Professor Paul Spoonley

Professor Paul Spoonley was a keynote speaker at the ACE conference in 2017. He was talking about what Aotearoa New Zealand will look like in 20 years’ time. You can see the power points he used for his address on our website. One of the factors he mentioned was the impact of technology on work and how this will impact on the skills needed by our workforce. Soft skills he said, will be important.

There are a number of lists or definitions of soft skills on the www. For example, see The definition on this site is:

For a skill to be considered a soft skill, it needs to have three characteristics:

  1. Rules for mastering this skill is not black and white – Unlike hard skills, like math, where the rule for doing it perfectly is always the same, how effective you are at a soft skill change depends on your emotional state, external circumstance, and the type of people you interact with.
  2. This skill is portable and valuable to any job/career – Because soft skills are about your inner strength and interpersonal effectiveness, as long as you work with people, these skills are valuable to your career.
  3. Mastering this skill is an ongoing journey – You can reach a level of competency in it but you can always encounter new situations or people that will test your soft skills and push you to learn more.

ACE has an important role in providing these skills. For example, the top 4 self -management skills are: growth mindset, self-awareness, emotion regulation and self-confidence; and the people skills include communication, teamwork and interpersonal relations.