This chapter talks about soft skills, To get, and keep, a job you typically need a repertoire of technical skills. Dentists need to know how to fill cavities. Secretaries need to type 100+ words per minute. Accountants need to be certified. Beyond the technical skills, though, which dentist do you go to? The one who is pleasant and takes time to answer your questions; or the one who treats you like a number in a long line of numbered mouths?
Which secretary do you hire? The one whose attitude is positive and upbeat, and who is always willing to help; or the one who is inflexible and has a hard time admitting mistakes? Now since I am a suit, lets think about accountants though almost all are boring, wouldn’t you want one who has a great work ethic and encourages his colleagues? These people will most likely excel in his or her positions and organizations. In these situations, and all the others like them, it’s the soft skills that matter. While your technical skills may get your foot in the door, your people skills are what open most of the doors to come. Your work ethic, your attitude, your communication skills, your emotional intelligence and many other personal attributes are the soft skills that are crucial for career success.
With these soft skills you can excel as a leader. Problem solving, delegating, motivating, and team building are all much easier if you have good soft skills. Knowing how to get along with people, and displaying a positive attitude are crucial for success. The problem is, the importance of these soft skills is often undervalued, and there is far less training provided for them than hard skills. For some reason, organizations seem to expect people to know how to behave on the job. They tend to assume that everyone knows and understands the importance of being on time, taking initiative, being friendly, and producing high quality work. Assuming that soft skills are universal leads to much frustration. That’s why it’s so important to focus as much on soft skills training and development as you do on traditional hard skills.
Like I talked about last week, the book called “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Is the most helpful book I have ever read, it directly teaches soft skills, because it teaches you how to ask and find out what other people want. I believe influence can be a soft skill, because it is a talent. I believe soft skills allow you to keep your job, and succeed in it. The career that I want to do is involving service, I want to be a financial advisor, and to achieve this goal, it is almost essential that I have soft skills, otherwise no one would want to give me there money to invest. Who wants to be around someone that doesn’t have soft skills. Or isn’t pleasant to be around. Sure geeks and suits are different, but like James from Asyncrany said “I believe there is a lot of both in most people” Which I believe to be true, because I have been called the “Leader of the Suits” and I get along with all the geeks in the class better then the suits in the class. Which I think is a soft skill, as well as the ability to always understand different people. Looking at the interviews I have been apart of, I have never not been hired after securing an interview this is because my soft skills are above average, and I am excellent at talking to people from all different types of lifestyles.