Soft skills are complex competences (attitudes, skills, also including knowledge) that include character traits and attitudes, emotional intelligence, flexibility and openness when being with others and communication tools that support people to reach successfully their personal and professional objectives through an appreciated and fair process. The TC A CREW FOR BETTER SAILING YOUTH WORK roots on the belief that soft skills are very key factors of successful, efficient and serene youth work, both in its processes and results. The guiding value is that each youth worker can be a better educator by developing competences in being with oneself and others and by raising awareness of own thoughts and actions. Specifically, subjects of the TC are: growth of self-awareness, smooth coworking, creative problem solving, assertive conflict transformation, empathic communication, effective leadership and empowering coaching. Sessions relate to working and/or volunteering experience of participants in youth work, so that they use this TC as a set of tools and insights for making a tangible change in and create a meaningful impact.
During the TC, trainers facilitates by non-formal education and experiential learning (learning by doing) strategies, methodologies and methods. The main pattern of reference is the Kolb’s cycle of experiencing and processing the learning outcome derived event-wise. This means that all sessions include 4 phases each: 1. Direct experience/doing, 2. Reflective observation/reflecting on the doing, 3. Abstract conceptualisation/set the learning outcome from the doing, 4. Conscious experimentation + connection with life out of the activity/ bring the learning outcome of the doing to everyday life and to following activities.
Trainers planned to carry out individual activities, as well as in pairs, small teams and with the whole group; with the intention of directing training styles and methods to the different learning styles of participants, as well as to their interests and needs (NAOMIE). To stimulate participants, work happens in different settings, according to the features of each activity and alternates indoor and outdoor activities, as well as talkative, active and reflective ones. Finally, each activity includes the enrollment of participants’ heart, mind and hand, to make out of the experience a holistic learning opportunity.
A meta-level of reflection is always included to shift participants learning from the TC to their practice in youth work, in order to support them enforcing and updating smart and wise their toolbox.
Trainers involved in the activities:
WHY THIS TRAINING?
Hosting and partner organisations, together with trainers committed into the TC A CREW FOR BETTER SAILING THE YOUTH WORK believing that soft skills are key factors of successful, efficient and serene youth work, both in its processes and results. The TC grounds on the importance and value of personal awareness, development and soft skills in youth work. So, the purpose driving the TC is that youth workers can improve their daily work by being more aware of themselves first, and, then, being able to boost those competences in the others.
The overall goal of the project is to empower 24 youth workers and 8 organisations (from Italy, Poland, Portugal, Turkey, Romania, Spain, Greece and Bulgaria) through gaining more awareness on their soft skills, raising the quality of their educational work, value their impact on the target groups and also their working atmosphere.
The specific objectives are to encourage participants to:
Improve competences of youth workers according to the youth labour market interest and needs; as a youth worker trained in personal development is more responsible and able to respond to his/her target group needs, knows better how to cooperate with others and gains serenity facing the issues youth work encompasses.
Acquire/boost abilities like: coworking, self-awareness, creative problem solving, conflict transformation, effective and empathic communication, leadership and coaching.
Discover how different cultures, traditions, intercultural learning can enrich participants’ learning and professional experience to be applied in their own community with the purpose of a qualitative youth work framed in the wider value of the European Citizenship.
Understand how non-formal education can positively influence participants’ work in their realities.
Develop the ability to create new structure learning exercises and training programs.
According to previous participation of trainers, partners and possible participants to several local, national and international youth projects, recurrent professional and personal problems for people enrolled in youth work are often related to a lack of soft skills. This lack constitutes the need that the TC is addressing, together with the interest of participants and partners to grow in this sense. More precisely, the surveys we made among partners and potential participants showed the priorities of the target group of the TC: coworking in a productive and peaceful environment, self-awareness to better address tasks and issues, creative problem solving when crisis occur, conflict transformation when a conflict pops up, leadership and coaching target groups, especially keeping them motivated. A particularly need and interest has resulted to be the work on effective and empathic communication, both with their colleagues and with target groups. The agenda of the TC arises from all of these specific needs and interests identified by trainers, partners and possible participants in youth work and its implementation will bring participants’ working style to be more efficient, pleasant, open, collaborative as well as less energy consuming.
WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
Ideal participants are experienced in youth work, as volunteers, activists, youth leaders, trainers, facilitators, mentors, coaches, etc. and often work in a team (also international ones). They would have real cases and clear ideas on what in their commitment could work better and apply to the TC to share their experience with others, learn from each other and take the challenge of a personal and professional dive into.
They also commit to realise follow-up after the end of the TC, in order to ensure the dissemination of project results and its impact on European youth work.