As I reflect on my journey through life, I can't help but think about the skills that I wish I had learned during my school years. Here are five skills that I believe would have made a world of difference if I had learned them back in the day. I will make sure my three kids develop them as they grow up and start their careers.
1. Selling: It's a skill we all use daily, whether we realize it or not. However, most of us lack the basics of selling psychology. Imagine if we had been taught effective communication techniques, understanding the needs of others, and persuasive strategies. It would have made us better at presenting ideas and gaining support for our endeavors. If schools had incorporated selling skills into the curriculum, it would have prepared us for the real world of career development and professional growth.
2. Coaching: It’s is another valuable skill that shares similarities with selling. It involves building rapport, asking the right questions, and actively listening. Mastering coaching abilities would have made us better communicators, empathetic listeners, and supportive individuals in personal and professional settings. Schools should have emphasized coaching skills, providing opportunities for students to learn and practice these techniques. Nowadays, there are even certification programs and coaching courses available to help individuals become certified coaches, advancing their career prospects and professional development.
3. Networking: It’s a powerful skill that opens doors to opportunities. Building connections, finding allies, and surrounding ourselves with a supportive community can make a significant difference in our personal and professional lives. If schools had included networking in their curriculum, teaching us efficient strategies and how to build a strong ecosystem, it would have saved us a lot of trial and error in the real world. Today, there are networking events, workshops, and online platforms that offer guidance on networking skills and techniques.
4. Managing emotions: It’s a skill that would have greatly benefited my generation. We were often taught to suppress or ignore our emotions, which led to difficulties in processing difficult situations, managing tough relationships, and making sound decisions. If we had learned to acknowledge and label our emotions earlier in life, it would have provided us with stronger foundations for emotional intelligence. Schools should prioritize teaching emotional intelligence and emotional management techniques to help students navigate their personal and professional lives successfully.
5. Understanding Unconscious Biases: It’s crucial in today's information-driven world. With social media and marketing gurus constantly vying for our attention, it's essential to recognize and challenge our biases to avoid being manipulated or falling prey to misinformation. High schools should introduce these concepts, teaching students the basics of neuroscience and critical thinking. By doing so, they would foster critical thinkers and individuals who are less susceptible to external influences.
So, there you have it, my personal take on the five skills I wish I had learned in school. They would have undoubtedly enriched my educational experience and prepared me better for the challenges of the real world. However, it's never too late to start learning and honing these skills. Whether through self-study, professional development courses, or certification programs, we can seize the opportunity to develop these abilities and make a positive impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.