How Are Your Power Skills?

Interpersonal skills, communication skills, social skills, power skills. Soft skills may be called many different names, but the importance of good soft skills to find and keep work in Canada is undeniable. Making yourself aware of the different aspects of workplace culture should be a part of your immigration preparation.

SOPA is offering four different Soft Skills courses, which explore a wide range of workplace scenarios and communication examples.

Social Interactions

One of your new colleagues sits down next to you in the staff kitchen. What do you say?  “Hello, how are you?” is a good start, but how do you keep the conversation going over the noodle soup? Or the Zoom meeting has started, but the manager got delayed and now everyone starts to talk casually to pass time. How can you participate? In the lesson about small talk, participants can explore small talk topics and ways to avoid awkward conversations.

While networking events have changed over the course of the pandemic, the art to connect with people has not. It is important to reflect on skills and accomplishments to share with potential employers or make new, interesting connections. The exercises in this course will help you get prepared for all different kind of networking situations.

Complex Conversations

You have been taking on additional tasks for a while and feel like you deserve a promotion. Or you haven’t received a salary increase while others in your team have. You want a different shift. There are many different reasons to negotiate. Having the right tools to prepare for this conversation are key.

In negotiating and feedback, you will discover lots of tips to approach difficult conversations at work and how to get to a win-win situation!

Working With Others

With teamwork skills being one of the top soft skills wanted by Canadian employers, knowing how to work with others in a Canadian Workplace can be a big plus to succeed in a job interview. Collaborating and being able to work closely with your teammates will help you have a meaningful career in Canada.

In the two units of this course, teamwork and conflict management are explored and you will get lots of information about how to ‘fit’ in at your new Canadian workplace.

Workplace Communication

Giving presentations, and preparing and chairing meetings are skills that are transferable and are important all over the world. You probably had the opportunity to do both at work in your home country. However, brushing up on your English speaking skills while delivering a live presentation can be a valuable addition to your job search and moving preparation.

You will be surprised how many cultural aspects relate to holding a meeting. Many interesting facts provided in this course will help you reflect on your skills and learn the language needed to communicate effectively at work.

What our clients say after taking our SOPA* Soft Skills Courses:

Sri Ayu Ningsih, SOPA BC Client

“As a business analyst, my job involves a lot of presentations and negotiation with clients or users. I find the Soft Skills course – Workplace Communication and Complex Conversation very useful. Not only did they refresh my fundamental presentation skills, but also they also gave me a picture of the Canadian culture at work (compared to my own). I appreciate the feedback and learning references given in each exercises to improve my skills. Thank you SOPA!”

Hasan Iftikhar, SOPA AT Client

“It was a truly amazing experience by taking Complex Conversation course from SOPA. I was impressed with the level of details given in the course regarding negotiation and constructive feedback. The content was precise and easily understandable with interactive activities, which aided in understanding the concepts.

I am sure this course will help me in a great deal to integrate myself into the Canadian work culture without any problems. Thumbs up SOPA!”

Dina Ahmed El Mahdy, SOPA AT Client

“The Social Interactions soft skills course was very helpful, it helped me adjust my expectations and set my foot on the right steps. It was easy to take the course, and was not demanding at all. The part I found very helpful was the 1 minute and 3 minute pitch, which helps you identify your main qualities and how to present them in a quick way to others.

Through the course I learnt the importance of networking, using the correct body language, how to start a conversation with people you do not know and making a good impression. Thanks to SOPA for this great and informative course!”

Judith Symms, SOPA AB Client

“When I was advised to take up a soft skill course with SOPA I was skeptical, thinking that it would be a waste of time.  But I was wrong. (That is why it is said “don’t believe everything you think “.)

As the course in Soft Skills progressed, I truly started to enjoy it. I started to gain a better understanding of the Canadian Culture. The course was becoming amazing with every new topic. There were discussions and assignments that got me glued to it.

I got to understand so much about interacting with people, about how to make small talks and also about how to deal with conflicts at workplace.

But the best part was the 3 min Pitch. It was due to this, that I took out the time to sit and think about my strengths and my abilities and ways to improve my shortcomings.

I feel very blessed to have a wonderful course facilitator Ms. Isis Sunna who gave was prompt in giving me the feedback to my assignments and helped me with whatever doubts I had.

SOPA for me was Special, Outstanding, Practical and Accessible. Thank you SOPA for the wonderful course. Keep up the good work.”

*SOPA (Settlement Online Pre-Arrival) provides online pre-employment support, customized resources and workplace readiness training for immigrants destined to Canada. All SOPA courses are available at no cost to newcomers who meet eligibility requirements.


Written by: Anika Sweet, Cultural Communications Facilitator, SOPA Atlantic

Anika works with the SOPA team at Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia and facilitates SOPA Soft Skills Courses. With a background in teaching English as an Additional Language she has just the right tools to support clients in improving their communication skills for the Canadian Workplace.