Momentum, a soft skills seminar with a focus on collective intelligence

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Soft skills are increasingly popular with recruiters! According to the latest study conducted by Cadremploi andrecruitment agency Michael Page in 2019, 62% of recruiters say they are willing to recruit candidates more on their soft skills than on their hard skills. At INSEEC, we have always been convinced of their crucial importance in professional life! And we are sure that in 2022, soft skills must and will be an integral part of at least 70% of all recruitments. This is why they have been an integral part of the teaching of our students for years. Focus today on Momentum, the new soft skills program offered in the Masters of Science program at INSEEC Paris campus since September 2022.

The ABC’s: a soft skill, what is it?

No one can escape soft skills, in fact, we are born with some soft skills in reserve! These behavioral skills, which are complementary to the famous technical skills sought by recruiters, are ingrained in us from birth and are developed first through parental education, then at school and in society. In business, it was traditional to focus almost exclusively on a candidate’s technical background until ten years ago. The training courses at the university or in business schools or management schools thus followed this trend in the learning provided. But digital transformations are turning the employability of candidates, employees and entrepreneurs upside down on a daily basis.

It is tempting to say that this phenomenon is contradictory. Indeed, at a time when it has never been so important to master the digital sector, its latest trends and its secrets, no matter in which field one evolves professionally, soft skills allow today to make the difference and to remain employable throughout a career. The mantra to adopt? Know-how is acquired and learned but can be lost, while soft skills last over time. In other words, in the digital age, technical skills become obsolete very quickly and soft skills become a valuable benchmark for companies because they are constant over time.

While it is of course important to have a solid base of technical skills in order to succeed, we are convinced today at INSEEC that it is the soft skills that will allow our students to remain employable throughout their professional career. Indeed, without these famous soft skills, such as adaptability, agility, curiosity or communication, it is impossible today to remain employable in the long term. To train yes, but not to be agile when it comes to training, no!

Momentum, a laboratory to foster collective intelligence

In light of this, seminars and conferences on soft skills have been fully integrated for years into the pedagogy of INSEEC’s MSc & MBA programs. With Momentum on the Paris campus, INSEEC wanted to go even further and offer its students a laboratory to foster collective intelligence. Why collective intelligence? Simply because collaboration and adaptability are essential soft skills in business!

In partnership with i-We | Entrez en mouvement, the Momentum seminar is based on the development of the following soft skills (the 4Cs): communication, creativity, collaboration and adaptability. The program is composed of conferences and round tables, but above all of experiential workshops and collective coaching sessions to put our students in a situation and make them leave their comfort zone. From the beat box workshop for the most daring to the stage shows, the choice was varied to allow everyone to challenge themselves and experience in real time the soft skills and how they can emerge from an uncomfortable or emergency situation. No less than 130 speakers led these days of exchanges with our students to talk about emotional intelligence, leadership and teamwork.

A great success with our students, the majority of whom were surprised to see the importance of soft skills for their employability. All of them reported that they learned more about themselves, about the importance of developing their soft skills, especially when they are introverts by nature… Mehdi, in his 1st year of MSc Marketing, Communication & Business Strategies, reports:

Enrichissant. Ouverture d’esprit. Pousser à la créativité. Nous permettre de s’ouvrir aux autres. Mieux parler, mieux s’exprimer… Je pense qu’en trois jours, on a eu pas mal d’armes pour qu’on ait l’envie d’approfondir ces connaissances sur les soft skills qui nous serviront. On a vraiment l’impression d’avoir eu tout le package pour s’améliorer en entreprise !

A key soft skill: emotional intelligence

An example of what our students learned? It is through the various workshops that our students discovered the importance of emotional intelligence as a soft skill, according to Déborah’s testimony on the collaborative digital platform made available to students for this soft skills experience:

Nous avons 6 émotions que l’on appelle aussi émotions de base qui sont la joie, la colère, la tristesse, la surprise et le dégout. La fonction de ces réactions émotionnelles est de nous aider à réagir de façon adaptée.  Une émotion est un outil de survie. Une réactivité due à une émotion permet de réagir à temps.  L’hyper réactivité est quelque chose de vital, les émotions n’ont rien d’irrationnel. Lorsque notre système émotionnel réagit, il faut tout de suite y prêter attention et l’écouter, que ce soit dans la vie personnelle et professionnel.

And one of the speakers nuances this step by insisting on the importance of emotional intelligence according to the different situations that come to us:

Écoutez vos émotions, elles vous envoient des messages pour agir. Apprenez à les identifier, apprenez à prendre le temps d’établir une réponse adaptée (ne pas réagir immédiatement à l’émotion, sauf en cas de survie). Bref, développez votre intelligence émotionnelle (qui est le soft skill par excellence du leader)

Our brain has incredible protective reflexes, but it is impossible to develop our soft skills without disturbing it. It’s out of the question to let it laze around if we want to work on ourselves to improve: a great lesson that our students have integrated with brio! And that’s where Bennie’s post on the Momentum platform makes sense: “Our brain is made of mojitos and deck chairs, it likes to be quiet… So let’s disturb him a bit!

Updated 17 October 2023