Life skills training equips people with the social and interpersonal skills that enable them to cope with the demands of everyday life. The objectives of this training are to build self-confidence, encourage critical thinking, foster independence and help people to communicate more effectively.
A primary objective of life skills training that focus on personal development is to promote confidence and well-being in young people and adults. It helps participants become more assertive, communicate effectively with others by developing good listening skills and learn to handle stress and deal with disappointments and setbacks. Such classes help people to explore their beliefs and attitudes through group discussions and confidence building techniques such as positive visualization. They encourage people to play to their strengths by engaging in creative activities and following a healthy lifestyle.
Life skills enable people to be more independent. For example, someone who brushes up on math at an adult numeracy class doesn't have to depend on other people to help her manage household accounts or run a business. She might, for example, learn how to do her own spreadsheets and fill in tax returns. Someone who learns to read and write doesn't need to depend on others to perform basic tasks like writing letters or filling in forms.
Life skills training helps people to communicate with the outside world and to enjoy a better relationship with family and friends. Computer literacy, for example, is viewed as a life skill because information technology is an important part of daily living. People use computers to shop online, communicate with friends and coworkers, search for jobs and complete work-related tasks using computer software like documents and spreadsheets. Parenting classes or classes to help people deal with caring for elderly relatives focus on communication skills.
People are less likely to be exploited by others if they are physically and emotionally self-reliant. Teenagers, for example, are less likely to be influenced by peer pressure to experiment with drugs. Someone who is assertive and confident is more likely to enjoy nurturing relationships by being able to express his feelings and negotiate successfully with others. He is better equipped to make rational decisions that will benefit himself and others.
Based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Elizabeth Burns began writing professionally in 1988. She has worked as a feature writer for various Irish newspapers, including the "Irish News," "Belfast News Letter" and "Sunday Life." Burns has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Ulster as well as a Master of Research in arts.