Life skills: The right tools for the job

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Life Coaching Blog

In South Africa, we have added many words to our own vocabulary over the past few decades. One important buzzword in education is upskilling. The word may look awkward but it tells it like it is. Upskilling is about taking individuals’ abilities to a higher level, upwards from where those skills were.

Upskilling can be applicable to life coaching because this type of coaching does in fact empower people through knowledge to embrace positive change. Life coaching is about imparting those skills that people need to successfully handle various situations in their lives both in the present and in the future.

What types of life skills are there?

There are five skills in the communication or action section. Here they are briefly. The most obvious and first skill is verbal communication. This comprises the use of words.

Vocal communication is the communication you do through the volume at which you are communicating or talking as well as your rate of speech, your pitch, which words your emphasise and your articulation.

Body language is what you communicate with your body, including your posture, your clothes, your grooming, the expression on your face, eye contact (or lack thereof), your gaze, your gestures and proximity.

Touch is seen by some as a subsection of body language. This sense also plays a role in what you communicate. Where you touch the other person, how and with which part of your body affects communication. (Picture a shove versus a gentle hand on someone’s shoulder when they’re telling you something sad.)

Follow-up consists of the action you take when the person who you’re communicating with is not standing right in front of you/ this includes sending an email to a client who never arrived for an appointment.

In one of our articles which we published on our website a little while ago, we went through active listening. In this article, we’ll have a look at verbal communication skills.

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What is verbal communication?

The term ‘verbal communication’ refers to the usage of words in order to share information with other individuals. The verbal element of communication is regarding the words which you select, as well as how these are heard and interpreted.

Verbal communication is made up of the following elements:

  • Language: Consists of formal language or informal/colloquial language or slang.
  • Content: This refers to the type of conversion (in other words, whether it’s positive or negative) and the focal point of the speech taking place
  • Amount of speech: Important to consider is how much you’re talking. In a life coaching situation, it is vital that the coach gives the client room to express their feelings or concerns.
  • Speech ownership: This is a clever and subtle of distinguishing between communication beginning with ‘I’ and that beginning with ‘You’. The ‘you’ messages can often have a judgmental twist to them. ‘I’ messages focus on one’s own feelings or viewpoints.

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There are many other life skills that you will learn and are essential for a life coach to know and understand. If you want more information about these, you need to do our Life Coaching Course. Follow this link for more information.

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