Transversal Competences and Soft Skills

Transversal Competences and Soft Skills

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Transversal Competence is a term widely used to describe the broad-based skills, knowledge and understandings that aim to meet efficiently many challenges. They are portable and cross over the specific job or work-related knowledge. These competences, known also as 21st century skills, Soft Skills, Employability skills and Entrepreneurial skills or Transferable skills, make people function better in any job role.
The difference between skills and competencies is:

  • Skills focus on the ability of the learner to apply knowledge, practice, training or aptitude to complete a task, solve problems or answer questions.
  • Competence relates to the ability to do something efficiently, effectively or proficiently.

The following tables describe the different capacity building activities that the NGI community can take inspiration from and use in their context to develop soft skills in their teams. For the activities FVA, as leader of the soft skills activities implementation, have used the MIRO collaboration platform. This had a great impact for the engagement of the participants and the interaction with the trainers. For this reason we are adding to the different topics covered, where used, some screenshots of the layout and material used within the MIRO boards to be used as an inspiration for developing the assignments. We recommend to use expert facilitators with knowledge on psychology and on transversal competence and soft skills, to be able to brief facilitate and debrief professionally.


Further reading


The following package can be used inside your organization to train of Transversal Competence & Skills, e.g.:

  • Critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, analysis, interpretation, synthesizing information
  • Design thinking
  • Creativity, artistry, curiosity, imagination, innovation
  • Flexibility/adaptability, uncertainty management and innovation management
  • Full stack competences
  • Initiative, proactivity, enthusiasm
  • Perseverance, self-direction, planning, self-discipline
  • Communication, public speaking and presenting
  • Leadership, teamwork, collaboration, cooperation

FVA have designed and implemented the training package related to Transversal Competence and skills (TC&S) to be delivered within the organization's team. The module goal is to train the team on most of the TC&S, with a special focus on specific needs of SMEs and Startups.
The methodological approach is to use experiential learning with a gamified approach, to make the experience collaborative (social motivation, knowledge sharing and mutual learning), participative (everyone to contribute proactively), reflective (the facilitated debriefing stimulates discussion and reflection), situated (practical and easily transferable to other domains).
The package is complemented by two serious games that an organization can use to engage the teams during the activity.


App2thesky serious game


The first game is an “ice breaker” game to highlight the skills needed from a start-up providing inspirational examples during the debriefing phase. The game is called “App2thesky” and the scope of the game is to combine different geometric figures to build a tower as high as possible. At the end of the game each participant can measure the height of the tower. In the game there is also an unexpected event to test the flexibility and uncertainty management of the participants. The game is a metaphoric representation of a design process of an innovative product/service for a start-up where different expertise is key. This is represented by the pieces very different one from the other. The columns, that are unexpected events in the game, represent a new innovative idea that sometimes comes up and pushes the innovators to restart the design process from scratch or a disruptive change (like covid-19 pandemic) that even if negative can generate new opportunities.
The game can be also used to select a team leader for the next step of the TC&S module (Design thinking activity). Link to the App2TheSky game (use session code 1006).


The Wallet Game serious game


The second serious game designed, “The Wallet game”, is based on the Stanford Design Thinking learning experience and touches the principles of the methodology. The game is designed to be used face to face or online. The online version can be delivered using the online collaboration board “miro”.
The Wallet game package contains a presentation for the facilitator, a video explaining the use of the miro platform and all graphical elements to set up the miro board.
For the deployment package see Theme #3 “Design Thinking Strategy”.

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