Thought Leadership

Eric Adler
Key factor Social Competence

Speech by Eric Adler at the Diplomatic Council Executive Club 2019

The Social Competence of our society is drastically declining. This development leads to significant societal, corporate and personal problems. Consequences are omnipresent but very often not identified as the root cause. Frame conditions are modified and new regulations are put in place but all of it only supports a downward spiral. Hardly anyone recognizes that Social Competence is one possible solution to bring society, politic and economy forward.

Eric Adler is the creator of the ASC Method (ASC-METHODE®) for sustainable personal development. Author of several books and Master Coach of an international Coaching business. Based on his 28 years of experience he will explain how important “Social Competence” will become for the future and WHY the “Social Competence of Employees” is a mission critical success factor that lacks focus:

Good afternoon your Excellency, DC Leaders, Ladies and Gentlemen.

All of you are Opinion Leaders, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, you belong to the group of people with great influence on our society. I am very honored and pleased to speak to you.

What do you as an opinion leader think when you hear, that elderly and care-depending family members are banned from the house and put into a “Care Container” in the garden? A mobile care station in the size of a garden house, video monitored. It replaces the elderly care-taking in a family environment. Health insurance companies are thrilled by the inexpensive care-taking facility. Such “Care Container” are available indeed. Currently only in the US but for sure soon also in our countries. They are offered under the label “MEDCottage” and are already placed in many front yards. Does a social competent society act that way?

What do you as a leader think, that globally spoken, the youth calls themselves the “Cheated Generation” because they have inherited a huge amount of debt from former Generations? They definitely do not have the necessary resources to ever cover for that. Furthermore the damages to nature and environment in wide areas of the planet are so significant they will never be reversed or healed.

What do you, as someone that has significant impact in the society feel, when you hear about the phenomena “Happy Slapping”? I know it sounds unbelievable but it is an actual entertainment trend amongst youth. They pick a random totally innocent and unknown victim and slap it in front of a running video camera. The video is then uploaded to the internet. This new leisure activity of youth has grown to such dimensions that many experts for parental and educational science study it. What do you think this testifies about our society?

What does it state about the status of our society when bus drivers refuse to do their job because it increasingly happens that they are beaten up by passengers for no reason. Unfortunately a trend that spreads out more and more in various countries. It seems to be a new method to reduce frustrations.

Dear Opinion Leaders, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s and society influencers: The ability of people to properly deal with themselves and their environment deteriorates. Social Competencies of individuals decline. Less Social Competencies of individuals lead to less Social Competencies of society. This leads to less Social Competencies in economy and politics. Hence less Social Competencies of Government and one day the social society will fall apart.

The consequences from this deficit is that our society suffers. Trenches between social classes and generations continue to deepen. A huge generation conflict is predictable. There is more coldness, distrust, fear, rage, feeling powerless and pure egoism in our society. Inhibitions decline, togetherness, moral and joy of life are lost step by step. AND then there comes a person, a group - and offers a superficial way out…. and the history reiterates.

It is disillusioning that state and explicitly the schools are unable to impart Social Competency in required quality. The current educational system is wrong in itself. Which is the reason why it generally blocks all development.

The current status quo is not euphoric. What can we do? How can we take countermeasures? What can we do better?

As a first step, I would like us to agree on a common definition. Definitions vary from person to person. So, many definitions are available. My idea is the following: Social Competence is the ability to perfectly deal with yourself and your environment.

In case we can agree on this definition, the goal and the variety of opportunities would be clearer.

If all persons of a group – of any size – can perfectly deal with themselves and their setting – meaning all members of their group – we have a perfectly functioning Social Community.

How about starting with oneself? My experience is: The higher the level of education and the intellectual abilities, the more overconfident are people regarding their own Social Competence. Therefore it is advisable to do the self-analysis in humbleness.

In my 28 years of professional activities in this field I have not met anyone without improvement potential in order to better deal with themselves or their environment. The great thing about it is: Due to the high level of education and the high intellectual level it is very easy to also develop in this matter. Trust me, such a development will be most likely fun for you and a mere pleasure for your environment.

In case we want to do something for the future of our society, the schools would be the ideal place to start. It doesn’t matter whether secondary school, university, vocational school or other schools.

In my opinion it would be better for each individual as well as for the community if students would rather focus on learning: How to listen, exchange opinions, to cooperate, to communicate. Furthermore how to motivate themselves and others and train their mental skills instead of memorizing when Alexander the great was born.

What can we do? The ideal way would be to support or initiate projects that sensitize teachers for the topic and deliver them tools that support them in training pupils on Social Competence.

During the millennium years my team and I were able to train high school graduates in Social Competencies at 5 schools in Austria. The results were so positive that we received many moving thank you letters from all school directors. Our experience is that pupils, parents, teachers and directors all were curious to know more about Social Competence. They were eager to have tools available and are willing to implement.

It is rather the dominating system that currently still hinders a fast development. Here would be an ideal starting point for private initiatives in order to substantially contribute and move things in the right direction.

In case we want to bring something forward in an area that relates to us directly and were we can clearly measure the results, we better focus on companies.

It is way too often ignored how mission critical social skills of employees are for an organization or company. Especially in daily business high social skills of all parties involved have a positive influence on profit. Whether in teamwork, in creative processes, in dedication, in winning of new talents, in relationships with clients, partners or suppliers, Social Competence is always a mission critical factor.

Applying our method for Social Competence Trainings in a bank and its 120 subsidiaries we contributed to boost their retail by 60%. We supported 100 realtors and enabled them to a significantly increase their turnover, reduce fluctuation and improve life quality. A big car manufacturer cut down his sick leave days substantially by applying Social Competence trainings. A mid-sized industrial company raised the average output per workpiece. Many small and micro entities scaled up their economic success and quality of life. All due to the significant improvement of Social Competence.


In the academic environment these effects are very well documented. An extensive Meta study on 668 evaluating studies and programs that teach social and emotional skills showed that 50% of participants, taking part in such programs, raised their efforts and lowered their misbehavior. The best-selling author Daniel Golemann that made the term “Emotional Intelligence” popular, certified, that global corporations led by people with self-esteem, self-control, motivation, empathy and strong Social Competence, produced measurable higher results.

Socially competent employees build a social competent company. A social competent company will always be more successful, sustainable and resilient during a crisis. Furthermore it will improve the world around it by forcing Social Competencies.

Clearly defined, measurable, sustainable personal development in the area of Social Competence is not only important for leadership teams. Staff members as main contributors build the foundation for every company. The trainees are the future. Therefore training of all groups of employees, target group specific of course, would be the ideal solution. All individuals would at the same time raise their quality of life while the companies would have more success on all levels.


After defining in which areas an overall engagement would be useful the most frequently asked question is: HOW?

Sustainable development of Social Competencies does not work with the usual type of personal development. Situational measures like seminars, speeches, online-videos, books and workshops alone are not suitable to sustainably change the identification and values or to achieve long term changes of thinking patterns and behavior.

Those situational education offers date back from a time of pure Know-How-Transfer. In most cases there is a lack of adaption of didactical requirements at the area of teaching soft skills.

How can we implement sustainable development of Social Competencies? It is only possible with a consequent built upon another didactic. This consists of: Exemplifying, Leading, Correcting and Confirming throughout a longer period of time. It involves constant application and ongoing professional support as well as individual Cross-Checks, Controlling and Correction. It is required to commonly develop new thinking patterns, optimize behavioral patterns and create an identification with values. All as part of an integrative process during daily work life.

Yes, it takes time. And YES, at first glance it seems very costly.
BUT in modern educational science there are models that fulfill these requirements. Those models are very often more efficient and effective and surprisingly less costly then common methods as well.

Many times they are not regarded, not applied because they are not known.

Therefore the Diplomatic Council foundation and I decided to invite you to start a common initiative:

The Institute TRANSFER COACH donates to the Diplomatic Council Charity 600 Coaching Programs. You can leverage those programs against a donation for the Diplomatic Council Charity. You can test a modern Social Competence Training, developed based on latest didactic methods with some of your employees and then evaluate it based on tangible, measurable results in your company.

On these cards that will be handed out to you in a moment you will find a link to the Diplomatic Council homepage with a detailed description of the programs. Furthermore access to the information I was just talking about.

We also would be happy to discuss with you your ideas for school projects or other common charity projects. We are strongly convinced: Social Competence is the key for a prosperous, happy and harmonious society!

Dear Excellency, DC Leaders, Ladies and Gentlemen, you are opinion leaders,

Entrepreneurs, CEO’s and belong to the group of people with big influence on our society. Let us discuss what we can do together in order to bring more Social Competence to the people, to the companies, to our society, so everyone’s life is improving and we can maintain social peace for a long time.