Introduction and Overview

Gratitude, Humility, Empathy, Care, and Kindness are essential elements when fostering “soft skill” development. If these deeper phenomena are not considered, soft skill work in coaching and counseling becomes an exercise in pantomiming behaviors versus real client change. This course provides you with a 5-part model for thinking more deeply about how you foster soft skill development in your career services practice.

Soft skills is a term that is used so ubiquitously that many may hesitate to define it even though they have a deep sense of its meaning.

Read this concise article that provides a useful definition of the term, differentiates it from hard skills, and operationalizes the term by identifying specific soft skills .

The focus of this course is the development of client capacities upon which soft skills are learned. To use a gardening metaphor, it matters whether or not a seed is planted in a bed of fertilized soil, sand, or gravel. Similarly, it matters whether a client is practicing soft skills with you, a career services professional, at a shallow level or from a deeper more meaningful place.

My goal for this class is to give you a different on-line course experience. One that encourages you to ask questions that have remained unasked, to think deeply about your own experiences of work, and to shift your career services practice to better incorporate ideas that are foundational to human flourishing and happiness as they relate to soft skill development.

The primary audience for this course is any career services professional (e.g., coaches, facilitators, human resource professionals, counselors, psychologists). The principles forming the foundation of this course call upon the fields of career development, positive psychology, and neuroscience research.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how gratitude is a key reinforcer of happiness and thus central to fostering healthy career development behavior.
  • Connect humility to gratitude and apply these concepts to fostering “soft skills” with clients.
  • Deepen your work with empathy as it allows career clients to navigate career development and workplace processes effectively.
  • Identify care as a skill, particularly effective care as it helps clients cope with career stress and the gig economy.
  • Focus on kindness as an outcome of coaching and counseling, particularly kindness towards self and one’s community of care.

This course has five major lessons. In each you may be asked to read text or documents, view web links videos, internalize what you are learning when you write in your course journal, and answer questions about the course content on a worksheet. When you are asked to perform any of these activities, this will be listed in red.

As you move through the course, you will track your progress by answering questions on a worksheet. This worksheet will be submitted to the instructor at the end of the course to verify your earned continuing education units. Please download the worksheet now and save it to your computer. As you go through the course you will be instructed to answer the questions that pertain to each lesson.

We know so much more each and every day about how humans’ function as well as how to build our capacities to do so while thriving!

Mark this section complete and move on to the next lesson.