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Relevance of Soft Skills for Personality Development among Students

INTRODUCTION: Soft skill, sometimes known as “people skills” are personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interaction with others, job performance and career prospects. Unlike hard skills or technical or occupational skills, which tend to be specific to a certain type or task or activity, soft skills are broadly applicable. There are two broad classifications of soft skills viz. personal attributes and interpersonal attributes.

Soft skills broken down under personal attributes comprise of the following:

  1. Optimism
  2. Emotional Intelligence
  3. Responsibility
  4. A sense of humor
  5. Integrity
  6. Time management
  7. Motivation
  8. Creativity

Soft skills under interpersonal abilities are as follows:

  1. Empathy
  2. Leadership
  3. Communication
  4. Good manners and etiquette
  5. Sociability
  6. The ability to teach
  7. Problem solving

It is often said that hard skills will get an interview but one needs soft skills to get and keep going with the job. In the initial years of one’s career, individuals need technical abilities or occupational skills may be important to get an assignment one seeks. However, when it comes to growing in an organization, it is the personality trait that matters. And this would apply more aptly in a setting where several people with similar technical expertise will compete for a position or a promotion.

Training of soft skills in our country becomes all the more relevant where the education system does not always delve into coordinated personality development. There is a lot of contradiction and argument in the industry as to whether it is possible to enhance soft skills through different modes of training and workshops especially when we already know that the person has lived with those traits all their lives. The answer to this question seems harsh although real. A student who wants to do well in his career and does not really have a choice, a reorientation of lifestyle and personal priorities becomes essential.

The concept of soft skill is not a recent concept, instead, it is a concept discussed since ancient times. Our Vedas and Upanishads enunciate how Vedantic prescriptions cab be an effective instrument for the personal transformation that automatically enhances soft skills necessary for growth.

A desire in a young professional to create a strong positive impression about the self in intellectual and social circles is paramount. Soft skills for university students should come with the intention of an all round development of their personality and not only focus on academics but train them professionally also. Inculcation of soft skills among students would ensure greater success for them across all the spheres of life. Today’s organizations and companies look for individuals who are flexible to adapt to the organization’s culture and are apt enough to establish meaningful interactions with people around.

Relevance of soft skills among students:

  1. For creating a healthy and productive work environment: We have to develop interpersonal skills like listening and writing that can ensure the flow of smooth and accurate instructions and information. This can guarantee a cooperative work environment with minimum levels of manageable conflicts.
  2. Efficiency in dealing with challenges: Hard skills help you with technical knowledge and skill building whereas soft skills as they include communication skills, etiquette and leadership skills make your adjustment better at the workplace. They make an individual capable enough to deal with challenges and problems at the workplace.
  3. For overall personality development: All round personality development can only be guaranteed if both the hard and soft skills go hand in hand. Thus as mentioned earlier, hard skills are not enough to bring the best in you and ensure success. Pairing technical expertise with the process involved in the implementation of the technical expertise would lead to over all personality building and growth.
  4. Demand of today’s time:  In today’s time, the strength of an individual is assessed on both the hard and soft skill parameters.  The one who lacks soft skills would not be able to compete with the demands of today’s time. Thus there should be a strong focus of the course curriculum on building and strengthening of personality by inculcating soft skills.

Conclusion: All round personality development of individuals should emphasize on the mastering of soft skills. At IILM University, there is a lot of stress on developing soft skills as a part of the course structure.  There are diverse facilities initiated by the University to delve upon such skills. Some of these facilities are:

  1. IILM center for Emotional Intelligence: This is one of the centers that cater to provide an idea as to the significance of emotional intelligence in our lives. How relevant this is for ensuring the future success of individuals and how can we make ourselves happy and satisfied thus adding quality to our lives.
  2. Course curriculum: The courses offered by IILM University just do not focus on the academic growth and learning of the students. Rather it also tends to inculcate applications based learning that can be implemented and utilized when our students enter the professional world.

We offer papers like communications skills, emotional intelligence inter group relations personality growth and development that gives them an idea about the corporate setup. These courses, apart from adding on to their knowledge reservoir add on to the other aspects required for personality development example a course on communication skills makes them apt to use the power of communication during meaningful interactions. It helps them lay their point of view much more comprehensively thus ensuring them success whether it is about cracking an interview or cracking a good deal at the workplace. Similarly, the course on emotional intelligence tends to tap competencies like self-regulation, nurturing relationships etc. that helps accomplish higher order goals that one can set in life, a course on inter group relations also tends to make them understand the relevance of dynamic interactions between two or more individuals or big groups. It makes them understand the complexities of group functioning thus avoiding conflicts and ensuring teamwork while personality growth and development, make them explore, introspect and evaluate their personality strengths and virtues. It gives them an accurate understanding of themselves thus making them understand their potentialities and abilities. Thus, the emphasis on soft skills development among the student lot is the need of the hour.

References:

Govind Singh Kushwaha, Role of Soft Skill and Personality Development, Research Gate, February 2012

Barbara Cimatti, Definition, Development, Assessment of Soft Skills and their role for the Quality of Organizations and Enterprises, International Journal for Quality Research 10(1) 97–130, 2016

Barun K. Mitra, Personality Development and Soft Skills, Oxford University Press

Personality Development Video, The Economic Times and The TIMES Multimedia, 2009.

TIME magazine, Vol. 172, No. 2, 2008.

Predictors of Wellness among Elderly

Introduction: We are the second largest nation in terms of Elderly population after China. The magnificence goes to improved medical facility and community healthcares services. How so ever, elderly are also well thought out to be the most vulnerable population against physical and mental illnesses and cognitive impairments. With the increase of the elderly population there is also a need to address the issues related to the vulnerabilities affecting them. “Vulnerability” tends to indicate the factors that can add on to the possibility of adverse outcomes both physically and psychologically. Due to this, they widely need to be assessed on physical ailments, past medical history and ongoing medication. There is also a need to assess them with basic cognitive examination aided with screening for various psychiatric disorders.

Researches studies have shown the ones with significant co morbidity and functional impairment are presumed to have lesser life expectancy as compared to the ones with good functional status i.e. independent in terms of activities of daily living (ADL’s) and without co morbidities i.e. diabetes mellitus, cancer, heart failure, oxygen dependent lung disease etc.

With this there is a high need for planning appropriate interventions and treatment plan for the accurate understanding of the potential risk factors during old age. Many of them despite being conscious about the fact of suffering from cognitive, psychiatric or physical problems would still not seek assistance.

Factors making the elderly prone to health risks and hazards: Research studies have cited the role of both internal and external factors that can lead to such risks and make them vulnerable. The internal risk factors would include increasing age, female gender, physiological co morbidities, substance abuse, mental illnesses, cognitive or sensory impairment or impairment in the activities of daily living (ADL’s) and malnutrition.

External risk factors on the other hand would include lack of social support from family and friends, staying alone, too much dependence on care givers, lack of finances, and unpleasant past life events.

 

Suggestive measures and Counseling for reducing vulnerabilities: Preventive health care measures become more complex as people age. Physiological decay and complications stand out to be as one of the most important reason for illnesses and ailments. However, the role of life style factors also cannot be denied. Physical inactivity, stress, malnutrition lack of social support etc also affect the ageing process.

A number of preventive therapies can be administered to help the elderly regain their physical and mental health. To name a few nutrition counseling which aims at eliminating Trans fatty acids form food to prevent against coronary heart disease. Instead, focus should be shifted towards healthy diets with rich fat like the Mediterranean diet, moderate alcohol consumption and non smoking. A higher level of physical activity is also an essential prerequisite for decrease in mortality. Similarly exercise counseling is the other form of preventive therapy that helps to prevent osteoporosis and obesity. The therapist would provide training for regular exercise weight reduction and weight maintenance program. The elderly are also taught about the benefits of physical activity. Tobacco and smoking cessation counseling is the other form of therapy that is provided to both the primary smokers and the ones exposed to second hand smoke which can make them prone for cardiovascular health risks.

Conclusion: Identifying the vulnerable elderly and assessing the health hazard is an essential process under social policies and issues. Additionally it also holds relevance to understand the causes and consequences of such cognitive and physical dysfunctions. Thus an attempt should be made towards understanding both the sources and consequences of vulnerability. The focus should be to ensure that all the elderly get an access to the counseling and guidance centers and can sustain and maintain healthy forms of life style.

 

Health and Well Being during Self Quarantine

Individuals, as social beings, need to socialize to maintain a good state of well-being. Research findings reveal that social support is an important predictor of quality of life an individual leads. The famous ‘buffering hypothesis’ also presents the importance of social support during stressful episodes. However, considering the current scenario, when the entire nation is going through a complete lock down, all of us are bound be experiencing boredom, anxiety, stress and seclusion. Self-quarantine may also have an influence on our daily functioning in areas like physical activity, socializing, activities of daily living, occupation etc. During these tough times of self-quarantine it is of utmost significance to keep ourselves cognitively stimulated and be engaged constructively& meaningfully.

During this time of adversity we need to stand strong and look for positivity amidst challenges. Following are few tips that one can follow for keeping ourselves engaged  more optimistically and spending quality time during self-quarantine thus maintaining our overall health and well-being:

  1. Following a daily schedule: This is the most important aspect of all. Following a schedule doesn’t only include completing a task in the specified time limit but it also means maintaining a daily routine for activities like waking up and going to bed on time, exercising, dressing up properly, etc.
  2. Socializing: Putting a check on our social life or social distancing during the current self quarantine does not mean that we lose connect with our near and dear ones and the society as a whole. This should be taken as an opportunity rather than a challenge for the health and well being of each one of us. Thus, in the present era, with the availability of ICT technologies, we should acquaint our selves towards a technology driven social connect instead of traditional way of socialization. Accordingly, we should stay in touch through video chats, social media networks or any other digital platforms.
  3. Hobbies: Self-quarantine give us a lot of “me time” so this is rather the best time to engage in our hobbies like cooking, playing instruments, listening to music, painting, reading or writing which might have taken a back seat due to time crunch. Those fond of writing can also maintain diaries to express their day to day experiences and feelings.
  4. Wellbeing apps: This is the best time to download wellbeing apps that help us develop a positive mindset and thought process through quotations, videos and audios on positive thinking and mindfulness.
  5. Yoga and meditation: To keep a sound mental and physical health one can also indulge into practices like yoga and meditation. Spiritual practices also help to achieve a calm and positive mindset.

This is the time when we all need to be strong and support each other. Creating a well being chart will help us go through this phase somewhat smoothly. Engaging constructively and eloquently during this self quarantine phase can become easier with the help of such self engagement activities and will help us in becoming and coming out as a better individuals.