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Food for Living: Skills for Life

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings my friends,

We are currently living in the 21st century, regarded as the jet age. Progressive minds have admonished us not to compete with other people, rather we should compete with ourselves by distinguishing ourselves. The question we need to ask now is; how do we compete with ourselves? We distinguish ourselves by having the right skills. Just like information, education and our network sets us apart, in the same way, our skills sets us apart from our contemporaries.

Last week, I wrote on The Effect of Digital Age of Innovation and how it has influenced a lot young minds to believe that skills are of more relative importance than formal education in our contemporary society. This article seeks to shed more light on how we can maximize our skills.

This article is for progressive minds.

One of the qualities of a leader is the ability to bring out progressive change to the life of the people and the society in general. According to Quincy Adams. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”. One of the ways a leader can do this, is by being skillful. During the course of this article we shall shed more light on how we can apply skills to profit our business.

Skill can be defined as an ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic, and sustained effort to smoothly and adaptively carryout complex activities or job functions involving ideas (cognitive skills), things (technical skills), and/or people (interpersonal skills).

There are different types of skills, but we shall focus on hard and soft skills:

Hard skills are skills we learn in classrooms such as Accounting, Law, Medicine, among others. They are measurable unlike soft skills which one learns while at work and through interpersonal relations like leadership, empathy, time management and communication. We shall be focusing more on soft skills.

Communication Skills:

Non Verbal: This skill doesn’t involve speaking. It’s mainly applied via body language. Your ability to read in between the lines is very helpful.

Listening: This is the master skill of all soft skills because it is the foundation of all informal skills. I call it the mother of all learnable and acquired skills. You can only learn in life if you pay attention. You need this skill in order for you to learn and apply all skills.

Clarity and concision: In communication, you need be as concise and clear as possible. Never have you allowed anyone to assume what you are trying to say.

Verbal Communication: Sometimes it is good to speak and write depending on what is needed. Either way, you need to be coherent for people to understand your message, otherwise there will be no communication.

Organizational Skills: This skill is applied in both cooperate and personal life.

Time Management: Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. This skill is in high demand by employers because they need employees to achieve more within the shortest period of time. Your ability to use this skill will set you apart from your contemporaries.

Decision Making: As a leader, you should be able to use your intuitive knowledge to make prompt decision when the needs calls for it. This is an uncommon skill which very few people have.

Delegation: A true leader knows how to delegate duties/authority as the case may be in order to complete a specific task and thereafter give accolades to such staff or team. This skill helps to reduce pressure on the leader.

Planning: In any progressive organization, they have a blue print for whatever they plan to do. They forecast the needs of the clients and the world and work towards meeting their needs.

Leadership Skills:

This is the mother of all skills. I call it the hallmark of all skills. As a leader, you have the responsibility of leading your peers and followers. This task can be hard, but it takes humility, love, and understanding to relate with people.

Feedback: You are required to provide feedback to your leader or peers when you are working on a project. This helps to foster team work. Feedback helps in keeping employees or target people in loop of the actual situation of things so that everyone will be properly guided on the most updated information.

Responsibility: This is the second most important skill any rational and progressive being can have. The world is truly governed by perception. Nobody relates or does business with an irresponsible being. If you are serious about making an impact in life or in business, you need be responsible. For some of us, our name is the only thing we have. This is because your reputation is what people think about you, but your character is reality who you are.

Flexibility: Every rational person must be flexible. As a leader, you must be able to understand the direction the world is moving towards to. You should also learn how to bend as opposed to breaking to fit into the needs of the company or organization especially if you don’t agree with their thoughts. For example, if you are having a Board meeting, most decisions are done by the Board of Directors. Be advised, you have to know when to take a stand from your colleagues and when you have to work with them. You need wisdom in order to decipher when to swing the pendulum.

Commitment: Anywhere you find yourself, always know that your word is your bond. I recently told myself; I will commit to what I can do and supposed to do as opposed to what the society wants me to do. This skill is hard to maintain because as human beings, we may experience many disappointments. The moral about commitments is that, it goes a long way to show how responsible and proactive you are.

 

Computer Skills:

This is one of the resourceful skill that is in high demand in the world today. Information and Communication technology has truly shaped the world. There’s hardly any company that will employ any individual who doesn’t have basic computer skills such as Word processing, excel, power point, publishing, and outlook. You need to be computer savvy in order to do a good presentation, be a computer analyst, and a good system administrator.

Social Skills:

This is another skill that is in high demand. There’s a saying; knowledge is of two kinds, its either you know the answer or you know where to find it. The same notion is applicable when working with people. According to Robin Sharma, “the business of business is human relation, but the business of life is human connection”. As a social being, your ability to relate with people is very important. This social skills transcends hard skills because it is the connection to all social skills. With the right social skills in place, you can network with the high and mighty.

Empathy: Empathy literally means showing concern and understanding to the feelings of others. As human beings, we go through situations, but how we react to those situations defines us. Sometimes stressed people are not concerned with the materials things that is given to them, they just want to feel the presence and care of anyone around saying “I hear you and I am with you on this”. This is an uncommon skill to have in real life. Most times, it is applied by selfless people who have a humanitarian heart of service.

Team Work: Empathy is a skill that is need in a work environment. As human beings, we are all wired in different ways and as such we learn in different ways. Some of us learn fast while some needs more time and attention. A great way to assist people when working in a group is by working together to get the work done.

Patience: Patience is one of the most priceless virtue. I call it the virtues of all virtues. We all need patience when we are dealing with human beings because human beings are the most difficult specie to deal with. We are naturally complicated. If you are in relationship, you need to accommodate the excess of your partner, if you are working in a professional environment, you need to tolerate in addition to dealing with some unprofessional work ethics of human beings because they will in one way or the other show what they are made of.

Trustworthiness: Trustworthiness is also similar to being responsible, although, it’s narrowed to a specific trait. It should be noted that nobody does business with anyone they don’t trust. As social beings, our customers are our most treasured asset after our name/product. Trustworthiness, does not only relate doing your fair share of the business, it also relates to how you relate with other people who can say a word about you and your product in addition to giving a review about your product.

Life Skills:

Life skills can be simply be regarded as the skills you need to live in the society. Personally, I think all skills originates from life skills because if you have life skills in your pocket, you can simply bring it out to solve any challenge facing you. I liken life skills to common sense. This is because with common sense, you don’t need hard formal knowledge to solve any problem. All you need is to think and reason. Isn’t it true that common sense isn’t common? Let’s see how common sense works with life skills.

Problem Solving: We face challenges daily at work, in our personal life, community etc. Being able to solve this problem entails caution depending on how sensitive it is. Problem solving is one of the most valuable skill employers’ love due to the friction that normally arises at work. This skill is normally used to diffuse problems in amicable and friendly manner to create a conducive work environment.

Handling Criticisms: How you handle criticism speaks volumes about you. Very few people know how to handle criticisms. Great men who think out of the box appreciates criticisms because it helps them to know what they are missing and how they can improve especially as it relates to their business. According to Uche Okorie, a maritime attorney, “When you are criticized objectively, examine it. If it is untrue ignore it. If it is unfair, rest the temptation to be irritated. If it is ignorant, just smile, If is justified, then it is not criticism, LEARN FROM IT”.

Adaptability: The ability to adapt to life is a life skill especially when you are in a new environment. As advance human beings, we have the ability to adapt to almost any condition or situation we find ourselves in. This skill is mainly used by strong minded people who normally turn out to be champions and great achievers. Adaptability is an emotional skill which only strong willed people maximize in order to produce results.

Resilience: The last but not the least of all skills is resilience. This skill is similar to adaptability, but the only difference is that it pushes harder in the sense that when you are not able to adapt, you are faced with either accepting the status quo or strive to try and try again without giving up. Without resilience, we wouldn’t able to achieve more in life. Nothing good in life comes easy. We succeed just because we are disciplined and push ourselves. Personally, churning out articles of this nature every week is not easy, but I have resolved to do it because I love and learn from it.

In conclusion, I do know there other skills life out there, I just thought is nice to share this skills with you. I hope they have been able to inspire and guide you. I wish you well in your endeavors.

 

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny- Actualizing Your Birthright to Success. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com

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Traffic Control: FRSC Special Marshals Fill Up Portholes, Ease Traffic Flow at Iyana Era

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In a bid to add humanity to their constitutional duty of traffic control, special marshals from the Iba Unit Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), have taken it upon themselves to add construction abilities to their duty in other to achieve free flow of traffic.

Speaking to members of the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), who encountered them in action, the Head of the Special Marshal Unit, Olabisi Dennis, said nothing is too big to do for humanity, and to make life easy.

He said, “As part of the National Patrol Exercise and Eid Kabir Patrol Operation in Lagos State, Special Marshals sprang into action to alleviate heavy traffic congestion at Iyana-Era Junction, along the Lagos/Badagry Expressway, on June 15th, 2024.

“Despite their initial efforts, the traffic persisted. Undeterred, the team conducted a thorough Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and identified two deep potholes as the primary cause of the problem. Taking initiative, we sourced broken concrete blocks and sand from the nearby Tipper Garage bus stop, and patched up the potholes.

“Our efforts paid off, and the traffic congestion disappeared. We actually earned praise and gratitude from motorists.”

NAOSNP learnt that the operation, which lasted from 11:00 to 13:15 hours, was a resounding success, with the Special Marshals from Iba Unit Command receiving commendations from the motorists for a job well done.

This exemplary service demonstrates the dedication and proactive approach of the FRSC Lagos State Sector Command in ensuring the safety and convenience of road users, and sustaining the accident-free road agenda of Corps Marshal Shehu Mohammed.

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Eid-el Kabir: FRSC Felicitates with Nigerians, Deploys Massive Personnel, Logistics for Crash-Free Celebration 

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has felicitated with Nigerians on the Eid El-Kabr festival, assuring that modalities have been put in ace to ensure accident-free celebration.

It also said that over 743 patrol vehicles, 184 administrative vehicles, 92 ambulances, 23 tow trucks and 144 motorbikes are being deployed as part of the patrol logistics for a hitchfree festival.

The Corps made this known during a press conference addressed by the Lagos Sector Commander, Patrick Davou, who representated Corps Marshal Shehu Mohammed.

The Corps maintained that it has put every mechanism in place to checkmate overspending thereby reducing accidents on the nation’s various highways.

While identifying certain road traffic management issues, the Corps Marshal relayed strategies the Corps has put in place to ensure that roads are safe for all to use.

He itemized the collaboration with the Nigeria Bar Association and State Judiciaries for timely prosecution of drivers and vehicle owners caught contravening established traffic regulations like overloading, dangerous driving, and use of phone as well as speeding.

Additionally, he mentioned collaboration with Beer Sectorial Group, which has been able to make available adequate breathalyzers which have been deployed to motor parks and highways to check and stop drivers who control the wheels under influence of alcohol.

The Corps has also set up Inter-Agency Joint Task Force to enforce compliance against use of trailers to convey passengers as well as mitigate road traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries emanating from the lawlessness of trailer drivers, noting that the Corps has successfully arrested a total of 222 trailers loaded with 3169 passengers hanging on top of goods and animals

These efforts are in addition to the aggressive sensitisation campaigns for all road users including door to door awakening among many other mechanisms.

Reiterating that the objectives of the special operations are to achieve reduction in Road Traffic Crashes, Road Traffic Fatalities and Road Traffic Injuries, Corps Marshal Mohammed said that prompt response to road traffic crash victims; unhindered engagement in purposeful public education and speedy removal of obstructions from the highways, amongst others have been achieved to ensure accident-free Eid-el Kabir celebration.

It further informed that over 200 Mobile Courts have been set up to check

a. Speeding and Dangerous Driving/Overtaking.
b. Lane indiscipline/Route violation,
c. Road Obstructions,
d. Use of Phone while Driving
e. Overloading,
f. Seatbelt/Child restraint Use Violations,
g. Passenger’s Manifest Violation,
h. Operation of mechanical deficient and rickety vehicles,
i. Loading of trailers with passengers
j. Illegal use of the Spy Number Plates.

The Corps, while wishing the Muslim Ummah a happy Sallah, therefore called on the motoring public to adhere to laid down instructions to ensure an accident-free celebration.

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Gunmen Abduct Three Fouani Brothers in Lagos

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Three brothers who work for Fouani Nigeria Ltd have reportedly been abducted in Lagos state, according to a TheCable’s report.

Fouani Nigeria Ltd specialises in electronics and is the sole distributor of LG, Hisense and Maxi products in Nigeria.

The brothers; Abbas Fouani, Youssef Fouani and Amtal Fouani, were said to have been abducted around 6pm on Friday.

They were reportedly coming from their factory by boat when they were abducted.

The Lagos police command confirmed the abduction to TheCable.

“We got a report about the abduction and we have commenced investigations,” TheCable quoted Benjamin Hundeyin, the command’s spokesperson.

TheCable

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