Soft Skills and Autonomous Behaviour

You just hired someone who proves very competent. The interview goes fairly well as far as know-how is concerned but something tells you this is a person who will not be true to you. You have a feeling that cooperation and teamwork will just not go well…

Knowledge and know-how are important parts of the resumé. However, soft skills or behavioral skills are just as important. They are often overlooked in the haste of filling a position with that one person everybody wants because she/he is the best in the field, the most talented. Aren’t teamwork, autonomy and social skills also part of “being talented”?

Soft skills are also referred to as “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), complementing the hard skills (part of a person’s IQ), which are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities. In Québec, EQ can be reinforced with mentorship where a mentor guides the mentee (formerly referred to as a protégé or apprentice) through the “know-how-to-be” rather than providing know-how (training). The mentee learns by accompanying the mentor in her/his day to day business life, picking up tips on how to behave and learning the “experiential way” how to be rather than how to do.

By making sure that your new employee is EQ-equipped as well as IQ-endowed, you provide yourself with extra power in your organization. This person will participate in teams, be a leader when needed, unite co-workers, be passionate about pursuing your goals, coach and motivate peers, negotiate instead of argue, solve problems instead of finding excuses, be polite and professional, be self-aware, foresee situations, empathize… Yes! This kind of person really exists!

As an employer, it is not your responsibility to ensure that your candidates possess adequate EQs. Mentorship is a voluntary process initiated by an individual, for herself/himself. Finding a mentor in the right field and who accepts the challenge is not an easy task. Furthermore, mentorship is an ever-continuing process that is not perfect after a certain amount of time. Are you willing to wait that long for your candidate to fulfill your position?

Waska offers a programme where members can immerse in EQ-apprenticeship. With the help of the experiential method of learning, they are “living” a work simulation and learn from it the same way as with mentorship. Purists will say that it is not the same. You be the judge!

Any individual can become a member and enter this programme OR any organization can become a member and have its members (or personnel) participate. Groups generally welcome four members at a time to ensure the quality of the apprenticeship and of the human contact. At Waska, it is always a matter of how you feel as a human being.


About Jean-François Néron /

Directeur général et guide-mentor chez «Waska, autonomie et services techniques communautaires» (Waskaquébec), une entreprise d'économie sociale œuvrant sans but lucratif à aider ses membres à acquérir l'autonomie socio-économique, à se concerter et à s'entraider pour bâtir leur prospérité. General Manager and Guide-Mentor at "Waska, autonomie et services techniques communautaires" (Waskaquébec), a non-profit, social economy enterprise helping its members acquire autonomy, collaborate in harmony and perform mutual help in building their prosperity.
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