From September the 7th to the 10th, 2022, the Network for Innovation in Career Guidance and Counselling in Europe (NICE) will hold its third NICE Academy at the University of Kosovo.
In recent years, a growing awareness has been emerging for the importance of relational and emotional competences for a good life. "Deep human" competences like empathy, emotion regulation, complex skills for communication, negotiation, cooperation, and interpersonal conflict-solving bear many things in common - as multi-faceted as they are: They are embodied and tacit, they do not only affect our cognitive sense-making of situations and events in our lives. Instead, they go deeper and affect the ways in which we come to experience and perceive situations in the first place - automatically and involuntarily. Despite the many ways in which they are rational and can draw on knowlege, they are also deeply emotional. For example, an empathic counsellor is not only characterized by the way that she can explain what a client is experiencing. To some degree she also feels her client's experience.
Deep-human competences, also known as social and emotional skills, are widely recognized as the foundation of a good counselling practice. In the EU-funded project STRENGTh, this point has been stressed by hundreds of experienced practitioners from more than 20 countries (Katsarov, 2021). NICE stresses this point in highlighting the importance of professional relationships, an empathic understanding of clients' needs, and collaborative skills in the European Competence Standards (NICE, 2016). However, only very little research has been dedicated to the question, how to best promote these deep-human competences in career practitioners, how to assess them, etc. At this year's NICE Academy, we hope to feature workshops and lectures on the role of these diverse abilities for the practice of career guidance and counselling, on strategies and methods for their promotion and assessment.
Deep-human competences also appear to be highly relevant for people's career development, however. The relevance of social and emotional learning for a good life is increasingly accepted and influential organizations have been engaged in their promotion for decades (e.g., CASEL). However, the promotion of these abilities for career development may not have been explored in sufficient depth until now. To clarify relevant questions and promote good practices, Scott Solberg, Lea Ferrari, and Chong Park have been leading an International Research Network since 2019. Colleagues from many continents come together in this network, and are engaged in cross-cultural research into the role of social and emotional competences for career development, and the question how career guidance and counselling can help to promote deep-human competences. At the academy, we hope to feature diverse workshops and keynotes on the role of deep-human competences for career development, and approaches for their promotion in clients of different ages.