What actually is ‘Lebensklugheit’ and what can we learn from it?
Lebensklugheit is a German term that can be best translated as ‘worldly wisdom’. The art of Lebensklugheit goes back over 2000 years as far as Aristotle. It is that art of dealing properly with people, mastering the challenges of life in a wise manner and making effective long-term decisions. And that is the true significance of Lebensklugheit – for although the concept itself has been largely forgotten, it is in essence a practical skill that we need on a daily basis.
Seminars on communication and ‘Lebensklugheit’
You know how it goes: Another communication seminar, another trainer… they are ten a penny… all offering more or less the same content – ‘How to argue correctly’, ‘How to give a presentation’ or ‘how do I come across convincingly?’ ‘Lebensklug – communicating cleverly’ takes a different stance. I offer seminars that don’t only help you in a specific circumstance, but rather enable you to develop yourself on an ongoing basis. To achieve this I have brought various communication topics into line with the art of worldly wisdom and thereby shed a totally new light on the way we interact with each other on a daily basis.
In today’s society, with the endless possibilities available to us, many people struggle to make decisions or be totally happy with a decision they have made. For many of us the ‘what if?’ feeling hovers in the background making us doubt every decision we have made. Additionally, increasing competitive pressure and the growing complexity of our jobs require ever more effective coping strategies to avoid stress and burnout downtime.
The art of worldly wisdom demonstrably puts you in the position to better shape your own life, avoid pitfalls, and deal more effectively with uncertainties and setbacks. Your way of thinking and world views help to hone your mind and to act in an orientated and effective manner. Embrace the knowledge of past times and cultures and use it to your advantage!
The five pillars of worldly wisdom
The five pillars of worldly wisdom as I see them are: reflection, emotion management, social competence, orientation and strategy.
Ask yourself: How well do I know myself? Give it a go – try to soberly ‘scan’ the inner you. It is worth it – after all, you have to spend the rest of your life with this person. Hand on heart – do you really know your strengths and weaknesses? How about your emotions, wishes, motivations and goals in life? Reflection is the prerequisite for the next point.
Without self control there can be no worldly wisdom. This does not mean that some sort of uncompromising, old-school self control or suppression of feelings is required. Rather the opposite! Modern emotion management is about the conscious handling and the step by step regulation of emotions. For we must not forget our basic right to relaxation and the free expression of our emotions.
Whereas emotion management requires us to be inward looking, social competence is about looking outwards. How often do you make an effort to feel empathy for those around you and to try to understand their feelings? How regularly are you empathetic and how frequently do you view a problem or conflict situation from the standpoint of the other person? And how often do you express your empathy?
Here too, the adage ‘knowledge is power’ holds true. Before you act, it is crucial that you familiarise yourself with the most important teachings, opinions and pieces of advice that ‘worldly wisdom’ has to offer. Luckily we don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time – rather, we can gather valuable tips and suggestions and find out how we can become more ‘worldly wise’.
The Americans call this a ‘game plan’. A strategic management of one’s own resources and the exploration of both the possibilities and limits of your individual daily communication and interaction. Every strategy is specific to the individual and has to be tailored to their needs. At this stage we are already in the day-to-day practical usage of communication skills and the actual field in which worldly wisdom benefits our actions and development.