11 Skills Make You Smarter
Being smart is the ability to focus, concentrate, and communicate. So, it appears that being smart is something that depends on your perspective.
Reading is an essential aspect of learning and has multiple benefits attached to the exercise. Reading is important because it makes you more empathetic, knowledgeable and stimulates your imagination. A study conducted by the University of Sussex showed that reading reduces stress by 68%. It helps in reducing tension and relaxing muscles which in turn helps people sleep better and stay healthy.
Benefits of Reading
Here are some benefits of reading that everyone should take advantage of to make their lives better:
- It improves your language skills
- It improves comprehension
- It makes you more empathetic
- It challenges stereotypes and social mores in society
- It reduces stress and anxiety
- It helps in building a vocabulary
- It stimulates imagination
- It builds confidence
- It lowers the heart rate and relaxes muscles
- It prevents cognitive decline in older people
- It improves your sleeping habits
Here is a list of readings items that are a part of the benefits of reading.
- Children’s novels
- Fiction books
- Non-fiction books
#02: Writing Skills
Written communication is an exceptional characteristic of the human species. Over hundreds of years, writing has helped individuals to inform, collaborate and alert other, while societies benefitted from written history, culture and knowledge. In our time, how you successfully use the gift of writing, depends on you. Writing is a life skill, not only an essential job-related skill, because it is often the basis upon which others judge your learning, your values, your ideas and your contribution to society.
Writing organizes your thoughts, explain your arguments, present your supporting evidence and lead your reader to a shared conclusion. If the reader disagrees, he or she should be able to find each of your arguments for rebuttal. Writing enables you to vividly recall past events, describe a special experience or sell a vision. You rely on critical thought in your conceptualization, on clear articulation through choice of words and structure and on effective sharing of information by writing for the reader, not just yourself. Writing harnesses the transformative power of the written word to improve your life and to change the world around you.
#03: Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and regulate one’s emotions and understand the emotions the others. A high EQ helps you to build relationships, reduce team stress, defuse conflict and improve job satisfaction. Ultimately, a high EI means having the potential to increase team productivity and staff retention. That’s why when it comes to recruiting management roles, employers look to hire and promote candidates with a high ‘EQ’ (emotional quotient) – rather than IQ (intelligence quotient).
Below are five pillars of emotional intelligence and how they give you an advantage in the workforce.
Self-awareness is the ability to recognise one’s emotions, emotional triggers, strengths, weaknesses, motivations, values and goals and understand how these affect one’s thoughts and behaviour.
Drawing on one’s self-awareness, self-management is the ability to regulate one’s emotions. Everyone – including those with a high EQ – experiences bad moods, impulses and negative emotions like anger and stress, but self-management is the ability to control these emotions rather than having them control you.
Motivation is essentially what moves us to take action. When we face setbacks and obstacles, checking in with our motives is what inspires us to keep pushing forward.
Empathy is the ability to connect emotionally with others and take into consideration their feelings, concerns and points of view. It’s an important skill to have when negotiating with internal and external stakeholders and customers, as it enables one to anticipate the other’s needs and reaction.
Relationship management is all about interpersonal skills – one’s ability to build genuine trust, rapport and respect from colleagues. This is about more than the cliché of a trust fall during a team building exercise – it’s about trusting and being trusted in a team.
A manager with outstanding relationship management skills is able to inspire, guide and develop their team members, greatly affecting team performance and productivity.
#04: Time management skills
Time management is the process of organising and planning how to divide your time between specific activities and priorities. The benefits of time management include better habits and greater productivity. Improved time management increases your focus, builds confidence, and allows you to plan your time more effectively.
Effective time management helps leaders, entrepreneurs, and small business owners achieve their goals. Managing your time wisely improves work-life balance and increases happiness. Good time management also reduces stress and allows you to achieve your goals faster and easier.
Time management benefits you in every area of your life. Time management is important to help you prioritize better and increase your productivity. Good time management also makes you more intentional about how to invest your time.
Managing your time helps you work smarter, not harder so you can get more done in less time and capture bigger opportunities. Time management is important to help you maximise your strengths and plan your day efficiently. Good time management helps you work smarter, not harder, ensuring you get more productive work done in less time.
Benefits of time management
- It helps you achieve your goals faster.
- It helps you prioritize your work.
- You get more done in less time.
- Reduces stress.
- Prevents procrastination.
- It boosts your confidence and offers improved career opportunities.
- Define and prioritize your tasks.
- Break down tasks into smaller tasks.
#05: Numeracy skills
We use maths in every aspect of our lives at work and in practical everyday activities at home and beyond. We use maths when we go shopping or plan a holiday, decide on a mortgage or decorate a room. Good numeracy is essential to us as parents helping our children learn, as patients understanding health information, as citizens making sense of statistics and economic news. Decisions in life are so often based on numerical information; to make the best choices, we need to be numerate.
The impact of poor numeracy
There is a lot of evidence linking low numeracy skills with poor outcomes:
People with poor numeracy skills are more than twice as likely to face unemployment.
Recent data by the OECD show a direct relationship between wage distribution and numeracy skills .
Good numeracy is linked to a range of positive financial behaviors including saving frequency and keeping up with bills.
In OECD and UK basic skills reports, the correlation between poor numeracy and poor health is clear. Data from the British Cohort Studies have shown that there is also a link between depression and poor numeracy.
- Social, emotional and behavioral difficulties
Children with these problems are more likely to struggle with numeracy, even taking into account factors such as home background and general ability.
- School exclusions
Pupils beginning secondary school with very low numeracy skills are more likely to face exclusion.
14-year-olds who have poor maths skills at 11 are more than twice as likely to play truant.
A quarter of young people in custody have a numeracy level below that expected of a 7-year-old. Similarly, 65% of adult prisoners have numeracy skills at or below the level expected of an 11-year-old.
#06: Memorization skills
Memorization gets a bad name these days in educational circles (especially those related to the government schools.) Certainly, rote memorization may not make sense if we think that the information will not be used later on, but what is the brain for? To think! In order to think, one must memorize, review, and build on that information to create a foundation of knowledge in the long-term memory!
An athlete practices drills and physical movements over and over and a musician rehearses a musical phrase repeatedly so that fine motor skills become gross motor skills and the actions become easy and natural, part of muscle memory. One also needs to exercise one’s brain with new skills and information, and the way this is done is through repetition and remembrance. Skills and facts should be over-practiced so they become part of long-term memory, and thus, so to speak, until one can do the skill or recall the information in one’s sleep. This is knowledge!
#07: Communication Skills
Good communication skills are the abilities that assist you to become effective at sharing information with others. While some communication skills come naturally, you need to develop other essential skills to be able to leave a mark on the people with whom you converse.
Communication skills allow you to interact with people effectively and let you make your presence felt by the people present in a discussion or a meeting. In a team, being able to communicate effectively with your colleagues will help build trust, strengthen your professional relationships, boosts teamwork, develop a sense of belongingness, and help you to become more productive.
For every professional, it’s imperative to put effort into improving their communication skills. This will help them to perform better at the job and advance in their career.
As I see communication as an inevitable part of our professional life, I want to express the importance of communication in my own words:
“Without proper communication, even the greatest of ideas can easily go unnoticed, and eventually, wasted.”
#08: Socialization skills
Having a solid set of social skills allows you to communicate, relate to, and connect with other people. This is essential for establishing friendships and navigating your way through life with a better degree of satisfaction. It can be surprising how many doors open in life and how many opportunities can fall into your lap when you have good social skills.
A few of the many ways that good social skills can benefit your career include that they:
- Allow you to effectively work as a team on projects
- Let you share your own perspective in an effective manner
- Help you expand your professional network and stay updated on new opportunities
- Make the workplace more enjoyable
- Let you gain valuable feedback and referrals from those who can attest to your abilities
- Enable you to successfully communicate with employers, coworkers and clients
#09: Teaching skills
Effective teacher learning and professional development are important for student’s achievement. Teacher learning skills are a continuous process that promotes teaching skills, master new knowledge; develop new proficiency which in turn helps to improve students learning. Teacher learning skills influences student learning outcome, this is the reason why teachers need to do teacher learning skills to achieve learning outcome in the form of changed believes about their practice or, better change in behavior.
Psychology is recognizing the importance of legislative advocacy for the entire field, and increasingly more students and psychologists are becoming advocates. You need to modify your message to meet your audience’s needs when you speak with local, state or national representatives. Presenting findings of a critical study involves communicating your message in a way that your audience can understand. In other words, you are teaching them about the issue and your position on that issue. Thus skills in understanding your audience and tailoring your message to meet the audience are essential in advocacy.
#10: Digital skills
Cornell University defines digital literacy as ‘the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet’.
Now, digital adoption and the respective digital skills needed to embrace the transformation are critical to landing more secure, in-demand tech careers. In fact, those skills are essential to the survival of businesses.
Digital skills have never been more critical to business and the workforce, as demonstrated by the universal shift to digital-first interactions like remote work, online commerce, and virtual collaboration. While this change has produced many benefits, like greater flexibility for workers and removing geography as a barrier to hiring new talent, it’s also resulted in the widening of an already-large skills gap.
Entry-level digital skills can include:
- Computer literacy
- Data entry
- Social media
- Web-based communications and research
- Word processing
- Email and chat
- Secure information processing
Advanced digital skills can include:
- Programming, web, and app development
- Digital business analysis
- Digital marketing and content creation
- Digital design and data visualization
- Digital product management
- Data science
- User experience design
#11: Team working skills
Anyone who thought the rise of remote and hybrid work would be the downfall of teamwork has probably changed their tune by now. The truth is, teamwork is more important than ever.
Importance Team work
- Eliminates toxic work culture
- Reduces higher employee turnover
- Helps employees remain focused on the organization’s goal
- Teamwork increases learning opportunities
- Teamwork leads to increased accountability
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