User:Shining Star/Temp/Component of Life Skills Workshop Material by Ebiho Agun.doc

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Workshop Training Material on Components of Life Skills
(Developed For: Wiki Educator learning Contract)

Author: Ebiho Agun

Date: February, 2011

Workshop Training Material on Components of Life Skills

Instruction for Facilitator /Trainer:

Recommended Time: Minimum of 1HR Training session

  • Conduct an introductory session(introduce you self and lead participants to introduce themselves )
  • You may also wish to set ground rules for the training session with suggestions from the participants’
  • Conduct a Two Minutes Pre-Training Evaluation to test participants’ background knowledge on Components of Life Skills
  • Post your learner’s objective (see objectives below); you may wish to additional objectives.

Session Objective:

  • Understand the components of life skills
  • Learn how and when to apply Life Skills
  • To be able to facilitate a life skills training session

Step 1: Begin Training Sessions with a Case study (using real life examples which you may modify), you may also use fiction for your case study See (Training Session may be best in a Presentation Format):

See Case Study below (note the case study below was used for a Life Skills training for facilitators on HIV/AIDS issues, please use an appropriate case study)

  • Case Study

The Story of Kate Aba

Kate Aba(not real name) was born to wealthy parents and all through her life she lacked neither material goods nor emotional support. In addition, she was brought up according to laid down principles of her religion, and she adhered strictly to these principles all her life.

At the time of her graduation from university, Kate had never engaged in any form of sexual activity, because she believed in the doctrine of her religion, which was against pre-marital sex. However, during her mandatory National Youth Service Corps Programme(, while serving in a law firm in one of the major cities in Nigeria, Kate met Jacob, a young man , though much older than Kate and they fell in love and began a relationship.

Unknown to Kate, Jacob was engaged to be married to his longtime girlfriend, named Joy. As the relationship progressed, Kate felt pressured by Jacob to move their relationship to a sexual level. Kate resisted for a while because of her values and belief, but one day she succumbed and had sex with Jacob. She did not feel certain about her decision, but she did not want to lose her relationship with Jacob, whom she loved.

A few weeks after, Kate discovered that she was pregnant, but she was comforted by the fact that Jacob was single and so they could get married. She rushed unannounced to Jacob’s house to share the news with him, but she was surprised to meet Jacob and his longtime girlfriend reviewing printed wedding invitation cards for their wedding, which had been scheduled for the end of the month. Kate was distraught, she left Jacob’s house in anger and pain, refusing to speak with him again.

After a few days, Jacob was able to get through to Kate, he asked for her forgiveness and said that though he will be unable to marry her because he is already committed to somebody else, he will want her to have the baby. On the evening of that day, Kate got in touch with her childhood friend, Tina to seek her counsel.

Tina was very angry and hurt over what had happened, she counseled that Jacob was not the kind of person that Kate should have a child for, because of all he had done to her, and so she advised that Kate have an abortion.

Kate agreed with Tina and decided to have an abortion and then an HIV/AIDS test afterwards. (End of Story)

Step 2:

  • Activity:

Facilitator should lead participants to brainstorm on the story:

Questions to Guide Brainstorming Session:

  • What went wrong with Kate, what was the missing link in Kate’s life?
  • Why did Kate act in a manner that was against her values?
  • Why did Kate engage in risky behavior?
  • What did Kate Lack?

After brainstorming activity, facilitator should provide the following responses:

Step 3: Inform participants based on prepared material below:

  • Skills-Based health Education?
  • Kate had been exposed to the knowledge and skills that are necessary to maintain a healthy life style. e.g. Kate was well informed about the dangers of having unprotected sex and she knew what precautions to take, but she chose not to, and so Kate did not lack –skills based health education
  • Livelihood Skills?
  • Kate, who is a graduate lawyer, had the capacity and opportunity to pursue her economic goals and to earn a living. This means she had a regular income and so she did not lack livelihood skills (Livelihood skills relate to income generation skills such as vocational skills, entrepreneurial skills, etc).
  • What then did Kate Lack?
  • Kate lacked the abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that would have enabled her to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of her relationship with Jacob (These abilities referred to in this context, include psychosocial and interpersonal skills such as communication, decision-making, critical thinking, coping and self management skills.)

Step 4: To enhance participants’ knowledge of components of Life Skills, facilitator should inform participants on the following:

  • Definition of Life Skills
  • Components of Life Skills
  • When and How to apply Life Skills

See material provided below:

  • Definition of Life Skills:

Abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life-(as jointly defined by WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA, 1993)

Kate Lacked Life Skills

  • Components of Life Skills:
  1. Value Clarification

Values are those ideas, beliefs and principles that help define who we are and determine our behavior- Values are formed from: Family, Society, Education, Religious Beliefs, per group and Personal disposition

  1. Goal Setting

A goal is a broad statement of expectation of the outcome of events. Goals can be long-term or short-term.

Advantages of goals setting:

  • It provides a framework for decision
  • Promotes better understanding of ourselves
  • Gives meaning and direction to our activities
  • Achievement of our goals improves our self estee
  1. Self Esteem

Self esteem means having a sense of efficacy and personal worth. It is the ability to feel comfortable with our uniqueness as individuals, that which makes us beautiful or different from others

Building Self Esteem involves:

  • Defining yourself and not giving others the opportunity to do so, especially negative based definition of ourselves by others
  • Loving yourself in a manner that will enable you love other people.

Signs of a healthy self esteem are:

  • Dissatisfaction with physical appearance
  • Inability to resist peer pressure
  • Poor self confidence
  • People please
  • Inability to stand up for what is right
  • Poor self control
  • Inability to get along with people
  • Difficulty making friend s with the opposite sex
  1. Critical and Creative Thinking:

This is the ability to:

  • Analyze individual positions on issues and justify them logically
  • View things from other people’s perspective and assert individual ideas without backing down
  • To analyze issues from all sides and build effective arguments

Critical and creative thinking empowers individuals to:

  • Clarify individual positions
  • Enables individuals to defend effectively their stand against persuasive arguments
  • Empowers individuals to develop answers to difficult questions and assert their ideas clearly without backing down
  1. Effective Communication and Interpersonal Skills:

Communication is the process through which a message is sent from a sender to a receiver through a channel in such as way that elicits feedback

Rules for effective communication:

  • Command attention
  • It must cater for the heart and head
  • It should clarify the message
  • It should convey a benefit
  • Create trust
  • Convey consistent message/them
  • Call for an action

Effective Communication Skills:

An individual should possess a number of skills for effective communication:

  • Paraphrasing (restating using your own words)
  • Behaviour description(Describing others actions/words without bias)
  • Description of Personal feeling(Expressing emotions without fear of contradiction)
  • Perception checking (Ensure understanding of other person’s feelings)
  • Attentiveness(shows respect to other person e.g. silence)
  • Acknowledgement (verbal display of attentiveness e.g. then? so?)
  • Open question (invites more elaboration)
  • Active listening (Searching for hidden meaning, takes time and experience to master)
  • Feedback
  1. Negotiation Skills:

Negotiation is the process through which individuals or groups with different interest reach an agreement amicably. It is a way of getting individual/group needs met without using guilt, anger, or intimidation

Tips for effective Negotiation Skills:

  • Locating the axe head(ability to focus on the issues at hand and not on individuals)
  • Going underground (ability to address underlying issues)
  • Alternative generation(ability to generate options with pros and cons for both parties)
  • Impartial judgment(be objective about which options are fair and reasonable)
  • Effective Communication(ability to speak in clear terms that is easy to understand)
  • Effective listening(listening carefully, using non-verbal communication)
  1. Refusal skills:

These are skills that make enable an individual to give a negative response, rejection, rebuff, denial, disagreement or dismissal to a certain proposed action

Refusal strategies:

  • Be clear about what you do not want to do and why
  • Have a plan
  • Be impressed with yourself
  • Notice the pressures
  • Get support
  • Practice communication skills : Learn to say No

When to use refusal skills:

Refusal skills can be used in certain situations such as:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Situations that demand risk behavior(e.g. drug abuse, unsafe sex etc)
  • When under pressure to abandon individual beliefs or values
  • In everyday life and work situations
  1. Assertion Skills:

Assertive skill is the ability to communicate ideas and feelings in a manner that is active, direct and honest with self respect and respect for others. While aggression communicates and impression of superiority and disrespect

Components of assertive Behavior:

  • Assertive thinking
  • Emotional Honesty
  • Positive Behavior(Verbal, Body Language)
  1. Decision Making Skills:

Decision making involves an ability to think independently and make wise choices between different options. (Decisions are usually based on societal, religious and family values as well as the personal view and circumstance.)

Steps for effective decision making:

  • Problem definition
  • Alternative Choices
  • Consider the consequences of each alternative
  • Alternative selection
  • Decision implementation

Step 5:

  • Discussion

Facilitators should briefly lead a discussion sessions on why knowledge of life skills is important.

After the discussion session, facilitators should inform participants on the importance of the knowledge of Life Skills (see material below):

Why Life Skills?

Facilitator should expound on the following points:

  • Poor community/individual health and hygiene
  • Harmful traditional practices
  • High level of poverty
  • Breakdown of moral values
  • Youth Restiveness
  • High level of crime and violence
  • HIV/AIDS education
  • Conflict situations

10. When to Apply Life Skills?

  • Relationship building
  • Conflict resolution and management
  • Counseling
  • Team building
  • Civic /Citizenship Education
  • HIV/AIDS prevention , care and support
  • Everyday life and work situations
  1. Methods for Teaching and learning Life Skills:

Facilitator should expound on the following points:

  • Group work
  • Discussions
  • Role play
  • Games
  • Case studies
  • Presentation
  • Simulation(enactment of real life situations)
  • Drama, Poems, Songs and drawings

12. Who Can Facilitate Life Skills

  • Young People
  • Teachers/Instructors
  • Family
  • Community agencies
  • Religious groups
  • Others


Step 6:

Post Training Evaluation

Facilitators should conduct a two minutes post training evaluation to test participants’ knowledge on the components of life skills.


United Nations Children Fund-UNICEF(2005)Life Skills Training Manual for Adolescents and Young People. Abuja