Key qualification: Social competence as a challenge at TU Wien
In recent years, greater attention has been paid to social competence in discussions and admission interviews for coordination and management responsibilities at TU Wien. The aim is to ensure that managers at TU Wien have a wealth of resources to promote and manage effective cooperation between employees and students. At the same time, for jobs requiring "flexibility", "resilience", "confidence", and other qualities, social competence is a key criterion for all students and employees in less prominent positions.
In summary, it can be said that:
Social competence is considered to be a key competence in putting skills, qualifications and talents into practice. Social competence has become more prominent as a subject due to events such as Diversity Days, which have become widespread around the world and within Europe, e.g. April 18: Diversity Day at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria; April 22-29: Austrian Integration Week; May 21: International Day of Cultural Diversity of the UN; May 24 Diversity Day of the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences; June 6: Diversity Day in Germany. TU Wien has its own diversity management policy.
Potential and development options: not just "at the top"
The key words of social, soft or interpersonal "skills" refer to detail skills, such as those related to communication, perception, assessment or behaviour, which can be learned, taught or improved. For this purpose, (self-)training programmes, available as workshops, books or online, provide ideas such as:
- Communication skills
- Gender competence
- Diversity competence
- Understanding of administration
- Logistical understanding
- Application of (research) logic to process planning, etc.
These forms of leadership or management skills are often seen as assets to enable people to assess, organise and motivate others. At the same time, there is also always a need, not just in management positions, to be able to understand and show an interest in people and to respond to their individual potential, such that they help their individual working environment and the TU as a whole, as well as other employees, students and the general public.
For this reason, the topic of social competence is also ultimately important for everyone in their professional life: the aforementioned list of subskills equally applies to all levels of hierarchy and service units. Responsibility and self-management in everyday life begins, not least, when dealing with e-mails or data and ends no sooner than when other or managers have to meet or make decisions. Time factors also play a key role in all actions. It therefore requires a high level of social competence to be able to recognise and take account of timetables and time relevance for other people in the working environment. This example often occurs in the daily life of many co-ordinators – it shows how different aspects of social competence interact, such as emotional intelligence, communicative clarity and coherence, and time management virtuosity.
As a university with intensive cooperative relationships in other areas of society, TU Wien's mantra is also applicable to the everyday communicative techniques of dealing with each other: Discussions about (inter-)cultural communication or project management skills, "diversity management" and "smart futures" can be as helpful as requirements of gender and diversity competence to expand our own and our shared understanding of, from and in social competencies.