5 Important Types of Life Skills All Adults Need

January 07, 2019
man and woman working together

What are life skills? People have different views about which life skills are most essential for success. However, what they do agree on is that we all need these skills for life in one form or another to address the issues that occur daily at work, school and home.

These skills have become particularly important in a world that’s experiencing . They can help build self-confidence and encourage wise decisions. Consider this list of life skills for adults below and why they’re important.

  • Resilience: All of us fall occasionally. Resilience involves how well we accept obstacles, learn from our mistakes and recover. Our mistakes often provide the best life lessons – so long as we don’t allow them to defeat us.
  • Communication: Resolving conflict with other people is essential at home and at work. Communication takes place increasingly by text, email and social media channels. It’s important to master these types of written skills. But spoken communication is equally important. That means remembering to look people in the eye and being respectful of other opinions even while clearly expressing your own.
  • Mindfulness: We’re often so focused on our mental and written to-do lists that we focus too much on the next task instead of addressing the present. That causes us to spend too much time fretting about what we still need to do. Mindfulness means connecting with your surroundings and the people around you in a more meaningful way. Science shows mindfulness can help you focus more efficiently on the tasks at hand and also has benefits for physical and mental health.
  • Collaboration: In grade school, we learned how to play well with others. As adults, we still need to utilize these collaboration skills in our careers. At work, being able to share opinions and team up with others on projects will increase your effectiveness and productivity. In your personal life, it’ll lead to more positive relationships.
  • Inquisitiveness: Children ask a lot of questions, and that enables them to learn. But some adults stop asking questions occasionally because it takes time, or they fear that someone else will consider them less smart. But inquiry is a sign of intelligence. It shows others that you’re thinking about issues and events and that you’re open to new ideas. Asking questions helps you develop your mind and discover new skills and interests.

The value of life skills

Strong life skills can help you manage every day and more stressful situations skillfully, leading to career advancement. Improved mindfulness can improve your time management, while effective communication and collaboration skills can help you rally a team around a project. Inquisitiveness may help you see a problem differently and find solutions that save you or your company time and money – even old problems can require new thinking to solve.

Many companies see these types of life skills as increasingly important for leadership positions in their organizations.

Basic life skills resources available

As you consider what skills you’d like to develop or improve in your life, you’ll find many resources available. These can include books, audio courses and online programs. You can approach each of these skills individually or commit to improving all of the areas by working on each one a little bit each day.

One of the most effective ways of figuring out the skills you’d like to gain or change is to ask the people you regularly spend time around. Coworkers, friends or even a mentor at work, for example, can give you objective assessments of the skills you’re working on. There are a few helpful ways to approach this. Schedule a specific time to talk with a coworker instead of asking in passing or stopping them in the hallway; this is more convenient for them, and it also sets aside time for both of you to get more deeply involved in the conversation. Come prepared with specific questions, too. “What steps do you think I can take to improve my public speaking skills?” will get you a more specific answer than “Do I have good office skills?”

Whichever path you take, improving life skills will create a greater sense of fulfillment in both your life and your career advancement. Take some time to think about which ones are most relevant for you. If you’re looking for more help, Nationwide offers a number of products and services that can make your home and work life easier to handle. Visit the Nationwide website or contact an agent.

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