Many Engineers and Technical specialists fight against learning Soft skills like work ethics, communication skills, problem solving, time management, personality development and planning skills, because they feel that the profession is more of technical than social thus the resistance. They do not quite see the need to have these skills and attributes leading to a distinct lack of interest in this area. The best thing though with regards to soft skills is that one doesn’t need qualifications to get them and Engineers can start working on them at any level of their career path. Soft skills play an important role in differentiating potential candidates for employment or advancement.
Soft Skills Training helps Engineers develop their personalities as leaders, team players, mentors, work place champions, teachers, negotiators and motivators, that constitute a very important component of success. Viscar having worked with engineers and technical teams as a key area of focus, have a wide range of soft skills training programmes that enables engineers sharpen their skills and take individual and collective responsibility for success. Image and etiquette for business success, although dismissed by techies as a secondary, is a key area for attention that would propel personal and career advancement.
Emotional intelligence and self-awareness, including body language and personal presentation is essential for Engineers. These communicate a lot even before one speaks, as understanding the effect of one’s appearance and behaviour one has on others is one of the best personal skills to have. Communication skills help Engineers to be courteous and helpful with colleagues and customers on email, in person and on the phone, including speaking up when there’s a problem. Engineers will often be required to communicate with other engineers and with co-workers from different departments, as well as with upper-level management. Non-Engineers have no idea of the technological concepts in the workplace so there needs to be a clear and fine way of communicating to them. Communication and teamwork therefore enables Engineers get on with the people they work with.
Engineers often have to work with a large group of people due to the size and complexity of the projects they undertake. For example, when designing a transformer for high voltage transmission lines (those metal power lines you often see running along highways), it takes more than one engineer to complete the project. It requires a team of engineers and other professionals―drafters, project managers, and administrative staff―working together and potentially interfacing with clients, regulatory agencies, subcontractors, and even public advocacy groups. Soft Skills therefore play a big role in helping Engineers develop leadership skills to improve teamwork, creativity, efficiency and productivity. Improvement of presentation skills to enhance sales, project explanations, self-confidence, relationship development, ability to recognize stress symptoms and develop stress deflecting strategies are just but a number of benefits accruing from enhancing one’s soft skills..
Engineers need and must be able to do more than just technical tasks. The world is becoming more and more demanding in terms of having holistic professionals who can adapt to different situations and manage different roles. Engineers must not be left behind. As an engineer or technical person, please ensure that you seek avenues to improve your soft skills today!