Tools and practices

All information in one place

From the student’s perspective I think soft skills are especially important. Since those are the skills that help us to separate from other applicants. I think it’s great that these practices, videos, tests and all other materials are gathered in one place and are easily accessible. I’ve learned myself a lot of good tips that I’ll definitely carry in my everyday work.
Zena Kagan
Student, Business Administration at Turku University of Applied Sciences
I find the website very inspiring. It provided me a comprehensive and well-structured information on core skills. The resources are very useful and are helping me in my practice in order to meet the challenges of education on the XXI century.
Luís M. Afonso
Phd, Adjunct professor in the Department of Mathematics of the Institute of Engineering of Porto, researcher at the Interdisciplinary Studies Research Center
I find the website well organized and rich of interesting sections. I very much appreciated the tools presented on the website, and I will use them for my teaching activities and share with my colleagues and communities of practice.
Valeria Caggiano
Professor, Ph.D. in Labour and Human Resources Research and Psychology, Author of the book ‘Hard work on soft skills’

Test yourself!

Below you can find various test to help you to identify your personal assetts

DISC

Want to learn more about your type of  attitude towards other people and tasks to do? 

Big 5 test

Find out about the underlying traits that make up your overall personality.

Team role test

Great teams arise when team roles match and fit together. Find out your natural team roles.

Team roles test

What team role suits you best? This reliable test at 123test.com is to enhance your career success and job satisfaction. 

16 Personalities

This test will give you a  detailed description of who you are and why you do things the way you do.

For Teachers

Have you always wanted to arrange a lecture or course upon soft skills?

For Trainers

Are you looking for materials and activities for staff development and intern trainings?

In this page you'll find for practicing with your students or staff

Below you find suggestions on three levels;

Intro IntermediateAdvanced

Train the most important core skills as a trainer or team leader, or with your students.

Intro= 2-4 hours;  Intermediate=4-6 hours;  Advanced= 1-2 weeks

Communication

"Ability to transmit something to someone in a clear and understandable way."
"Spoken, written communication and nonverbal communication"

Inspiration:

find videos on youtube here´s one suggestion:
  • Why is communication important ? Name 3-4 situations (work, study, priovate life) where communication is crucial ?
  • Which elements is ’communicationabout ?
  • Do you think that communication skills can be improvedhow ?
  • What kind of atmosphere promotes good communication ?

Action:

  • Watch this video
  • Which of the hints could you apply – how?  Which are not useful – why ?

Discussion / Reflection (in 1-3 weeks after):
Discuss the individual thoughts and outcomes in group
What promotes /prevents good communication (personal traits, atmosphere, other persons, etc.)
Make a written reflection  1-2 pages

Reflection / discussion:

  • Figure out some important basic mindsets supporting good communication ?
  • What do ’why’ and ’attitude’ mean when communicating ?
  • Which elements of communication appeared on the video?
  • Name 3-4 hints from the video which you could apply
  • Where could you practice these (figure out concrete contexts)

Action:

  • Do the DISC test and google your results . How should your type communicate with other types ?
  • Practice this in different contexts and at least 3-4 new skills for communication (video).

Discussion (in one week, short time!!)

  • Experiences learned through practising: What worked ? What didn´t?
  • Is there something in my character traits (Big Five and 16 types tests) enabling/hindering communication ?
  • What could I improve in my communication ? How ? Create a plan with goals and practice.

Alt. A: Nonverbal communication
Watch one of these or other  appropriate video found on youtube:

Intro video

Advanced video

Reflection / Discussion

  • What can be included among ’nonverbal communication’ or ’body language’
  • How does this communication arise – what does it express?
  • What kinds of impacts can these have in our communication?
  •  Video link
Alt. B:

Dialogue vs. monologue

Practice dialogue in communication in your team during 2 weeks. Evaluate your communication skills:

by the team
self reflection

The first test, personalities

Team working skills

"Intent to colaborate and cooperate with others in a team to reach a common goal"

Inspiration:
see videos (e.g. those enclosed)

Discussion:
What is  ’team workabout ? How does it differ fromgroup work’? Where does it fit well in? Which advantages can be achieved through team work?

Activities:
Take the Team role test and save your results
Explore ’team roles’ on internet and find more about your/other roles.

Make a reflection on 1-2 pages: 
Which are my natural roles in a team?  Did the results and things you read match with your existing perceptions? What was new? What kinds of thoughts did this arouse? Is there some things you can/want do differently , or  that you can/want to learn?

Inspiration:

See a video about team work.

Discussion:
Where do you apply team work ?
What can be achieved through better team work?
What are the elements of team work?

Take  the DISC test. Find out how different DISC –types perceive things and how they communicate.

Discussion:

  • Which team roles are natural for me?
  • How do different roles contribute to team work?
  • Which roles do we have in our group/team?
  • What info does the tests provide to the team leader?
  • What did I learn about communication (through DISC)

Conclusion:
Importance of Team work? A good team worker? A good team leader?

Practicing 

  • Which team working skills do you use in your work? (ref. e.g. to the video in Intro part).
  • Rate yourself from 1 to 5 in each skill . Which skills do you want to develop?

Practice these skills under one week in your work or student team. Set goals. Keep making notes.

After practicing , have a wrap-up by sharing experiences:

  • Which were my goals, how did you succeed?
  • Which challenges did you meet?
  • How can the team support learning team skills?
  • What does it take to develop a skill? 
  • How can  you/we go on developing?

Team roles test

Self management

"Belief in own capability of performing a task or solving a problem Ability to plan and follow-up own actions"

Inspiration:
watch videos suggestions

Discussion:
What is self-management about? What can you gain by managing yourself well?
Which are elements that SM builds on?
Where could you apply SM in your work-studies-leisure time ?

Activities:
Take the ’16 Personalities’  or the Big Five test. Save your results. Google them to find interesting insights on your profile.

Sum up in a reflection of 1-2 pages , and/or discuss in group:

  • Which are your predominant traits? How do you notice this in your daily life ?
  • Did the results and things you read match with your existing perceptions? What was new ?
  • In terms of self-management, which of your traits support it? Which might form a slight challenge ?

Inspiration:

watch the suggested video about self discipline

Reflection / discussion:

  • Which where the six steps presented on the video ?
  • Which of them could work for you ?
  • What would it take? How would it improve your performance ?
  • Check the definition beside – is it comprehensive ? Is there something missing?

Action:

  • Select some SM skills you want to develop
  • Make a week- or a month plan on how you apply the hints you got in this section
  • Start applying them
  • Follow-up by making notes

Discussion (after the plan)

  • Did it work ?
  • What was cool ? What was challenging ?
  • What did you learn ?

Self-motivation

Video link 1

Video link 2

  • Do you feel you are mostly doing things you want to do? What stories do you hear yourself telling? If you could choose right now, what would be the things that would really motivate you? How can  ‘passion’ be created?  What is your ‘Why’?

Practice self management and self motivation in your work and private life. Set goals. Keep making notes.

After practising , have a wrap-up by sharing experiences

  • Which were your goals?
  • How did you succeed?

Big 5 test

Leadership

"The 21st Century has different leadership styles. Discover your style and create it."

The third part of this page is all about leadership.

A skill that everyone wants to master, but no-one..

Inspiration

There is a myriad of authors that have studied leadership and/or have proposed different leadership styles. We have chosen some of them:

  • James C. Hunter. His short novel illustrates a radically different approach in which the leader is serving and backing other acts. This contrast with the misconception of a leader to be only the guide of the group.

Daniel Goleman. After showing that there is not a unique style, we show the different styles proposed by Goleman. These styles are illustrated with shots of different movies such as Gladiator, Invictus or Dead Poets Society

Action

Before the inspiration is presented, participants think of different people whose leadership has impressed them. After leadership styles are presented, we share the names of those people and we propose them to group them and to identify which leadership styles do they practice.

Participants are also asked to think about concrete actions conducted by them where he acted as a leader. What was the context and the problem, what do they do, and what was the outcome is presented to the others? Participants can ask for further information or to discuss other actions to be taken and their possible outcome.

Reflection

After the session, participants are invited to think about situations in which they have led and what is their particular style. They are also invited to think if other styles would have been more effective, what will be the pros and cons of each of them.

DISC, what kind of a leader are you

Speaking

Speaking

Being able to speak and manage certain things are assetts that make you…

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Team roles test

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