Back to Basics

Back to Basics

People who are looking for places to work and workplaces that are looking for productivity might be helped by doing the same thing:

Concentrate on Basic Skills.

Individuals, organizations, families, municipalities – even the Federal Government, now and then – are all responding to the need to conserve resources by identifying core elements and putting energy into refurbishing and strengthening them, rather than continuing to reach for that which is new or popular or updated. In the process, many find reasons to celebrate the familiar, to welcome some things that might have been forgotten or neglected, and to remember the importance of foundations on which much has been built.

Basic Skills are back! Perhaps they have never left, but have just been weighted down – overshadowed by the piling on of new and better and quicker and slicker ways of getting things done. And what has happened, as we all slow down and look around to see what things are actually getting done, is a realization that some foundation work is in order. Basic Skills: Time for your close-up!

What are Basic Skills? In school they are the skills necessary for learning. In real life they are the skills necessary for living and working. They are the skills, without which, we have trouble navigating ourselves through the wild world in which we live.

Here are some of them:

– Communicating successfully with different types of people;

– Adapting our style of interacting depending on the situation;

– Thinking critically;

– Solving problems large and small;

– Collaborating with others whether we want to or not;

– Approaching tasks with creativity;

– Using language effectively and appropriately;

– Persuading and negotiating with grace;

– Listening.

Advanced Basic Skills might include an awareness of grammar, and the ability to write a clear sentence or two.

It isn’t hard to see why organizations would want the people scurrying around in their offices to have these Basic Skills. We’re glad they’re back; but then, for us at Language at Work they never really left.

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