“I sacked my `Technical’ person today! Nincompoops, just don’t know how to communicate.” I have heard the above statement from a lot of my business owner friends, and have wondered what does this statement actually mean. A technical person, whether a mechanic, engineer, accountant, or the likes, would have faced the axe that day, not for the lack of subject knowledge, but lack of a soft skill or power skill.
Further with the advent of automation, robotics and artificial intelligence routine jobs are getting threatened and the future of the world seems to be ruled by machines.
This reminds me of the great quote by Warren Bennis, where he had said, “The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.”
Over the years, computers were seen as the biggest threat to traditional workforce, but people adapted and today computers have become the norm to usher in `Computing’ as a field under an umbrella of Information Technology.
Here we take a look at some of the basic SoftSkills / PowerSkills that you are using, with varying levels of proficiency and the need to be brushing up on the topics at regular intervals.
Being punctual and reaching office on time is the first challenge, for earlier there used to be a muster or register that you signed in. That got replaced by attendance machine, biometric and so on. This entails the logistics of local transport, carpool, traffic jams, routes to take or sometimes take a faster mode of transport to make up for something that delayed you.
Once in office, one typically sat down to write the Things To Do, which again was in a typical notepad. This has got replaced with many online versions or even a mobile app, and you could do this activity while travelling itself. Even earlier one would write in rough sheets of paper and then rewrite in the notepad.
PROBLEM SOLVING / DECISION MAKING
Typically a skill that one had to acquire on attaining some seniority and be held responsible for the decision made. This is something that happens at every level for the time you decide to adopt a sequence of activities to complete the task on hand is itself decision making.
The goal for any organization is akin to building a cathedral. Tasks are focused on a periodic basis and work assigned to particular people based on skill or amount of work on hand. Each one of us knows of the pressures we go through and either delegate or seek the help of colleagues.
That’s what this started with, for this skill is the backbone for the success of the individual. All of us consider ourselves good at this and feel bad at being judged by someone else as not being to the mark. This would cover mainly cover Verbal, and Nonverbal communications. How we understand (Listening) and respond (Speaking) to queries around helps us clear the confusion because of communication.
The next three qualities can be considered part of communication itself.
Written communication works as a testimony and record of ideas, a talent for communicating, and intelligence. It may start with writing just a reply or your need to compose a message or mail, As the author, your interests, objectives, and goals, as well as the background and motives will play an important role in influencing the reader’s interests, objectives, background, language, comprehension. It is the backbone of the skills and the expertise is in contextualizing it to the situation on hand.
Increasingly, success is measured by his or her ability to influence others at work. With jobs at a premium and more people becoming self-employed, one needs to master the skills of influencing others in order to make the most of the opportunities which present themselves. Effective influencers operate in terms of the outcome of their influence, rather than set activities or processes. They focus not on how they will achieve influence, but on the actual achievement of their goal.
Again a very crucial aspect for sharing information that helps in decision making. The way you report or receive information based on the level you are in the organization determines the future course of action. While the devil is in the details, one has to be succinct to convey the right information.
So this leads us to the following skills that you need to hone continuously and move on to the next level or become more proficient at it.