TOPIC 1: PROMOTION OF LIFE SKILLS
Life skills are the means through which a person can live well in a society. They are the ways an individual can properly manage his/her life and that of other people. Promotion of life skills is of great importance in modern societies because of the prevailing socio-economic, political and cultural changes that have been accelerated by scientific and technological advancements. The undergoing changes require good leadership, teamwork, positive relationships, self-worth and self-confidence from members of societies or communities so as to survive in this competitive world.
Good Leadership, Team Work, Positive Relationship, Self-Worth and Confidence
A leader is a person who guides or directs others in a group, an institution, a company, a village or a country. Good leadership refers to proper leadership which adheres to the important characteristics of a good leader.
Characteristics of a Good Leader
1. A good leader should be a task-oriented or people-oriented leader. The task oriented leader will place emphasis on training and performance with the ultimate aim of achieving and winning. He/she should be able to identify the community goals or specific targets. The leader then should be able to impart these goals to his people and commit them to work hard and intelligently to achieve the desired community goals.
2. A good leader should not simply issue orders for people to follow, but he/she should be able to instill good characteristics to them which will make it possible to achieve the stated goals.
3. A good leader should have confidence, determination and perseverance. There will be many complex issues that must be addressed by the leader; therefore the leader should be bold enough to encounter such situations.
4. A good leader should be able to create an ideal situation that will encourage his/her people to perform. The leader should be ready available for his/her people and they should be free to approach him/her for consultations.
5. A good leader should be able to identify good opportunities that can be utilised to achieve the stated community goals. The leader has to be optimistic that opportunities can be exploited to yield the intended goals. Good leaders should have a vision which they work towards. Good leaders know where they are heading and lead their people towards the same vision. Good leaders are not passive people. They are usually extremely passionate in whatever they are doing.
6. Good leaders should be wise if they are to be successful. Being a leader often means that crucial decisions will have to be made at one point. Having wisdom to make a right decision is most important in ensuring success. Good leaders have compassion for their followers. While they understand they have a goal to pursue, they constantly look back and care for the people that are following them. They are not selfish people who only think about their own needs and luxuries; they also must care for the people who are working for them. In Africa, for instance, we have Mzee Nelson Mandela, the former president of the republican of South Africa and leader of ANC. Mzee Mandela is the one of the few African leaders who possesses such kind of leadership characteristics.
7. Good leaders should be charismatic, attractive to the people through their good personalities. This can be through the way they speak. They are extremely well-versed in public speaking and they can influence and inspire people with the things that they say. A good example of such kind of a leader is the late Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere. The former president of Tanzania.
8. Good leaders must be persistent in the attempt of meeting their goals. They realise that the goal to success is not simple; despite that, they see that the benefit of reaching the goal are greater than that of the setback that they will experience.
9. Good leaders should have integrity. They mean what they say, and they say what they mean. They are people who keep their promises and they do not play the two-faced political game that a lot of others do.
10. Good leaders must be ready to pursue their dreams until they become true. The fears are real, but the courageous leader pursues them despite the fears. Good leaders are extremely disciplined in their pursuit of their goals. While most people would be easily discouraged, good leaders make sure they achieve their goals.
In our community where good leadership is practiced, a leader adopts a participatory approach in decision-making. A good leader will always consult his/her people before any important decision is made. For instance, in an institution like a school, a good leader should recognize that his/her employees are more than just employees; they are also the people to be involved in making decision.
Leadership styles have been classified on the basis of how leaders use their authority. There are four leadership styles, namely dictatorial, autocratic, democratic and laissez-fair leadership.
1. Dictatorial leadership. This is the type of leadership governed by a dictator that is dominated by fear, threats, disgrace, and frequent dismissal of the workers.
2. Autocratic leadership. This type of leadership is characterised by central authority. All the powers are controlled by one individual; a leader can give or withhold rewards or punishments.
3. Democratic or participative leadership. This type of leadership involves the leader consulting the subordinates on the proposed actions and decisions and encourages their participations.
4. Laissez-fair leadership. This is the type of leadership where the leader is really not in control. The leader is only consulted if information is required, and he/she can make only a small contribution. This type of leadership gives chance for the subordinates to decide on their own.
Importance of Good Leadership
The following are some of the importance of good leadership in a community:
1. Earns trust from the people by involving them in decision-making. Hence they can work together with their leaders to achieve their goals.
2. Increases efficiency and effectiveness in a community, as people are satisfied with their leaders work or performance.
3. Enhances public relations in a community. The positive image of a leader enhances public relations that will lead to the achievement of community goals.
4. Enhances people’s confidence, especially when leaders are transparency and accountable to their decisions.
5. Reduces conflicts in a community. With good leadership neither the people nor the leaders shall be involved in conflicts. The community do have proper channels to forward their problems through democratic ways based on decision making-making procedures.
Good Leadership, Teamwork, Positive Relationship, Self-Worth, Confidence Qualities
Leadership can be defined as interpersonal influence exercised in a situation and directed through the communication process towards the attainment of specified goal. Leadership does not mean power, prestige, wealth or great education butrefers toinitiative and willingness to serve mankind and showing a real concern to others.
A team comprises any group of people with a common purpose. A group in itself does not necessary constitute a team. However there are many components that up a team like managers and agents. Teamwork is a joint action done by a group of people (team) with a common goal. The notion of teamwork does not mean that the individual is no longer important, itmeans that effective and efficient teamwork goes beyond individual accomplishment. The most effective teamwork is produced when all individuals work together to achieve a common goal.
To effectively achieve the goals of an organisation, all the people should combine their efforts. If everyone does his/her job well, and then it increases what the team can accomplish. Teamwork has to be recognised by everyone knowing that great things happen if individuals work together as one unit. Everyone has a unique role, but each individual role must be recognised and appreciated.
For instance, at school both teachers and student are supposed to live and work as a team. This will help in building student discipline and academic performance. However, this can only be achieved through participation of students and teachers in school governance. Teamwork is something that must be a high priority and must be given constant attention. Every player must understand how important for them to work together if they want to be successful. Each player must be dedicated to the whole team and be ready to act unselfishly. When challenges arise the team need to have the resources, accountability and commitment to deal with them in a constructive and positive manner.
A good and strong leadership is essentially for successful teamwork. While each teamwork member will be encouraged to share thought and opinions as well as skills, the leader will be responsible for the final decisions and implementations that are made. A leader should be strong and confident as well as competent in his/particular area of expertise
Goal-setting is an essential part of teamwork. A team should set its goal for easy accomplishment of a task. A team cannot work well and achieve its goal if it does not have well-defined goals to be achieved. It is also very important for team members to understand their roles and responsibilities. The team leader can make it possible by defining the purpose in a clear-cut manner in the beginning of the formation of the team.
Communication is another important part of teamwork. The team members must communicate all aspects of a project and be willingly to listen to each other. The lines of communication should be open at all times and to all team members. Teamwork can be very successfully if everyone is willingly to accept one another and work together for the good of the group.
The team must have a unified commitment. This does not mean team members must agree on everything. It means that all individuals must be directing their efforts towards the foal. If an individual's efforts are going towards his/her personal goals, then the team will confront this and resolves the problem.
The team must have a result-driven structure. The team should be allowed to operate in a manner that produces results. It is often best to allow the team to develop the structure.
The team must have high standards that are understood by all. Team members must know what is expected of them individually and collectively. Vague statements such as “positive attitude” and “demonstrated efforts” are not good enough.
The team must have competent members. In the education settings this can be taken to mean that the problem given to the team should be one that the members can tackle given their level of knowledge and skills.
The team must have a collaborative climate. It is a climate of trust produced by honest, open, consistence and respectful behaviour. With this climate team perform well and without it they will fail.
Conflict resolution. Conflict will rise no matter how teams functions together. The best way to counter conflict is to have structured method of conflict resolution. Team members should be able to voice their concerns without fear of offending others. Instead of avoiding conflict, its better to resolve them quickly. Its often advised that the team leader should sit with conflicting parties and help to work out their differences without taking sides and try to remain objective if possible.
COMPOUNDS OF TEAM BUILDING
The most important compound for team building is the selection of participants to be in a group or team. The team leader usually looks specific things from the members in order to ensure success in the group or team projects. It’s very important to have members that have confident and are able to build trust among other participants. Most importantly, the participants must have a positive attitude at all times.
Training on how to work together is also a very important compound of teamwork. A team must know how to work together in order to be productive and successful. If a team can work together, It will be able to resolve issues that are standing on the way to accomplish a goal. Working together may not come easily at first, but with proper training and mutual communication the team will be able to adapt quickly.
Balanced skills set. When creating teamwork, it’s important to have balanced skills sets. One way to achieve this is by having experts in different fields. If some members provide some of their theoretical skills, for example, individuals that are knowledgeable about the course materials are confused about technology part of it. On the other hand the individual may fill that the technical side of the problem is more important than the theoretical side of it. By combining both sides, the team can come up with the solutions that benefit everyone.
Allocation of roles within the team is one of the elements needed for team building. Assigning roles to team members help them to know the team’s place. Each member should be assigned a role that is clearly defined. This will facilitate easily decision making and will ensure the completion of the task assigned within the required time
Harmonizing personalities. The personality of some one play a bigger role on how the team performs. The leader must understand the kind of people and personality they need to have in order to gain success from the team group. For instance someone who shows supportiveness is dedicated to the team’s success. The person who takes more responsibility, is very easy to work with and listen attentively to the ideas of other people.
Importance of Teamwork
Large, ambitious plans usually require people to work together. Thus, team work has become an important concept for work organisations. Effective teams are necessary if the industry is going to realise good and sustainable results.
1. Teamwork can make more effective and efficient use of labour and prove productivity by maximizing the different strength and skills of team members, encouraging team members to undertake a wide range of tasks and making team members accountable to customers.
2. Teamwork improves quality and encourages innovation of product or services. Innovation has been the outcome of many team works initiatives. Involvement of team members/workers in productive activity through team work contributes a lot to the improvement of the quality of products and various innovations.
3. In an institutions like a school, students learn to work together in many ways. They learn to rely on each other and take advantage of every opportunity they have. Most often high-performing students in exams experience the benefit of teamwork at school. They consistently perform better than others, especially by attending group discussions.
Positive relationships can be defined as the state of having meaningful, loving, supportive and cooperative relationships between two or more people. It’s not difficult to establish meaningful, loving, loving, supportive and cooperative relationships.
Principles for Developing Positive Relationships
In order to develop positive relationship, someone needs to understand the following principles of human behaviour;
1. Time and patience. Building positive relationship is like building a house; it take a lot of time and patient to accomplish likewise to understand human life it take time and it need patient to cope with them.
2. Applying the principle of brotherhood and allowing others to become more responsible.
3. Allowing people to make choices
4. Every human behaviour has a social purpose. It should be notes that some people misbehave they are searching for self-attention and some look for revenge
5. Changing your negative behaviour can most effectively influence the negative behaviour of others.
6. Someone’s positive relationship are influenced by his/her positive actions, thus people must appreciate others peoples positive’s positive behaviour.
7. Avoiding retaliation if offended; instead express good will. You will improve the quality of relationship. Retaliation stimulates further violence.
8. Avoid finding faults in others; focus on their strength and not their weaknesses
9. Show strong confidence in your team members; this will develop their confidence.
10. If the members lack strong confidence, focus on their past legitimate successes
11. If it is difficult to speak to a busy person, communicate with him/her through your loving actions
12. Withdraw from conditions that can easily lead to power struggle.
Importance of Positive Relationships
1. Positive relationships are important in maintaining a sense of good among ourselves. A destructive relationship is not always good because it leads to various problems such as abuse. It’s obvious that people needs positive relationships, because they need to be supported, comforted and have fun.
2. Positive relationships are important and are a source of success in every area of life as they enhance love, family happiness, business success and spiritual fulfilment.They also promote good principle that ensures success to everyone, partners, family, friends and work colleagues. This means that there is a need to identify key principles and techniques that attract positive relationships because they heal any relationship issues.
3. Positive relationships enlighten the people on how to make a right decision in relationships, communicating better, enjoying greater intimacy and confidence.
Self-worth refers to a feeling of confidence in yourself that you are a good and useful person. Its a favourable estimate or opinions of oneself. Worth refers tohow much we value something, how important it is for us and how much priority we give it compared to other things.
Self-worth is a measure of our unconditional self-love. High self-worth means loving ourselves unconditionally in all areas of our lives. To have a higher degree of self-worth, we must love ourselves even when we make mistakes.
Self-worth is frequently based on our feelings of worth in terms of our skills, achievements, statutes, financial resources or physical attributes. This kind of self-worth often cultivates an independence and arrogant attitude. When we find ourselves not measuring up to societies’ criteria for worth, we suffer serious consequences.
Our self-worth depreciates dramatically. The illusion of being successful and admired gives way to disillusionment as our possessions and achievements that once nourished our souls fail to satisfy our appetite. To satisfy every individual experience, hunger, thirst, fatigue and so forth, we are conditionedtoget food, drinks or rest. By getting these things we will achieve an acceptable self-worth. Nothing depreciates self-worth faster than regret, anger or fear.
Aspects of Self-Worth
Taking good care of yourself shows you really do love yourself unconditionally. This is a sign of self-worth. If you love yourself wholeheartedly, you will prioritize your time and resources to reflect the relative importance of each part of yourself. You will have to create some balance in your time and life so that you can take good care of your body and main interest and needs. Spend time and money on activities wisely.
Importance of Self-Worth
Self-worth is a vital belief for empowering oneself. A valid sense of self-worth is necessarily in order to attain love, peace, joy, power and a sound mind. A Valid sense of self-worth eliminates the possibility of committing suicide. Without self-worth, doubts and fears about our very existence will persist and will destroy dreams and vision and undermine our greatest accomplishments.
Self-confidence is a belief in one’s own abilities to do things and be successful. People with high self-confidence typically have little fear of the unknown. They are able to stand up for what they believe in, and have the courage to risk embarrassment, such as delivering a presentation to a large group of people.
Aspects of Building Self-Confidence
Although many of the factors affecting self-confidence are beyond your control, there are a number of things you can do to build self-confidence. These are:
1. Dressing style. Clothes affect the way someone feels about him/herself. It changes the way you feel about yourself and interact with other people. I f you dress well, you will fill confident in all places however if you dress improperly you will feel shy and lose confidence.
2. Good posture. By practising good posture you will automatically feel more confidence. Stand up straight, keep your head up and make eyes contact. You will make a positive impression on others and instantly and feel more alert and empowered.
3. Walking fast or quickly also builds one’s self-confidence. One of the easiest way to tell how a person feels about him/herself is to examine his/her work. Is it slow, tired, painful or energetic and purposeful? It is believed that people with confidence walk fast or quickly. They have places to go, people to see and important work to do.
4. Listening to motivational speeches. Another way of building self-confidence is listening to motivational speeches. You can feel this need by creating personal commercials. Write a short speech that highlights your strengths and goals. Then recite it in front of a mirror aloud whenever you need a confidence boost.
5. Compliment other people around you and refuse to engage in criticizing them. When we think negatively about ourselves, we often project that feeling on to others in the form of insults and gossip. To break this cycle of negativity, get in the habit of praising other people. In the process, you will become more liked and build more self-confidence. By seeingthe best in others, you indirectly bring out the best in yourself.
6. Make efforts to speak up in a group discussions. During group discussions, many people never speak up because they afraid that people will judge them for saying something wrong. By making efforts to speak up at list once in every group discussion, you will become a better public speaker, more confident in your own thoughts, and recognised as a leader by your peers.
7. Sitting in the front row helps in building self-confidence. In schools, offices and public assemblies around the world, people constantly strive to sit at the back rows. Most people prefer sitting at the back because they are afraid of being noticed. This reflects a lack of self-confidence.
8. Physical fitness has a huge effect on self-confidence. If you are out of shape, you will feel insecure, unattractive and less energetic. By working out, you improve your self appearance, energies yourself and accomplish something positive. Having the discipline to work out not only makes you feel better; it creates positive momentum that you can carry throughoutthe rest of the day.
Importance of Self-confidence
1. Self-confident is essential to success in many aspects of the individual’s life. It is the key factor in business success. This is because a confident person knows how to balance risk. He/she can borrow money from banks to run the business and pay back the dept.
2. Self- confidence involves doing what you believe to be right decision, even if others criticise you for it, being willingly to take risks and go to the extra mile to achieve better things, admitting your mistakes and vowing to learn from them.
3. Self-confidence also allows an individual to increase his/her level of control in situations that are important. As your self-confident grows your excitement and energy will help you to be in a control. People may have confident in other people or forces beyond their control. For instance, one might have confident that he/she will pass well the final exams.Self-confident enable an individual to gain confidence from both happiness and sadness.
4. Self-confident is generated not only in achievement, ability and success but also from adversity and failure. It is difficult to understand happiness unless you have experiences sadness. You cannot appreciate light unless you have been in the dark.
5. Self-confident also promotes individual’s personality in terms of dressing and communication skills. Good and attractive dressing and communication skills affect the way someone feels about him/herself. It changes the way you feel about yourself and interact with other people.
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