Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Outside of the Textbooks

More than one website that I browse frequently picked up on this article (“What They Should Have Taught You in School – Professional skills you wish you had learned”) that was recently posted on MSN’s The URL follows:>1=23000

The article highlights four main areas: communications skills, personal development, interacting with others and “all things boss-related.” Within each area, there are a handful of particular examples that require some level of competence in order to succeed in the work world (e.g., making small talk, listening skills, time management, participating in meetings, etc.)

It would be wonderful – and convenient – if there were a book to teach these things, but most of these particular skills seem to be acquired only with the passage of time. I am sure it’s harder for people with social communications disabilities to master them. But I am (supposedly) neuro-typical, and I still struggle with small talk, public speaking and interacting with others (especially anyone in a position of greater authority). At my advanced age, I frequently blurt out words that are not well considered beforehand.

In fact, my son might have an advantage; when he is unsure of an appropriate response, he is likely just to keep his mouth shut.

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