Have you ever thought, "OMG, One more thing to learn??"
If you have, you're not alone. That's the feeling millions of Americans have when they find out how much their school education let them down in real life. You already wasted 13 years of your life going to school when you had NO CHOICE, why would you choose to waste more time learning 21st century skills?
Here's the reason. In this blog article, we will show you how you can use 21st century skills in everyday life. That's right, you will see real world examples of how you can use 21st Century skills in your life right now.
The Five Essential 21st Century Skills
Let's start with the most frequently asked question. What are 21st century skills?
This is an easy question to answer, there are five essential 21st Century skills. These skills have been known to the academic community for at least 20 years and the only reason they won't teach them in school is because the people in charge are really old and out of touch. (It's not more complicated than that).
Here is a list of the Five Essential 21st Century Skills:
- Team Building
- Problem Solving
How to Use Leadership Skills in Everyday Life
Have you ever thought, "I wish I could do that?"
It sounds silly, but yes it's that simple. Have you ever looked at someone else's life or seen something cool on TV and said to yourself, "I wish I could do that?"
If the answer is YES - then here's why you need to learn 21st Century Leadership skills.
There are Six Steps to Leadership. And when you learn all six steps, you gain the ability to make those "wishes" come true. That may sound corny, but it's true. When you have leadership skills, you have the ability to take an "IDEA" and turn it into reality.
For example, Leaf Academy founder D. Scott Schwartz, M.Ed, had an "IDEA" to start an online school to teach 21st century skills. No other school existed at the time he launched Leaf Academy, he was the first to do so. That meant, it was a "cool idea" but there was no roadmap for success that he could follow or copy. But he had leadership skills, so he was able to take his "idea" and turn it into the online school you see today.
If you want to go from "dream" to reality -- you need Leadership Skills.
How to Use Team Building Skills in Everyday Life
If you look around the world and on social media, it seems like everyone is at each other's throats and negativity rules the day. If you don't want your community, your job, your family to be destroyed by negativity, what can you do?
This is where team building skills comes into play. There are Five Stages to Team Building, at each stage something transformative begins to happen. The end result of team building is a close-knit, supportive and positive team that celebrates when everyone wins and rally's around when someone on the team loses.
In the old days, this used to be called hometown pride. Those days are long gone because most people don't know team building skills. It's time to bring these skills back to life.
For example, if your school district has rampant bullying and toxicity, it's because the school, the principal, the teachers and the parents are not on the same team. This cannot change overnight and it will never change unless all the adults choose to go through the Five Stages of Team Building. But if they do say "YES, we want better for our kids and our community!" then team building can open the doors to a world of support and care.
How to Use Problem Solving in Everyday Life
Do you like money? Would you like to have more of it? Or crazy idea - would you ever want to become a millionaire or an entrepreneur?
If you answered YES to any of those questions, then you need to pay close attention here. The Next Generation of Millionaires will come from problem solvers. We already have hundreds of examples of how problem solvers changed the world and made a fortune. Let's take Uber for example. Uber solved a huge transportation issue in America. For decades, most suburban and rural towns were disconnected to each other because of a lack of transportation infrastructure. It was no one's fault, it just costs too much money and takes up too much land to build lite-rails and train stations to go everywhere. And it's too inefficient to have a bus route to every single town in America.
Uber solved that problem. For a very reasonable price, you can order a car to pick you up at your door and drive you anywhere. It's game-changing. And it made the Uber founders millions of dollars.
But Uber is on a global scale, how can you use problem solving skills at work let's say?
Here's how problem solving skills can make you more money at your current job. Every company faces problems. In fact, most companies are run very poorly. It's shocking how many companies make bad decisions, mismanage funds and don't keep track of profit margins. What if you could solve one of those problems for the company you work for?
How much would your solution be worth to your company? Did a light bulb just go off in your head? Because it should have - you should realize that problem solving is the number one way to advance your career and make more money in the 21st century.
How to Use Sales Skills in Everyday Life
The biggest misconception about sales skills is that it ONLY has to do with sales. The only reason you think this way is because schools refuse to teach sales skills. And frankly, there is no reason for it.
What are 21st century sales skills? You might be surprised to hear this, but sales skills in the 21st century is the power of persuasion. And who doesn't want to learn how to do that?
When the 21st century began, a real shift happened from in person meetings to online and remote meetings. And that was accelerated due to the Pandemic. Because you can talk to more people, the ability to persuade has become "gold" to most employers and if you have any dreams of running your own business or being an entrepreneur, then you must master the art of persuasion, or else forget about being successful.
Here's a real life example right from the Leaf Academy story. When Leaf Academy founder, D. Scott Schwartz, M.Ed. was talking to people about launching an online school for 21st century skills, most people laughed at the idea. Their initial reactions were more shock, because in their minds, how could you compete with the K12 system and the massive collegiate system. But then "The School Doc" explained the value of 21st century skills in everyday language, the same way you are seeing how you can use these five skills in your own life -- and a light bulb went off for them.
All of the laughter and objections went away and they were on the edge of their seat waiting to hear how he was going to revolutionize education as everyone knew it. The power to persuade is beyond a necessary skill in the 21st century.
In everyday life, if you don't know how to persuade people, you won't be a good parent, you won't be a good spouse, you won't be a good employee, and you most definitely won't be a good boss. If you can't persuade people that your ideas, thoughts and opinions are valuable in real life -- everyone will ignore you.
How to Use Communications Skills in Everyday Life
After reading about sales skills, you might be wondering, how is communications and sales different? Isn't being able to communicate effectively the same thing as the power of persuasion?
And the answer is no, there is a difference between sales and communications.
To make it easier to see the difference, let's use Uber as an example again. We know that Uber solved a real world transportation issue, but how does everyone know that? Why does everyone know that Uber stands for getting a ride to anywhere?
The answer is through communications.
Here's the difference between communications and sales skills. In the beginning, no one knew who Uber was. It was a funny sounded German name, but it wasn't associated with ridesharing. It was just a name with no meaning.
When you first start out in your career, you are an unknown. Your resume is blank, you have no references other than your parents and maybe some close friends. But you are an unknown entity. How do you start building a career and a life. The answer is communications skills.
Communications skills is made up of five questions that you must answer for people. And the reason you need to learn the five questions is because people are hardwired to know who to trust and who not to trust. Which side of the coin do you want to be on?
In reality, there are some very honest people who have zero communications skills and people don't trust them. How can that be? How can people misread someone so badly that they can mistrust an honest person?
It comes back to our hardwiring. When you first start out, you cannot persuade anyone if you don't first have their trust. And the only way to gain their trust is by answering all five questions before people ask you. That's the key to 21st century communications skills. Can you answer the five questions BEFORE people start asking?
Because if the answer is YES, then everyone will see you as "honest" and transparent. And who doesn't want to be seen by other people as an honest person. In Uber's case, they needed to explain what Uber was and answer the five questions before people started to get suspicious of Uber.
Part of learning communications skills and the five questions is also learning about timing and when to answer questions and when to make announcements. How do you feel about people who always talk at the most inappropriate times? You get that "feeling" because of your hardwiring. We just get a sense that people are either being honest with us or hiding something from us. And the only way to stay on the positive side of people's opinions is to learn communications skills.