The 9 Essential Skills by Gagandeep

TLE welcomes new GetInvolved volunteer, from New Delhi, India, Gagandeep Singh Sodhi

The Scenario:
Jeremy is a musician and plays in a band and his close friend Mark has just joined an automobile dealership as a sales consultant. While Jeremy’s work is about creativity, Mark’s work is about passion for cars. Jeremy is a skilled guitar player and a backup vocalist, Mark knows the automobile industry very well and has an excellent knowledge about what car manufacturers offer and is a real car enthusiast. Both of them are appropriately skilled for their professions; however both are going through a rough patch in their professions. As they often sit down in the evenings and share their problems with each other, Jeremy is having trouble with his band members over his role and participation in the band; he feels he is losing his identity in the band whereas Mark sees no growth in his role and feels threatened by one of his colleagues. Mark finds his colleague overly competitive and favored by their supervisor. Mark is worried he might miss out on future growth opportunities. Jeremy is not able to concentrate on making the music he loves so much and Mark is not able to fully appreciate his clients’ needs.

The 9 Essential Skills:
Do you know a Mark or a Jeremy? Mark and Jeremy are not alone; many of us have been in similar situations, some of us still might be in situations like this. At times we might have said something like ‘things are just not working out’.

If we take a moment out and look closely at the mechanisms of workplace and our everyday life, one develops an appreciation for our actions which make up for our behind the curtains work. An individual’s happiness and prosperity is a result of their actions. Actions are a result of our skills.

What skills are we talking about? There are skills that are required to perform a job; Jeremy is skilled at playing a guitar, which is a skill that helps him accomplish his job. Mark is skilled at anticipating queries and apprehensions car buyers have; he accomplishes his job by guiding and helping his clients with this skill of knowledge. Mark and Jeremy’s professions are worlds apart, but then, are they really? What are the skills that both Mark and Jeremy need to be successful in their professions? They need to communicate with their team members and develop relationships to smooth things out. These are skills as well and are called essential skills.

There are nine essential skills identified by the experts at the Government of Canada and other national and international agencies. The level of expertise required in each of these skills will vary for individuals.

The nine essential skills are listed below:



There isn’t anywhere we can get to without communicating, and reading is elementary to communication. One has to read for most basic tasks in everyday life. We communicate officially and in our personal lives through so much of written material. There is a world of information available which can be accessed either through printed media or through content on websites. 
Essential Skills Series: Improve your Reading Skills



You present not only your message but yourselves as well to your readers through your words. What you write becomes your virtual presence for your readers. You write letters, emails or documents of different kinds. All formal communication is done in writing. You type or write by hand, but writing further classifies into everyday repetitive writing or occasionally expressing your ideas or thoughts. This is a skill and an art.
Essential Skills Series: Writing Skills


OralCommunication2Oral Communication

This is a tricky one. Unlike writing, you do not get a chance to proofread your oral communication. Once it is out there, it is really out there. This skill is a habit, although it takes hard work to master it, yet if you have honed this skill well, your prospects at work and in your social circle light up very well. Essential Skills Series: Oral Communication


DocumentUse2Document Use

Documents can be classified into hundreds of categories, if not more. There are basic communication circulars, office memos, certificates, and an army of forms for banks, colleges and other institutions. Documents validate and certify and sometimes simply inform. Documents don’t just rely on text; they are a fascinating mix of logos, photos, data tables and graphs. If we were to say that our communication world runs on documents, that would definitely not be an over statement. Essential Skills Series: Document Use



How good are you with numbers? Your proficiency at basic everyday calculations as well as your knowledge of common tax rates & charges in your city or province will attribute to your efficiency. Essential Skills Series: Numeracy


WorkingTogether2Working with Others

Remember Jeremy and Mark. This skill is an ensemble of other developed skills in an individual; patience, listening skills, self-control and self-discipline. Oral communication compliments this skill quite well. This skill takes care of your happiness in groups and overall harmony of your team. Put others first, that is the key.



Visualize where you want to be at the end of next five years, next two years, next six months and by the end of the day. Do you want to go home with a smile on your face, picture that, work backwards from that smile. Think about others, think about the impact your actions and words will have on others. A smile and a heartfelt thanks can make someone’s day. And all that should happen in your mind first.


ComputerUse2Computer Use

Most definitely you are reading this on a computer of some form. More and more work is done every day on computers; your proficiency on computers translates into your efficiency.


ContinuousLearning2Continuous Learning

Use your Thinking skill to understand the gaps between where you are today and where you want to be in the future. Learning is fun, it keeps the child in you alive, it gives you a perspective and most important of all it assists your economic growth. There are so many learning opportunities; one has to keep an open point of view. One doesn’t always need to enroll in a College or a University to learn. There is so much of learning one can do with two essential skills mentioned earlier; Working with Others and Computer Use. And if it is time to go back to the classroom, look at it as a great opportunity.

These 9 essential skills compliment any individual’s personality, and the lack of these skills casts a shadow on the growth and development prospects of the individual.