relationship skills
  • Self awareness building skills
  • Empathy
  • Coping with stress and emotions


The WHO categorized these core life skill strategies into three main components as:

  • Critical thinking skills/Decision making skills
  • Interpersonal/Communication skills
  • Coping and Self management skills

Criteria for using Life skills

  • Life skills education should be more practical oriented where students are made to do or work out through exercises, training modules etc. It should not only be theory based lecture method.
  • It works best only when it is being repeated continuously as one taught will be soon forgotten. Therefore it needs to be reviewed and reinforced and be as apart of the curriculum.

Advantages of life Skills

  • Developing Life skills help individuals to translate knowledge, attitude and values into healthy behavior.
  • It also helps in building self confidence and to make them more independent and to take decisions effectively.
  • It also helps them in self management and to take proper career decisions.
  • It also helps in improving their interpersonal skills to establish healthy relationships in life.


Thus teaching life skills to students is really essential as it helps in bringing and molding capable adults who eventually become effective leaders bringing laurels to the nation.


Contributor: Sujatha Venkatesh, Counseling Psychologist

Published here on: 22-Jan-07

Classification: Counseling

MSWord article: Life skills article.doc

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