A teen can be Harvard-bound, but if they lack the ability to effectively communicate one-on-one they’re going to miss out on opportunities both in college and in the working world.
Grayslake, IL (PRWEB) December 27, 2012
December marks the time of year when college application season starts and academic achievement is spotlighted for high school seniors. Students are beginning to fill out applications, and according to marketing strategist Maribeth Kuzmeski, parents expect to see the fruits of their labor pay off after all their parental admonishments to ‘study, study, study.’ As the author of the book The Engaging Child, Kuzmeski says few people question the assumption that good grades are the cornerstone of lifelong success. But while they are important, book smarts may play less of a role in a child’s future success than a skill set that teaches children to connect and engage with other people, says Kuzmeski.
“A teen can be Harvard-bound, but if they lack the ability to effectively communicate one-on-one they’re going to miss out on opportunities both in college and in the working world,” says Kuzmeski. “That’s why instead of encouraging kids to spend all their free time studying in their room, parents should be teaching them to hold their own in challenging face-to-face conversations. After all, the global marketplace demands the ability to persuade, collaborate and make meaningful connections.”
Giving parents the tools they’ll need to help their children develop a strong ability to connect with others is the focus of Kuzmeski’s latest book, The Engaging Child: Raising Children to Speak, Write, and Have Relationship Skills Beyond Technology. Maribeth Kuzmeski’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Lizzie Kuzmeski, provides a peer’s perspective in the last two chapters that talk about the elements of building and maintaining real relationships in a wired and fast-paced world.
To ensure young adults are able to express themselves properly both with peers and adults, Kuzmeski lays out a few of the skills today’s technology connected kids need to be developing:
1. Conversation: The ability to talk with adults
2. Writing: The ability to write with clarity (and grammar)
3. Listening: Understanding how and why to really listen to others
4. ‘Face-the-Music’-ability: The willingness not to hide behind technology in uncomfortable situations
5. Full Engagement: Knowing when to disconnect from technology
6. Valuing Relationships: Understanding why relationships matter and how to keep them
7. Interviewing: The ability to ‘sell yourself’ to potential employers and others
8. Speaking: The confidence to speak to a group
9. Negotiation: The art of getting what you want and need (and giving a little, too)
10. Etiquette: Knowing what’s appropriate
11. Self-sufficiency: Learning problem solving and accountability
“Of course, you’re not going to be able to instill all of these qualities into your kid in a week,” says Kuzmeski. “It will take time for them to catch on to the benefits of developing their communication skills outside of texting shorthand. That’s why it’s best to start these lessons long before your teen is filling out college applications. Start helping them learn to truly connect with others now, and when they are entering college or the job market, they’ll be poised for great things.”
About the Author:
Maribeth Kuzmeski, MBA, CSP, is the author of 7 books including The Connectors (John Wiley & Sons), and The Engaging Child (on cultivating face-to-face skills for our Tech-kids). She is an international keynote speaker and a regular media contributor. Maribeth has her own foundation supporting youth leadership and education, The Red Zone Leadership Foundation, and is President of Red Zone Marketing, Inc.
About the Book:
The Engaging Child: Raising Children to Speak, Write, and Have Relationship Skills Beyond Technology (Red Zone Publishing, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-9717780-3-0, $18.95) is available at bookstores nationwide and from major online booksellers.
For more information, please visit http://www.theengagingchild.com.