Constantly needing to be on the lookout for newer and better skills to learn means we often miss the skills right under our nose because either we don’t know we can improve them, or we get stuck on how to improve them.
Therefore, in the post I’ll be covering both of those.
Picking up new skills to learn, whether for fun or professional reasons, can feel like a chore can’t it?
And the reason for that lies in your reasoning as to why you want new skills to learn.
For instance, if your reasoning for wanting to learn new skills is because you’re bored and unhappy with life and have heard it will make life better, more interesting, helping you to meet new people, therefore, make new friends, or it will support you in progressing your career forward, then it’s likely not going to meet our expectations.
This is because feeling unhappy with life is your jumping point and therefore, are going to get more of the same result.
However, if you fundamentally (at your core) believe in your own worthiness, and are happy within yourself, learning new skills is less likely to feel like a chore and more of something you want to do for your own joy so will end up getting more of this result instead.
So instead of talking about brand new skills to learn, which might require you to go out of your way to learn them and in the end most likely aren’t going to give you your desired result.
I’m going to make it easy for you and am going to talk about skills you can learn simultaneously all in one place, are within your reach and incidentally are the best skills to learn.
So let’s get started.
Skills to learn just by being you and where to learn them
However, before I move onto what the skills are and give you a break down of each of them through answering common questions around them, I’m going to start with where you can learn them.
And where you can learn them (all in one place) and I recommend you learn them is through working with a Counselling Psychotherapist.
Now you may be thinking about the financial cost of this, however, there are very few skills you can learn without there being a financial cost. And even when you think there isn’t one, you’ll find much later down the line there is.
In addition, as you’ll see from the skills list I’m providing, the cost far outweighs the return on investment you’ll be getting in the long run.
What is a Counselling Psychotherapist?
A Counselling Psychotherapist isn’t like any Western therapist. In fact, their therapy style is a holistic approach, which incorporates talking therapy, a wide variety of perspectives, alongside therapeutic tools to support you in learning the skills I’m going to be talking about.
So you can build better relationships with others and as a result, discover what you need to do to make life better for yourself.
How you’ll learn the skills to learn just by being you through working with a Counselling Psychotherapist
Think about a skill you’ve learned over the course of your life and how you went about learning it and I bet you’d come up with something like you listened, you observed another in the process, you asked questions, you read, studied, reflected back on your notes and most of all you practised.
But for some reason after school and university, we seem to have forgotten the action we took to learn a new skill, or we might not have even been aware of how the actions we were taking were bringing us closer to learning a new skill.
Therefore, I want you to remember working with a Counselling Psychotherapist to gain and develop the skills I’m going to talk about shortly will require you to do exactly the same thing.
Since it’s through the discussions you’re having over a long time (between one and five years), your reflection on these discussions and how they apply to you and the practising of the tools given to you, will you become well versed in them.
So you ask…
What are the skills to learn just by being you?
The skills, I’m referring to and YOU have likely guessed by now, are relationship-building skills, such as conversation, connection, listening, empathy, compassion, self-reflection, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and emotional intelligence skills.
All of which, results in good relationships, communication, and interpersonal skills, which not only will support you to make life better overall as you begin to make new life choices but will also make you an even better employee or entrepreneur than the one you already are.
Skill 1 to learn – Conversation skills
Whilst the goal of working with a Counselling Psychotherapist over a long time is to talk about your life challenges in order for you to identify areas of personal growth, therefore, isn’t something you can necessarily do with ordinary people.
You taking the initiative to talk through your life challenges with a Counselling Psychotherapist, therefore, will mean you need to do less of this with ordinary people.
And, as a result, can simply focus on being the real you. Although it’s important to caveat here, feelings of worthlessness may mean this might take you three or more years with a daily meditation practice, to get to, but you will eventually get there with patience, dedication and perseverance. And in my books, it’s better late than never.
What are conversation skills?
Conversation skills are the ability to initiate and engage others in a conversation in order for both people to be able to learn about and get to know each other.
It, therefore, involves needing to be vulnerable about what you’re thinking, feeling to be able to form a connection with someone and the confidence to ask questions and talk about things you notice in your immediate environment.
It also includes both small talk, as well as, more in-depth and meaningful conversations in order to be able to build and maintain strong bonds with others.
How can I improve my conversation skills?
As the saying goes ‘practice makes perfect, although I wouldn’t say perfection exists or is something you should aspire to be.
The trouble with this, however, is when you’re not feeling confident in who you are and in your conversation skills you might be reluctant to want to practice with ordinary people for fear of what they might think of you, which stems from the fears of judgment and criticism.
So, working with a Counselling Psychotherapist will give you the chance to practice this skill in a safe and secure environment where there’s no pressure to pretend to be someone you’re not or to present yourself in a way, which isn’t who you are at your core.
Skill 2 to learn – Connection skills
Once you develop your conversation skills and begin to feel more confident in who you are and speaking to others, you’ll then inevitably also become better at connecting with others as you’ll begin to learn and understand the art of connection.
How do I make meaningful connections?
And it’s by working with a Counselling Psychotherapist, building emotional closeness with them over time through sharing all (past and present) your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and difficult experiences with them, that you’ll be able to develop this skill.
Why is it hard for me to connect with others?
The reason it’s hard for you to connect with others currently, therefore, is your lack of comfort in communicating your thoughts, feeling, managing and expressing your emotions, as well as, how you think and feel about yourself (i.e. your belief in your worth), about conversations themselves and about others.
Working with a Counselling Psychotherapist, however, will help you to overcome these challenges as you’ll be practising both your conversation and connection skills at the same time.
Why is it important to make connections?
Making connections, along with feeling connected, are two qualities, which make life worth living and allow you to weather any storm, which comes your way as you feel safe and secure in who you are and the relationships in your life.
Therefore, working to improve your connection skills is a worthwhile skill to improve and enhance with the support of a Counselling Psychotherapist.
Skill 3 to learn – Listening Skills
At the same time, you’ll also develop your listening skills as you’ll not be able to take notes during sessions and so will need to ensure you listen closely.
If that fills you with dread because you believe you’re not a good listener currently, please don’t worry because there are no distractions in the therapy room, so it will be easier for you to be able to listen and the more you do it the better you’ll become at it and the more you’ll be able to remember and reflect on.
What are listening skills?
Listening skills are not only about hearing what is being said but also taking in what is said, making sense of and interpreting it and how it is being said (i.e. the tone).
How can I learn listening?
Working with a Counselling Psychologist further will support you to develop listening skills as it requires your full attention and presence as you communicate what’s been going on for you during a particular week (i.e. you’re thoughts and feelings about yourself and others in relation to situations you are encountering), which in turn will be met with understanding, advice, and guidance on your experiences for you to reflect on in your own time.
As a result, supporting you in making sense of your discussions and the action you need to take going forward.
In addition, they will promote the importance of practicing being present in your interactions with others, therefore, providing you with listening strategies for you to implement into your life.
What are listening strategies?
Listening strategies are ways of listening you can implement into your life to help you with listening to others before getting into interactions with them. For instance, these can include:
- Putting your phone away 5- 10 minutes (or longer) before an interaction
- Ensuring you are embodied, which means you’re in your body and not in your head, before engaging in any conversation. Therefore, being really present with any feelings and sensations, which are present.
- Making it an intention to be present within your interactions
- Repeating words and phrases back to the speaker, which will further support you in remembering what was discussed.
- Whilst another is paraphrasing and using the words ‘what I hear you saying [insert interpretation of what has been said] is that correct’.
How can I listen without interrupting?
An example of implementing a listening strategy, therefore, is when wanting to listen to others without interrupting them.
Therefore, to do this you will need to choose to make it an intention with each and every interaction you encounter to wait until a person is finished talking before giving your thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
In addition, drop the mental chatter of what to say next because if by the end of the conversation you still have something you want to say, you’ll remember it. And if you don’t, it wasn’t that important to bring up in the first place.
So you don’t need to hold onto it.
Skill 4 to learn – Body Language Skills
What is meant by body language?
Alongside listening, however, communication also takes the form of body language, which is the movement and placement of one’s eyes, arms and legs).
Since it’s entirely possible for someone to communicate something to you verbally, yet their body language say something else.
How do you read body language?
As a result, by working with a Counselling Psychotherapist who is trained in picking up on the smallest of body language cues, you too will learn to read the body language cues of others as they do it to you and so model the way.
For instance, have you noticed how spending a lot of time with someone results in you talking the way they do, thinking the way they do, reacting the way they do?
Because that’s exactly what working with a Counselling Psychotherapist is like.
Therefore, you don’t need to go out of your way to learn how to read body language since you’ll automatically pick these up through the process and simply by talking.
Skill 5 to learn – Empathy Skills
What is empathy and examples?
Empathy is the skill of being able to listen to another’s painful and difficult experiences without imposing your own views, opinions, judgments, solutions and criticisms onto that person’s experience. And recalling a situation in your experience where you too experienced that same feeling so you can provide them with comfort.
Therefore, I hope you can see full access to your emotions and experiences are vital for developing empathy with others.
Examples of demonstrating empathy
A great example is shown in this video by Brene Brown so make sure to check it out.
Is empathy and compassion the same thing?
In short, empathy and compassion are not the same and I’ll explain why next as I go through what compassion is and then what the difference is.
Skill 6 to learn – Compassion Skills
What does compassionate mean?
To be compassionate means to feel so moved by someone’s source of pain and suffering that you want to take some form of action to help alleviate it.
Whether a small or big gesture.
What’s the difference between empathy and compassion?
The difference between empathy and compassion, therefore, is whilst empathy requires you to seek understanding of the painful and difficult emotions others are experiencing, drawing from your own experience of a similar situation in which you felt the same, compassion goes a step further.
And requires you to take some form of action to support another person during this situation.
Empathy, therefore, is the emotions, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, which arise before you decide to take a compassionate act or not act.
What are 3 examples of compassion?
3 examples of compassion include:
- Taking a self-care action, such as, writing in a journal to make yourself feel better about a situation, which has and is taking place in your life
- Donating to a charity after a Tsunami hits; or
- Volunteering at a food bank
How do you practice compassion?
Practicing compassion towards others always begins with practicing self-compassion. That is compassion towards yourself.
Since it’s only through understanding how to give yourself compassion during difficult moments can you then extend it outward to others during challenging times.
As a result, becoming a better mother, father, daughter, son, sibling, friend, colleague, aquaintance etc.
LEARN MORE: HOW TO FIND YOUR WORTH AND WHY IT MATTERS
Skill 7 to learn – Self-Reflection Skills
What does self-reflection mean?
Self-reflection is the ability to pause and reflect on your life as it is, paying attention to the following:
1) The direction it’s going in, and if you’re not happy with it, deciding the direction you do want it to go in and taking action toward that
2) Who and how you are being as a person in any given moment and how you feel about it, and if you’re not happy about it, choosing who and how you do want to be as a person in future.
3) As well as, what you think, feel, and believe about certain people and situations, which have taken place in your life and are taking place in your life.
As a result, allowing you to learn about yourself as you come to realizations about what it is you want, what you need to change and adapt in your life to become happier, healthier, and stronger (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually).
Therefore, overall it’s an exercise in getting to know and learn about yourself as I talk more about in my complete guide on what you need to do to make life better.
An example of self-reflection
An example of self-reflection is let’s say you react abruptly towards someone or something in your life, your goal, therefore, would be to then reflect on what it was you were thinking, feeling and believing in that moment to make you react that way.
In addition, you might use morning pages as I discuss in this post here >>> 3 TOOLS TO GROW OUTSIDE THERAPY SESSIONS to talk about how you’re feeling, the experiences, which have led to how you’re feeling, and of course, what you’re thinking, which may then result in a change in perspective on the situation at hand.
As a result, coming up with a solution as to next time how you might decide to approach a situation and person causing you distress.
Skill 8 to learn – Critical Thinking
What is meant by critical thinking skills?
Critical thinking skills are when you are able to think thoroughly through a problem and are able to weigh up the pros and cons of the action you are thinking of taking towards the problem you are seeking to solve whether in your personal or professional life.
It’s not necessarily about writing a list of pros and cons, but as you come up with a solution to a problem before you, you pause and think about whether that solution is the appropriate one for that situation and if it’s not, moving onto another solution before then again evaluating it for its appropriateness.
What are the qualities of a critical thinker?
A critical thinker, as a result, is someone who is able to remain calm and patient during the identification of a challenge before them.
Can critical thinking be taught?
As a skill, therefore, critical thinking is absolutely something, which can be taught and learned so it can become second nature to you. But, as all skills go, it will require your dedication, time, and patience.
Skill 9 to learn – Problem-solving
Alongside, critical thinking skills, as a result, you’ll also gain problem-solving skills.
What is problem solving skills?
Problem-solving skills are the ability to come up with solutions to the challenges we face both in our private lives and professional lives.
What makes a good problem-solver?
A good problem solver, therefore, is someone who is able to come up with solutions to challenges they’re facing within their lives so they can take action to resolve them and move past them.
When in doubt, they also, will potentially, ask for input from others, although they will ultimately make the final decision based on their own thoughts and feelings towards the situation and the recommendations.
As a result, they do not react in response to their emotional impulses or get stuck in their emotions as I talk more about in my post on WHY A CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE IS YOUR KEY TO FREEDOM (AND HOW TO GET IT).
Why problem solving skills are important?
Problem-solving skills are most commonly cited as required skills by employers. However, problem-solving skills are also necessary, if not more necessary, in our private lives as they support us in making (often difficult) life choices, which then allow us to move past our difficulties.
So we’re not left feeling stuck over a period of days, months, or years.
Skill 10 to learn – Decision-Making Skills
Learning critical thinking and problem-solving skills, therefore, results in better decision making skills in both your personal and professional life.
Skill 11 to learn – Emotional intelligence Skills
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize what you’re feeling, thinking, and believing in any given moment and in regards to any person and situation you’re facing.
As well as, your ability to experience and manage the full range of emotions, as opposed to suppressing and bottling the negative ones, whilst seeking to hold onto the positive ones.
Therefore, it involves getting curious about what you’re thinking, feeling, and believing when you experience a difficult encounter with someone or you react in a way, which is, not of your core self (i.e. love, peace, and joy) as I talk about in this post here >>> 3 TOOLS TO GROW OUTSIDE THERAPY SESSIONS.
What are six benefits of emotional intelligence?
Six benefits of emotional intelligence are:
- People like you more because you’re better capable of managing and expressing your emotions and therefore, being vulnerable with them.
- You feel more confident and happier because not only do you feel like other people like you and feel a sense of warmth from them, you also like yourself so feel a sense of warmth towards yourself too.
- You’re less reactive towards others
- You feel more comfortable with less positive emotions, therefore, allowing them to pass through you rather than holding onto them, denying them, or bottling them up so you experience more love, joy and gratitude.
- Solutions to your fears will become easier to source
- And, as a result of all of the above, you’ll be able to build stronger and better relationships with family, friends, colleagues.
As a result, it is by far the most important skill to learn.
Can emotional intelligence be taught?
Emotional intelligence can absolutely be taught because it isn’t a skill, which each person is innately born with. It is a skill, which is learned and cultivated over a long period of time (years) with the use of tools and practices like these here>>> 3 TOOLS TO GROW OUTSIDE THERAPY SESSIONS so it then becomes a way of life and a way of being.
How can I become emotionally intelligent?
Working with a Counselling Psychotherapist, therefore, will further allow you to develop your emotional intelligence skills in order for you to both be better at listening to your own thoughts, feelings and beliefs, and those of others.
Since not only do you learn the tools to become emotionally intelligent but at the same time through receiving advice and guidance on the challenging thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and experiences you’re facing, you’ll train your mind to better watch out for when these arise, in order for you to be able to change them following the advice and guidance of your therapist, and in turn, make life better for yourself.
Skill 12 to learn – Interpersonal Skills
What do interpersonal skills mean?
Interpersonal skills are another way of saying people skills and how well you interact and work with others.
How do you gain interpersonal skills?
Working to learn all of the above skills, that is, conversation, connection, listening, empathy, compassion, self-reflection, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and emotional intelligence skills, will enable you to also work towards developing interpersonal skills (a.k.a people skills).
Although, it’s important to say the path to gaining interpersonal skills, is not linear. You do not first develop conversation skills, then connection skills, then listening skills etc. before you can learn the rest. You learn the skills simultaneously so when you work on one, you’re simultaneously working on all of them.
In addition, through working on all these skills, you’ll become more open to learning even more skills should you wish to.
Summary: 12 skills to learn just by being you (and where to learn them)
So there you have it, 12 skills to learn all in one place by working with a Counselling Psychotherapist and just by being you. Therefore, utilizing what you’ve already got at your disposal so you don’t need tons more energy to learn a new skill.
Now over to you…
In the comments section below, please let me know what skills from the list I’ve provided above (if any) you would mainly benefit from learning or enhancing.
And don’t forget to subscribe to my email newsletter to ensure you stay in the know about how working with a Counselling Psychotherapist will support you to develop personally and professionally.