Module 5


Social skills (included among the so-called soft skills) are part of the behavioural habits when it comes to interpersonal relationships. In this way, this concept refers to the abilities that a person possesses when it comes to managing a conversation, a meeting, a conflict, or teamwork, among many other examples.

Social skills such as communication skills, organisational skills, and self-motivation, along with core competencies such as literacy, numeracy, and digital skills, will be critical across all job sectors. 

The social skills can be clustered in:

(e.g., presentation and communication skills, organisational skills, teamwork, etc.);

(e.g., self-discipline, enthusiasm, perseverance, self-motivation, etc.); and,

(e.g., tolerance, openness, respect for diversity, intercultural understanding, etc.).

A team in which its members trust each other can feel comfortable in communicating their ideas, collaborating on the job, and developing individual strengths. Not only that, but there is also a sense of belonging within the group.

Through this module you will be able to improve your social/soft skills, along with enhancing your teamwork competencies, gender awareness and equality in the workplace.

This module also includes a vocabulary sheet that will be very useful in the future.

Finally, there is a test that you will have to take to find out if you have learnt this lesson well or if, on the contrary, you need to revise it a little more. 

Have fun with this module and enjoy the process!

Teamwork and social skills workshop. Labor Integration workshop.

In the dynamic and fast-paced world of the HORECA sector, teamwork and social skills play a pivotal role in ensuring the seamless operation of restaurants and other food establishments. Beyond culinary expertise, it’s the ability to work collaboratively and interact effectively with both colleagues and patrons that can make or break a dining experience. This section delves into the significance of these skills and the materials required to manage them, offering insights and practical tips for success.

In a bustling restaurant, teamwork is the linchpin of success. The diverse roles in a restaurant/hotel/café, from chefs and servers to hosts and managers, require individuals to collaborate efficiently. In the picture on the top, you can see a cohesive restaurant team working together in an efficiently way in the kitchen.

Here are some key aspects of teamwork and social skills that are crucial in the gastronomy sector:

Mentoring, support colleagues, give advice to others, motivate, and interact with others: the ability to mentor, support, and interact effectively with colleagues is vital in a busy kitchen or restaurant. This encourages a positive work environment and fosters collaboration.
Negotiate compromise: negotiation and compromise skills are valuable when dealing with customer complaints, menu changes, or resolving conflicts in the workplace. In a fast-paced kitchen, chefs and staff must often adapt and compromise to ensure smooth service and high-quality food production.
Team Leadership: team leadership is essential for chefs, sous chefs, and kitchen managers who oversee kitchen operations and staff. Effective leadership can motivate and coordinate kitchen and front-of-house teams, leading to improved efficiency and customer satisfaction. Strong leadership also helps maintain high standards for food quality, service, and safety.
Ability to work in a team-oriented and flexible manner: working in a team-oriented and flexible manner is fundamental in gastronomy because it's a collaborative environment where different roles need to come together seamlessly. Kitchen and service staff must work cohesively to ensure that food is prepared, plated, and served with consistency and efficiency. Flexibility is important when responding to changing customer demands, adapting to last-minute events, and accommodating dietary restrictions.
Intercultural competence: In multicultural contexts, such as kitchen, café, hotels and so on, intercultural competences are important for understanding and respecting the diverse backgrounds of both colleagues and customers.

Intercultural competence, also known as cross-cultural competence or cultural intelligence, refers to the ability to effectively interact, communicate, and work with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. It involves understanding, appreciating, and adapting to the values, norms, behaviours, and communication styles of individuals and groups from different cultures. Here are some key aspects of intercultural competence:

intercultural competence starts with being aware of one's own cultural values, beliefs, and biases. It also involves recognising and appreciating the cultural differences and similarities between one's own culture and others.

being able to communicate with individuals from different cultures involves using language and non-verbal cues in a way that is respectful and clear. It also means being open to different communication styles and adapting as needed. 

this skill involves showing respect and empathy towards individuals from diverse backgrounds. It includes avoiding stereotypes and being aware of potentially offensive behaviours or comments.

intercultural competence includes the ability to adapt to different cultural norms and practices. It may involve modifying one's behaviour or approaches to be more effective in a multicultural context. Adopt a positive attitude towards new situations by considering them as an opportunity for change and integration.

understanding how to manage and resolve conflicts that arise due to cultural differences is an important part of intercultural competence. This involves finding common ground and maintaining respectful dialogue.

people with intercultural competence often have a global mindset and can see issues and opportunities from a broader perspective. They understand the interconnectedness of the world and the importance of diverse perspectives.

Other relevant social skills useful in workplace in restaurant/hotel/café are:

Coffee shop-bro

clear and concise communication is essential for the seamless flow of information among kitchen and front-of-house teams. This includes verbal communication, written orders, and non-verbal cues.
We can also communicate with the non-verbal communication: it’s a type of communication that is done through non-verbal signals, such as looks, facial expressions and gestures, it is that process of exchanging information and messages that goes beyond semantic language and it includes gestures, posture, proxemics, facial expressions, and arms. It’s important to be motivated to learn different languages and cultures, to be aware of the impact of language on others and to be aware of the need to understand and use language in a positive and socially responsible way.

gastronomy is marked by its ever-changing nature. Team members must be flexible, capable of adjusting to varying workloads, sudden changes in orders, and unexpected situations.

restaurant/hotel/cafés staff must empathise with both colleagues and customers. This not only ensures a harmonious work environment but also contributes to exceptional guest experiences.

quick thinking and problem-solving skills are indispensable, whether it’s dealing with a kitchen mishap, an upset customer, or unexpected supply shortages.

 punctuality and effective time management ensures that dishes are served promptly and that the entire dining process runs smoothly.

In the culinary world, creativity is essential for developing new dishes, plating presentations, and experimenting with flavours. Creative menu design can set a restaurant apart from competitors and attract a diverse customer base. Creativity also extends to finding unique solutions to challenges that may arise in a fast-paced kitchen environment.

effective planning is vital for ensuring a smooth operation in gastronomy, including scheduling staff, ordering supplies, and managing reservations. Chefs and kitchen staff must plan and coordinate food preparation to ensure timely service and minimise waste. Restaurant managers need to plan marketing strategies, budgets, and events to enhance the overall guest experience.

In a busy restaurant or kitchen, multitasking is a must. Chefs must juggle multiple orders, prep tasks, and plating simultaneously. Servers often manage several tables, taking orders, serving food, and attending to customer needs. Multi-tasking ensures efficient service and customer satisfaction.

gastronomy is a dynamic field, with evolving culinary trends, dietary preferences, and customer expectations. Those who embrace continuous learning stay updated with the latest techniques, ingredients, and customer preferences, enhancing their value to employers.

the restaurant industry can be high-pressure and fast-paced. Coping with stress is essential for maintaining composure, especially during peak hours. Staff dealing with demanding customers or unexpected situations must remain composed to provide excellent service. Stress management is crucial for both personal well-being and the quality of service provided.

self-regulation and resilience are closely related to coping with stress and maintaining a positive attitude. Remaining calm under pressure, controlling emotions, and bouncing back from challenges are essential for working effectively in gastronomy. Resilience helps individuals endure long shifts, handle demanding guests, and adapt to changing circumstances.

for those in restaurant management or ownership roles, entrepreneurial thinking is critical for success. Innovating with unique concepts, service models, or menu items can set a restaurant apart in a competitive market. Taking self-initiative to identify opportunities for improvement and growth can lead to better customer experiences and increased profitability.

We can conclude that in the HORECA sectors, where labour integration is key to success, teamwork and social skills are indispensable. With the right materials and a commitment to fostering these skills, restaurants/hotels/cafés can create a harmonious work environment and provide exceptional dining experiences. 

Gender Equality Awareness Workshop

Inclusiveness refers to ensuring equal opportunities, access, and representation for individuals from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups.

We all carriers of gender bias, shaped by cultural factors stereotypes in the wider culture, which influence how we value and treat one another. As well as widespread self-reported, implicit, or unconscious gender bias are just as widespread. Gender biases affect not only how we view and treat others, but also how we view ourselves and what actions we take as a result. From early childhood we are exposed to stereotypes that guide our choices and behavior in powerful and often invisible ways, steering us toward certain careers and away from others.

Although traditionally the activity of cooking has long been delegated to women, today the chefs who cook at high levels and who are most visible in the media are mainly men. This suggests that gender discrimination also exists in gastronomy sectors.

To better understand dynamics influenced by an unfair exercise of power, real or presumed, because of dynamics of structural and systemic inequality and sexist discrimination, it is important to mention the “stereotype threat” that girls can experience when they fear being judged in terms of a group-based stereotype. The threat of the stereotype occurs when individuals they fear they will confirm a negative stereotype on a group to which they belong (self-fulfilling prophecy). One of these group is women. 

When negative stereotypes on women’s skills are brought to the attention of test takers, women’s performance declines. 

More in general, listening to everyone’s opinion is important to ensure that everyone is feeling confident to have own say, able to contribute at the level they feel capable, avoiding or preventing abusive attitudes, or the creation of centralising or self-centred leadership, to the detriment of other participants considered or perceived to be more vulnerable in terms of exercising power.

Stereotypes and biases

Stereotypes and biases

Stereotypes and biases are important cultural factors that may influence women’s representation. Stereotypes can be descriptive (what women and men are like) or prescriptive (what women and men should be like). Gender stereotypes tend to place greater social value on men and evaluate men’s competence as greater than women’s.

Initiatives such as targeted recruitment strategies, mentorship programs, and support networks aim to encourage and retain more people in every fields.

Even individuals who consciously reject gender stereotypes often still hold implicit gender biases.

From early childhood, cultural stereotypes guide our choices and behaviours, steering us toward certain careers that seem to be the best fit for our interests and abilities and away from others.

The argument that women's preferences and choices are partly responsible for sex segregation doesn't require that preferences are innate. Career aspirations are influenced by beliefs about ourselves (what am I good at and what will I enjoy doing?), beliefs about others (what will they think of me and how will they respond to my choices?), and beliefs about the purpose of educational and occupational activities (how do I decide what field to pursue?). And these beliefs are part of our cultural heritage. 

Stereotype threat is triggered by cues from the environment that alert an individual to the possibility of confirming a negative stereotype about a group to which she or he belongs. For example, being a member of a minority group, in and of itself can trigger a sense of threat. 

Sense of belonging can have important effects even when individuals are unconscious of it. 

Implicit gender biases are more prevalent today than explicit gender biases are, and in the long term, positive role models appear to make a difference. 


Microinequities have been described as “apparently small events frequently unrecognised by the perpetrator which occur wherever people are perceived to be ‘different’”. Examples include facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice, and subtle actions, such as assigning the role of note taker to a woman rather than a man. Accumulated over time, these microinequities can affect students’ self-concept, which may, in turn, influence their choice of a career. 

Microinequities illustrate how discrimination in school and the workplace is often subtle and not overt in its intent to harm. Nonetheless, microinequities may result in increased stress and feelings of exclusion among women.       

Benevolent sexism

Benevolent sexism is rooted in a belief that women need the help and protection of men. Women who are seen as warm but not competent are especially likely to be the recipients of benevolent sexist behaviours such as being called “sweetheart” or being offered help with dangerous aspects of a job. While on the surface benevolent sexism may seem positive toward women, its effects are quite the opposite. Benevolent sexism is often not viewed as sexist. In some cases, is viewed as positive, chivalrous behaviours, it is plausible that benevolent sexists are often viewed more favourably than hostile sexists. 

Women might begin to see themselves as less capable professionals than men because they are interacting in a space that tends to be masculine and tends to devalue what are seen as feminine traits or feminine contributions to the field. At the same time, men expressed significantly more professional role confidence, both expertise confidence and career-fit confidence, than women did.

In this regard, it is also relevant to avoid mansplain attitudes. Mansplaining indicates the condescending and paternalistic attitude with which a man explains to a woman something obvious, unsolicited or of which she is an expert, in the tone in which one speaks to a child, to a stupid person or to a person who does not understand. In facts, it is a pattern of overlooking and dismissing women’s point of views, knowledge, experiences, and voices, to be avoided…


Play Video


Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.Project Number – 2022-1-NO01-KA220-ADU-000089795