Emma Sue Prince
Member Since: 5th Apr 2012
Emma Sue Prince is author of “7 Skills for the Future” available now to pre-order from Amazon. Emma Sue Prince is a specialist in experiential learning and believes strongly that this methodology is key to developing life skills and soft skills as it is the only way to develop self-awareness, upon which all behavioural change is based. She delivers powerful workshops in this regard and does so with many different target groups including “closed” groups such as Muslim communities in Bangladesh and North Africa and diverse groups in the UK including lawyers, doctors and software engineers.
Emma Sue provides consultancy in emerging economies and travels regularly to India, Bangladesh and Tanzania advising on a range of large funded projects. She runs a free membership site – Unimenta – for practitioners working in soft skills. When not working Emma Sue runs a local gospel choir in her home town of Godalming, Surrey and is an avid baker.
6th May 2014
of "off the shelf" training" as well as training of varying quality. It's important to have training providers who are experienced, qualified and who really care about what they do and also able to see that we all need to look more "outwards" - these markets really need quality trainers. They don't always get them though and succumb to likewise 'off the shelf" Dale Carnegie type solutions.... (an example only)
Matt - you can find me on Linked In and we can set up a call,
4th May 2014
I am aware that there are now new opportunities in these emerging markets. I am fortunate enough to be working in partnership with other funded organisations like DfID (Department of International Development) and British Council and the opportunities come from government initiatives that drive funding for employability and soft skills. India, Bangladesh, Malaysia and many other countries thrive on these kinds of initiatives and there is a massive need to skill up the labour markets there. Plus drive and energy that is incredible to see.
I've noticed more and more that there is a big shift in terms of getting privately funded training work and that there are large-scale projects out there which need UK expertise and collaboration. I'm interested in getting a consortium together of training providers and other organisations with different skill sets and expertise so that we can collectively tap into these markets and share what we do. It's also a great way to make a difference in the global economy.
1st May 2014
to help young people and to do that job well. The whole point is that graduates are not being taught these kinds of skills and there is a real demand for them. At the same time you need qualified practitioners who can deliver these sorts of skills. And this qualification helps trainers to do that. The post was not a criticism of young people not having these skills.
4th Dec 2012
Thank you for an interesting and timely post.
I definitely agree that the term "soft skills" is problematic - it's far too vague for a start and one can never be sure what exactly is meant. As you say, everyone will have different interpretations- traditionally I suppose it's an umbrella term for leadership, teamworking and so on but even these are not specific enough to unpack the competences underneath. And it's so right - that these personal competences are/can be the hardest to develop in ourselves and in others as trainers. I worked with a firm in South Africa recently where they defined each job role, the "basic skills and requirements" - including qualifications and then for each role defined the specific competences/qualities that needed to be developed in terms of people skills. Then a kind of matrix for working when different levels were reached. But this is also quite complicated and still runs into the danger of being subjective.
Today I think everyone has to develop a whole range of personal competences to compete, to even keep jobs in some circumstances. Our only competitive advantage has to be our interpersonal skills and our relationships. It's not just down to the trainer to push these in companies and argue the business case but also down to individuals to recognise that personal development is crucial for business (and personal) success.
I still can't think of an alternative term though!
www.unimenta.com - membership site to support trainers and practitioners delivering soft skills - membership is free
17th Jul 2012
Thanks Martin - your response and insights are much appreciated and thank you so much for the references you included. It really helps with explaining and clarifying this whole subject which gets glossed over with all this "positive thinking" stuff.
17th Jul 2012
Thanks - great response. So as we get older maybe we get less optimistic as reality sets in...? I still think there is a healthy sort of optimism - one that can propel you forward when you need it but keeps strong hold of reality, even if that means including a good dose of cycnicism...
10th Jul 2012
Thanks for an interesting post.I think the term "fake it till you make it" can be interpreted in different ways. I agree that acting as if you ARE something when you are not is inauthentic and it is absolutely right that you earn what you learn! However, I do think there are instances where the faking it approach is a useful one, although perhaps faking it in a milder sense. And that's when it comes down to changing behaviour and living more positively. Take self-confidence:
Dana Carney, an assistant professor at Columbia Business School, led a study where she split volunteers into two groups. The people in one group were placed into power poses. Some were seated at desks, asked to put their feet up on the table, look up, and interlock their hands behind the back of their heads. In contrast, those in the other group were asked to adopt poses that weren't associated with dominance. Some of these participants were asked to place their feet on the floor, with hands in their laps and look at the ground. Just one minute of dominant posing provided a real boost in confidence.
The researchers then turned their attention to the chemicals coursing through the volunteers' veins. Those power posing had significantly higher levels of testosterone, proving that the poses had changed the chemical make-up of their bodies.
So, in this sense, "faking it" led to an actual change from which to build confidence.
I think also, in times when we feel fearful or nervous about a presentation or training session, adopting the pose of someone who is confident and enthusiastic starts to help us tap into that in ourselves and makes a difference to the subsequent session we run.
Emma Sue Prince
support for trainers delivering soft skills
30th May 2012
I'd like to add some free training materials for helping with developing empathy.
These are customisable visuals, trainer notes and interactive exercises in connection with building empathy skills, connected to my recent blog on this topic.
The link to the materials is here: Free membership, then download http://www.unimenta.com/Default.aspx?pagename=Active-listening-workshop
29th May 2012
Thank you both for very insightful comments. V interesting to read about NLP examples and talking about building "rapport" rather than "empathy". I think quite often NLP gets a bit of a bad rap but of course, when it comes to reading faces or signals, it plays a valuable part. I think training business people in Riga to be mindful and slow down is a hugely important part of supporting the developent of empathy skills.
Another aspect I started thinking about after I wrote the blog was that in future we are going to have to carry over soft skills to social media and virtual worlds, if we are not doing so already... Can empathy be expressed through social media and virtually, I wonder?
28th May 2012
Thanks Paula, this looks like a great tool