Relational skills have the potential to curb intolerance among students on campuses. A study by the Interfaith Youth Core involving 200 universities discovered that relational skills-building among students develops pluralistic mindsets in them.
Relational skills building
Aside from developing tolerance in students, diverse relationship building also affects their social media life. The study showed that students who develop friendships with students of a different world and religious views progress to be more tolerant.
This period that universities are accepting more international students, it is essential to build excellent relational skills in students.According to the study, relational skills enable students to become well prepared for graduate college.
Students are also able to become empathetic and tolerant of others’ beliefs. The relational skills also help students contribute productively in their workplaces after graduation.
Alyssa Rockenbach, the co-principal investigator on the survey, said that relationship building with international students encourages positive attitudes in life.
Something that has really started to emerge from our findings is the role of close friendships in helping students to have more positive attitudes toward others of different walks of life.
Mathew Mayhew, also a co-principal investigator on the study, mentioned that the presence of international students provides the opportunity to research on-campus diversity. Mr. Mayhew said that it is a chance to study how students can enhance diversity to build solutions.
Relational skills study findings
The which was a part of the organization’s Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) made the following highlights:
- Students who develop relationships with international students in their first year make more inter world view friendships.
- Students have a more positive outlook towards individuals with diverse worldviews.
- The positive worldview influenced by diverse relationship building positively affects students’ social media life.
- Students who developed friendships with international students became more tolerant of individuals with opposite political and social views.
- Diverse relationship building helps students to manage conflict resolution better.
Role of institutions in building relational skills
The authors of the study revealed that institutions have significant roles to play in nurturing diverse relationship building in students.
A notable means institutions can come in is by intentionally organizing programs that create opportunities for students to develop these relationships.
The authors mentioned that programs that encourage students to have meals together and free social times are necessary.
Other ways include building different religious offices close to one another with a recreational center for around the offices. The authors believe this action will encourage conversation and relationship building among students.
Developing friendships with others of different perceptions
Rockenbach also highlighted that institutions could create expectations for students developing friendships with others of different worldviews.
Also, during first-year orientations, institutions should encourage conversations between students from different cultural settings. Also, ensuring that students approach such discussions with open-mindedness to have dialogues productively, said Rockenbach.
Relational skills are the most important abilities in leadership. ―