FAQ

We’re Glad You Asked!

What are “soft power skills” and what does the Academy teach?

Soft Power Skills are the tools of self-regulation, positive values, and innovation that can be used to communicate with and attract fellow humans to create meaningful change.

The Academy workshops focus on collaborative and individual projects to develop these skills by putting them into practice. The list of skills is numerous, and includes the ability to…

tell an engaging story and to attract people to your ideas and vision

motivate oneself and persuade others to positive action

… take available resources, innovate, and solve problems (Resourcefulness)

… use a systematic approach to making smart decisions (Decisiveness)

see multiple potential realities and pursue the best one

make connections between things or events that don’t seem related at first

see patterns and changes to patterns

analyze the truth in a flood of data, prioritize importance, filter noise, and produce useful information

… match what you perceive to be happening with what is actually happening (Situational Awareness)

… understand and control one’s own feelings (Emotional Intelligence)

empathize with other’s feelings (Social Intelligence)

assess strengths in others and align the right people with the right task

… provide constructive criticism

… be polite, diplomatic, and collaborative

negotiate to win-win situations

What do students do in the series of courses?

The Challenger Coach will give an assignment, for the cohort of four to five people, or for the individual. Students should study the suggested background material (readings and videos) individually, in order to be prepared for the group sessions. The class meets live online three times per week via the Zoom app, which allows screen sharing and drawing on a virtual whiteboard, to collaboratively complete the week’s projects. Files and other information exchange, as well as Challenger Coach interaction, occurs in the Slack app. Assignments will be delivered on schedule and posted publicly on each student’s own WordPress website. The most powerful step comes with peer feedback on the product, which is due the day after the project is delivered. Each student then publishes a reflection on the feedback, creating a closed loop that continually raises him or her up to a higher level of competency.

Muscles don’t get stronger unless they experience stress, and we don’t improve ourselves without a challenge—the course is designed to provide time and peer pressure, with challenging problems to solve individually and as a team. If you’re up for the challenge, join us!

Who is the course series for?

The program works on the same soft skill sets as an MBA program…if you’ve considered getting an MBA, this set of workshops is for you.

The technical information of an MBA, such as accounting and finance, is readily available on the Internet…it’s the experience of joining with like-minded movers and shakers, forging relationships, and attaining a new way of looking at the world, that this workshop series accomplishes with far less cost in time and financial resources than an MBA.

The course set is not a “get-rich-quick” scheme or some secret formula. It takes dedicated, collaborative work with your cohort…this challenge is for a select group of proactive, inquisitive, innovative people ready to break personal barriers and take the next step up in life. This includes rising leaders in all types of businesses and NGOs, entrepreneurs, freelancers, innovators, designers, people with passion for change, people who take action.

Those with several years of work experience will be able to contribute and get the most out of the course.

What benefit will I get from the workshops?

Graduates of the complete set of courses gain self-confidence, improved thinking, increased productivity, and boldness in leading meaningful change. Based on tested experience and the latest principles from sciences of leadership, behavioral economics, and positive psychology, they sharpen their minds and learn to use tools in areas such as decision-making, motivation, behavioral change, and culturally-relevant communication.

Benefits include increased ability to…

…Co-create change with like-minded people – during and after the course

…Proactively develop your “people skills”

…Improve and motivate yourself through peer-to-peer feedback and accountability

…Produce Higher Quality Decisions

…Inspire confidence in yourself and in others

…Develop competence in Leadership and Teamwork

…Increase your productivity and effectiveness

…Master your persuasive power

…Improve English language skills

…Master Productivity Apps Used in Global Business, such as Slack and Zoom

What does the Challenger Coach do in the series of courses?

The Challenger Coach is available in the live sessions, and via Slack, to provoke and encourage deeper thought and action, to provide insights into the challenging projects, to answer questions, and to provide feedback on everything from analytical to communication skills. This is not a lecture course, so the coach won’t be engaging in a one-way communication to passive students. Just like a good football coach, he helps build the vision, shares his knowledge and experience, and inspires the team to reach their potential of success.

Why is there an application process?

The Soft Power Skills Academy is for people on the move, with a proactive attitude about changing themselves and their world for the better. The application process ensures that everyone in the course will be earnestly working together to improve their skill sets and those of their team mates. Conversations in the live and chat sessions may be in one’s native language, but the course projects will be delivered in English language that requires a minimum level of ability.

Are you ready to accept the challenge and apply?

Will I get a certificate or degree?

No. The real value of the course series is not a piece of paper—it’s the change in thinking and attitude, and the relationships with fellow change-makers with passion about improvement. The complete set of courses is designed to go beyond the current bureaucratic system of checking off boxes, into a future where evidence of education is the difference it makes in one’s life.

Will there be exams or grades?

No—we focus on collaborating with your team mates to instill the skill sets that make you and your world better. As a professor in the Air Force Academy and University of Phoenix, I would often get asked “will this be on the test?”, or “how do I get an A?” The goal of many students became a short-term desire to get the grade and move on to the next bureaucratic requirement. Soft Power Skills Academy brings together a passionate group of emerging leaders who give each other the incentive to do one’s best for both themselves and for the team. The grade is the noticeable advances you will make in the soft power skill sets.

How much time will this take?

The four one-week courses are an intense sprint, intentionally made to pressure you to do your best to improve. There will be three projects with hard deadlines per week, which require background reading and media-viewing. Some, but not all, of the background material will be available in Thai and other languages. Depending on language abilities, the readings will likely take several hours per project. The live classroom sessions are three hours on Tuesday and Thursday, and six hours on Sunday. To meet the delivery deadlines, expect to spend several hours per day for all four weeks. The courses can be taken individually, but they must be taken in sequence, because the material builds upon each previous week.

What is the schedule like for the 4 weeks?

The schedule is an intense cycle of preparing an assignment, meeting with your cohort, meeting a delivery deadline, giving peer feedback, reflecting on that feedback, and incorporating your lessons learned into the next assignment cycle. The courses must be taken in sequence, because each week builds on material from the previous week. For example, if you participate and complete the first week, but for some reason cannot sign up for the second week, you cannot skip to the third week. If you cannot take all four courses in the four-week period, you can sign up for the next course that you need in the  next 4-week series (without having to re-apply). Here’s a typical course calendar for the 4 weeks:

How good does my English have to be?

The English language skill doesn’t have to be perfect. There are no minimum test scores to participate. However, the projects are delivered in English language (some written, some verbal). You’ll need to be able to communicate well enough so that others can understand.Your peers and the Challenger Coach will be there to help…it’s not a competitive test. It is a great way to practice and improve your skills if English isn’t your first language.

How many people will be in one workshop?

We will have up to 20 people in one workshop. The cohorts, who will work on the individual and team projects, will be from 4-6 people. You’ll get to change teams each week, so you get the maximum chance to meet and form relationships with the whole class.

What equipment do I need to take the course?

The entire course is online with video conferencing, so you’ll need a computer with video recording capability and an Internet connection fast enough to stream video conferences. Some of the projects will involve producing a video or other multi-media, so it will be helpful to have a camera or camera phone, and software such as PowerPoint or Adobe Illustrator to make presentations. The WordPress, Zoom, and Slack applications are all free downloads, and we’ll send you all the information you need to get set up for success.

What is included in the tuition fee?

The tuition fee for each week is 2,250 baht. The tuition fee guarantees quality personalized service and gives you exclusive access to the classroom, which links you to the Zoom meetings, the Slack workspace, and you’ll set up your own WordPress page to publish your projects. The classroom will also have the background readings and videos via either download or link. The Challenger Coach will be available in the Zoom online meetings and for one-on-one or group chats in Slack. After graduating from the complete series of workshops, all graduates will be permanently admitted into the Soft Power Skills Academy Alumni Page, where you can continue to network and meet other inspiring people.

The fee is required to maintain the virtual classroom, including fees for website hosting, application upgraded access, and coach/administration fees.

What is your cancellation policy?

We are committed to giving you the best possible experience with your fellow dedicated workshop mates, and will deliver on our promise of making the collaborative projects meaningful and useful for building soft power skill sets. In return, we ask for your commitment of time, energy, and financial investment for improving yourself and your mates.

We try to make our tuition policy transparent and fair.

Deposit: Upon your acceptance into the Academy workshop, we require a 1000 baht non-refundable deposit.

Tuition: The rest of the tuition, 1,250 baht for the first week, is due no later than two weeks before the start date of the course. If you pay before two weeks out, and change your mind, the1,250 baht will be fully refundable up until the required payment date (two weeks before the 4-week series of courses starts). Afterwards, we cannot refund the first week tuition. If you decide to not participate, we will greatly appreciate a prompt notification so that we can fill the course with designated alternates. Subsequent weekly course tuition fees will be due no later than the day before the next week starts. (If you pay before one day out and change your mind, the fee will be refunded).

For tuition collected for the first week, if you cannot attend, we will donate half of the unused tuition to Compassion International, a charity that sponsors impoverished children around the world to provide education and health care.

Withdrawal: In extremely rare cases, if the fellow students or the Challenger Coach have legitimate concerns that a student isn’t contributing or is detracting from the skill improvement of the cohort, we will provide notice and work toward a solution. If there are still concerns about lack of participation or distracting behavior, we will ask that student to withdraw. Half of the student’s tuition will be donated to Compassion International.

How can I make my payment for the course?

We accept electronic payment via major credit cards, or we can arrange for cash transfer from Thai or US banks.

Unfortunately, we cannot bill any sponsoring companies by invoice. Please arrange with your company for reimbursement.

  • Apply to Soft POWER Skills Academy

     

    Next Session is 15 October 2018 to 12 November 2018

     

    Time to complete: about 20 minutes.