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HETC Project University Development Grants (UDGs) Training Program for Proposal Writers. Lec. 4. Strengthening Soft Skills. by Dr BMK Perera Director/Career Guidance Unit University of Peradeniya. Soft skills are also referred to as. Employability skills Key skills Core skills

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HETC Project

University Development Grants (UDGs)

Training Program for Proposal Writers

Lec. 4. Strengthening Soft Skills

by

Dr BMK Perera

Director/Career Guidance Unit

University of Peradeniya


Soft skills are also referred to as
Soft skills are also referred to as

  • Employability skills

  • Key skills

  • Core skills

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Transferable skills

    Fallows, 2002


Soft skills defined
Soft skills defined …

  • Skills, abilities and traits that pertain to personality, attitude and behavior

    Moss and Tilly, 1996


Soft skills the two domains
Soft skills: The two domains

Intrapersonal

(Motivational)

Interpersonal

(Interactive)

Overt and covert behaviors leading to success or failure


Examples of interpersonal interactive soft skills
Examples of Interpersonal (interactive) soft skills …

  • Team work

  • Relationship-building

  • Adaptability

  • Written and oral communication

  • Friendliness

  • Attire

  • Grooming


Examples of intrapersonal motivational soft skills
Examples of Intrapersonal (motivational) soft skills

  • Planning/ organizing

  • Taking initiative

  • Problem solving

  • Showing enthusiasm

  • Stress tolerance

  • Dependability

  • Creative thinking and innovation

  • Time management

  • Willingness to learn

  • Coachability


Importance
Importance

  • Employers criticize university output as having their heads full of theories, concepts and principles but graduates are often ill-equipped to deal with real life situations

  • ‘Soft skills are a lot harder to teach in the world of work‘

    Wall Street Journal Article, 2002


Importance continued
Importance (continued)

  • Companies are going global, and often, technical experts are called upon to do a variety of non-technical tasks requiring soft skills

  • Currently, people management skills are placed higher than strategic management skills and process management

    • Source: BMW Presentation made at University of Rhode Island, 2002 Effective_engineer


Predictors of success in the world of work
Predictors of success in the world of work

Predicts < 30% of a person’s success

IQ

Predicts >70% of a person’s success

EQ

AQ

Relates to resilience

Soft skills domain


Targeting soft skills
Targeting soft skills

  • Inclusion of career guidance in academic program

  • Outward bound training (Experiential learning)

  • Debates/ public speaking competitions/ Toastmasters Club

  • Strengthening of student societies

  • Competitions for projects displaying innovative thinking and team work

  • Mentoring programs within and outside the system (limited numbers)


Targeting soft skills in academic programs
Targeting soft skills in academic programs

  • Lectures/ workshops on campus

    • Time management

    • Stress management

    • Conflict resolution/ negotiation/ mediation

    • Effective presentations

    • Assertive behavior

    • Understanding teamwork

    • Covey’s 7 habits of effective people

    • CV writing and interview facing (in the last year)


Evolution of soft skills teaching models

Embedded model

Highest level of integration

Integrated model

Skills taught within a given discipline, specialty or faculty

Centralized support service providing generic skills, operating outside curriculum/ Can offer ‘Bolted on’ courses

Learning Centre model

(Expect students to acquire soft skills while following their academic programs

Osmosis model


Targeting soft skills in outward bound training
Targeting soft skills in Outward bound Training

  • Popular with the corporate sector

  • Historically used for training survival skills to seamen in 1941

    • Highly participative

    • Interactive

    • Simulates real life situations

    • Adaptable to needs of the learner

    • Excellent for changing attitudes and developing team spirit


Targeting soft skills in outward bound training1
Targeting soft skills in Outward bound Training

  • MIT, Sloan Center, Sloan School for Management example

    • Provided by outside organization (off the campus)

    • Used to build camaraderie

    • Students set personal goals

    • Decide on extracurricular activities to engage in

    • Develop academic operating norms for the semester (Develop a team charter)

    • A lot of physical activities


Way to develop the proposal

Intervention 1

First, select a set of soft skills to target

Intervention 2

Intervention 3

Way to develop the proposal…

Equifinality


-Identify concrete needs for university or faculty Determine possible overlaps

-Augment teaching with programs where needed

Soft skill 1

First, select an activity/ intervention

Soft skill 2

Soft skill 3


Irrespective of the approach there is a need to look at
Irrespective of the approach there is a need to look at; possible overlaps

  • Cost, time and feasibility issues

  • Degree of change possible

  • Relevance to the university


Shedding inhibitions and possible overlaps

Developing assertiveness


Group dynamics possible overlaps


Group dynamics possible overlaps


A short drama ... possible overlaps


Debates possible overlaps


Setting new possible overlaps

life goals


Speaking about possible overlaps

one's own life ...



Awareness programs for possible overlaps

diverse categories of staff


Thank you possible overlaps


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