Does school help you be successful? Millions of children go to school for twelve (12) or sixteen (16) years, get good grades and walk away without the skills that will make them successful! Does this surprise you? How do you go to school for so long and do not learn the skills to be successful?
I am not saying that students are not exposed to these skills, but they just do not learn them! There are five (5) competencies every student should have by the time they graduate. Skills specific to the functions workers perform doing their job.
1. Resources – Identifies, organizes, plans and allocates resources.
Time – sets priorities, allocates time and meet schedules.
Money – prepare and uses budgets, forecasts, monitor performance and adjust to meet objectives.
Material/Facilities – Acquires, stores, allocates and uses materials/space efficiently.
Human Resources – assesses skills and distributes work accordingly, evaluates performance, and provide feedback.
2. Interpersonal – Works with others.
Teamwork – contribute to group effort.
Training – learn and teach others new skills.
Service Clients/Customers – work to satisfy customer’s expectations.
Leadership – communicates ideas, persuades others, and challenges existing policies and procedures.
Negotiates – Resolve divergent interests or agreements involving exchange of resources.
Works with diversity – work with different people of diverse backgrounds.
3. Information – Acquires and evaluates information.
Acquires, organizes, evaluates, interprets, and communicates information using computers to process information.
4. System – Understand complex interrelationships.
Understands systems – know how social, organizational and technological systems work and operate effectively with them.
Monitors and correct s performance – identifies trends, predicts and diagnose problems and corrects them.
Improve or design systems – suggest changes to current systems, develop new or improve systems.
5. Technology – Work with a variety of technologies.
Select technology – chooses procedures, tools or equipment.
Applies technology to task – understands purpose and operate equipment.
Maintain/troubleshoot equipment – solves problems with equipment/computers.
Three part foundation skills and personal qualities:
Workplace skills are the basic skills a person must have to succeed in any workplace. They are the core knowledge, skills and attitudes that allow workers to understand instructions, solve problems and get along with co-workers and customers. These skills are necessary for success at all levels of an organization and are transferable from one organization to another.
Basic Skills – Reads, writes, perform arithmetic and mathematical operations, listens and speaks. Education/training does not stop when you are employed. You will have to follow instructions, policies and procedures.
Thinking Skills – Thinks, creatively, makes decisions, solves problems, visualizes knows how to learn and reasons. You make decisions all day, solving problems and learn from experience. Your ability to solve problems will determine your success.
Personal Qualities – Responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self management, integrity, and honesty. Employers depend on you to come to work, on time and pleasant to your coworkers and maintain good work ethics and values.
As we go through school, do you remember your teacher ever explaining why you need certain skills or personal qualities? Did your English teacher explain why you need to study Shakespeare or the other classics? Shakespeare was an expert in using words to make ordinary people understand things and feel emotion. He was a great writer who wrote plays not for highly educated people, but for everyone to enjoy. In these plays, he talked about controversial topics, tragedy, horror, fantasy, love, and famous people. We can learn from Shakespeare if we want to be able to influence other people as well as he did.
Did your Science teacher explain the need for the scientific method? Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. Did your Math teacher explain why math is important? Studying mathematics develops analytical skills and the ability to work in a problem solving environment. Basic math is necessary for basic money transactions, following recipes, working in the trades, and accounting/engineering professions.
As you look over these skills and personal qualities, you probably think everyone has these skills. That may be true! Successful people have a mastery of these skills and qualities. Mastery of soft skills which include emotional Intelligence, communication, leadership ability, etiquette, conflict resolution, decision making, self-motivation, self-discipline, and persuasion may determine success more than other qualities. If you are still in school, think about what you are learning and relate it to the skills that you need when you graduate. If you graduated, you will need to demonstrate your mastery of these skills and qualities to be successful. Have you thought about these skills? Have you mastered them?
Photo by: Luke & Courtney Barrett