Hard Work on Soft Skills: Creating a "Culture of Work" in Workforce Development
The following pages describe four highly regarded workforce development programs, concentrating on how they cultivate “emotional intelligence”—how they prepare trainees for the cultural demands of the workplace. All of these programs approach the task in many ways, mixing and matching their tactics to the needs of particular groups of trainees. Still, each of them has developed a degree of expertise or a distinctive style in one technique that stands out from all the others. We have therefore drawn attention to these areas of special strength or insight, while still trying to capsulize their general approach to soft skills.
All four organizations are also distinguished at least as much for their effectiveness in teaching hard skills: Each has built a reputation among loyal employers for producing technically able graduates. But for this discussion, the focus will be on the even harder work of teaching the intangible and largely unquantifiable skills of demeanor, professionalism and self discipline— in short, training the “smile.” (Authors)
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