Select Page

Life Skills
Instructor; Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes, PhD, LPC-MHSP
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox & Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery
~ Review common life skills
Communication Skills

~ Types
~ Written
~ Nonverbal
~ Oral
Communication Skills

~ Assertiveness
~ Being open in expressing wishes, thoughts and feelings and encouraging others to do likewise.
~ Listening to the views of others and responding appropriately, whether in agreement with those views or not.
~ Accepting responsibilities and being able to delegate to others.
~ Regularly expressing appreciation of others for what they have done or are doing.
~ Being able to admit to mistakes and apologize.
~ Maintaining self-control.
~ Behaving as an equal to others, respecting that their opinions and needs are equally important to yours.

Communication Skills

~ 6 main characteristics of assertiveness
~ Eye contact: demonstrates interest, shows sincerity
~ Body posture: congruent body language will improve the significance of the message
~ Gestures: appropriate gestures help to add emphasis
~ Voice: a level, well modulated tone is more convincing and acceptable, and is not intimidating
~ Timing: use your judgement to maximize receptivity and impact
~ Content: how, where and when you choose to comment is probably more important than WHAT you say
~ Use of “I” statements
Communication Skills

~ Conflict management and dialectics
~ We respond to conflicts based on our perceptions of the situation, not necessarily to an objective review of the facts. Our perceptions are influenced by our life experiences, culture, values, and beliefs.
~ Conflicts trigger strong emotions. If you aren’t comfortable with your emotions or able to manage them in times of stress, you won’t be able to resolve conflict successfully.
~ Conflicts are an opportunity for growth. When you’re able to resolve conflict in a relationship, it builds trust. You can feel secure knowing your relationship can survive challenges and disagreements.
Communication Skills

~ Conflict management and dialectics
~ Skills
~ Get the facts
~ Empathize with the other person/try to understand their feelings and point of view
~ Be respectful and objective in communications
~ Be aware of verbal and nonverbal cues of increasing frustration
~ Identify triggers for conflict
~ Seek compromise/embrace dialectics
~ Win/lose
~ Competent/incompetent
~ Right/wrong
~ Be creative
Communication Skills

~ Negotiating
~ Stages
~ Preparation
~ Discussion
~ Clarification of goals
~ Negotiate towards a Win-Win outcome
~ Agreement
~ Implementation of a course of action
~ Creating a win/win
~ Saying No, Asking for something

Communication Skills

~ Interviewing
~ Dress for the job
~ Listen more than you talk
~ Ask questions more than you tell
~ Answer questions asked of you
~ Use proper language
~ Speak confidently and clearly
~ Don’t be too cocky
~ Express optimism, enthusiasm and gratitude
~ Research and rehearse potential interview questions
~ Re-read the job description prior to the interview
~ Research the company

Communication Skills

~ Giving criticism
~ State the problem objectively
~ Phrase it in terms of how the solution can be helpful to the person.
~ Your paperwork has been very late. You are an excellent employee. Getting your paperwork in on time will go a long way to helping you get a raise/promotion etc.
~ Ask how you can help
~ Is there something that has changed that is causing the problem, or something I can help with?

Communication Skills

~ Handling criticism
~ Listen to hear what the critic is saying
~ Separate the criticism from the self
~ Don’t be defensive. Often the person is trying to help you. Thank the commenter for his criticism, acknowledge his point without being defensive (Separate criticism from abuse though)
~ Ask open ended questions for clarification
~ Admit your mistakes.
~ Take what is useful and leave the rest. (Sometimes it is about them)
~ Look at criticism as a challenge to do better.
~ Work on your self-esteem. Ultimately you need your own approval. You will not please anybody all of the time.

Communication Skills

~ Handling criticism
~ Mario Andretti was asked for his number one tip for success in race car driving. He said, “Don’t look at the wall. Your car goes where your eyes go.”
~ If you choose to focus on the anger and criticism instead of your strengths and the solutions, you will likely crash and burn.
~ Remember, people who criticize everything or make scathing remarks to be hurtful are the ones that need help

Communication Skills
~ Listening
~ Face the speaker and maintain eye contact
~ Be attentive—listen to hear, not defend and keep an open mind
~ Try to picture what the person is saying or understand it from their point of view
~ Don’t interrupt or impose your solutions
~ Interrupting sends a variety of messages. It says:
~ “I'm more important than you are.”
~ “What I have to say is more interesting, accurate or relevant.”
~ “I don't really care what you think.”
~ “I don't have time for your opinion.”
~ “This isn't a conversation, it's a contest, and I'm going to win.“
~ Ask clarifying questions to ensure understanding
~ Summarize and check for understanding

Goal Setting
~ Begin with the end in mind
~ SMART Goals
~ Specific
~ Measurable
~ Achievable
~ Realistic
~ Time Limited

Critical Thinking and Decision Making
~ Critical Thinking
~ How research to assess the accuracy of something
~ How to question findings
~ How to arrive at your own conclusions
~ Decision Making
~ Identifying what and who is important in your life
~ Establish the facts in the situation
~ Identify your options and the positive and negative consequences of each
~ Choose the best option
~ Implement your decision
~ Evaluate the outcome
Stress Management
~ Stress can mean anxiety, anger, or feeling overwhelmed
~ Know your stress triggers and try to prevent them when possible
~ Know the impact of stress on you emotionally, mentally, physically, interpersonally
~ Identify 5 healthy ways of dealing with unavoidable stress
Anger Management
~ Anger represents a reaction to a threat.
~ Common threats
~ Rejection
~ Failure
~ Isolation
~ Loss of Control
~ The Unknown
~ What your triggers are and why
~ How to deal with those triggers
~ Ways to tolerate distress and resist urges
~ Effective ways you respond to anger

Mindfulness and Self-Awareness
~ Know your preferences
~ Know your temperament
~ Extrovert or Introvert (How you get and keep energy)
~ Sensing or iNtuitive (How you conceptualize things)
~ Thinking or Feeling (What motivates you)
~ Judging or Perceiving (Your time management style)
~ Know your cycles: When are you most energetic?
~ Know your happiness, anger, anxiety, depression triggers
~ Mindfulness
~ Check in with yourself to identify anything that may make you more vulnerable to distress
~ Take proactive steps to mitigate that.
Time Management & Organization
~ Organization
~ Set aside cleaning/organizing time each day
~ Use bins (keys, bills) or folders (paperwork)
~ Put sheets inside a pillow case
~ Simplify
~ Time Management
~ Do all shopping once every two weeks
~ List, Eliminate, Prioritize, Delegate and Combine
~ Remember ADLs (eating, bathing) and travel time
~ If needed schedule in recreation and rest
Study Skills
~ Know your learning style
~ Auditory
~ Tape record notes and listen to them
~ Discuss them with study group
~ Ask yourself questions
~ Kinesthetic
~ Apply it to your life
~ Make a quiz
~ Practice it (i.e. math)
~ Teach it to someone
~ Visual
~ Read more than once
~ Draw diagrams
~ Underline/highlight

Study Skills
~ Improve your concentration
~ Nutrition
~ Environment
~ Time of day
~ Gamify it
~ Chunk it

Study Skills
~ Improve note taking— Find the main point of each paragraph
~ Don’t cram all your studying into one session
~ Try to study at the same time each day
~ Do 15
~ Have a goal
~ Review your notes before starting an assignment

Job Skills
~ Appearance
~ Punctuality
~ Team work
~ Work ethic

Activities of Daily Living
~ Cooking
~ Finding and completing recipes
~ Shopping
~ Fry/sautee, boil, steam, broil, bake
~ Laundry
~ Doing
~ Colors vs. whites
~ Reading the label
~ How hot to wash/dry
~ Mending
~ Buttons
~ Seam rips
~ Other rips
~ Sweaters

Activities of Daily Living
~ Paying bills
~ Know what bills you have
~ Know when you get paid and how much

~ Work with creditors to change payment due dates
~ Paying bills
~ Balance your checkbook at least once a week
~ Don’t spend more on credit cards than you can pay off that month
~ Always have overdraft protection on your accounts
~ Set up auto-payment when possible
~ Try to have at least 3 months of money in reserve
~ Save $10 or more per week until you do
~ Avoid using debit cards
~ Don’t keep cash in your wallet

Using Community Resources
~ How to find
~ Help
~ Activities

Parenting (or Re-Parenting) Skills
~ Responding to infant’s needs
~ Helps child learn to trust caregivers
~ Unconditional positive regard
~ Love the child, dislike the choice
~ Addressing inappropriate behaviors
~ Positive redirection
~ Remove the reinforcement
~ Add a competing reinforce
~ Being consistent
~ Setting healthy boundaries
~ Encouraging independence
~ Finding resources/help
~ There are a variety of skills people need to succeed independently
~ Without safe housing, nutritious meals, proper healthcare and a job people will not be independent for long.
~ These skills help them get their basic needs met.