Some time ago I wrote a blog entry titled “Is it Enough to be Good at What You Do?”
Time and again I come across people who are technically good at their jobs, but their personality, their attitude, their communication skills, their motivation and any number of other attributes actually make them undesirable as employees.
Over the thirteen years that we have been in business we have come across many consultants who have excellent technical skills, but for one reason or another they have become people that we would sooner not work with. We have seen ethics issues, personality clashes, communication skills issues or just nasty people!
We are all responsible for our own career and if you focus all of your efforts on the “technical” aspects of your job then you may limit your career opportunities. It is probably equally important to develop the soft skills that will help you to integrate well, that will get you noticed and that will position you for management.
In order to be a contributing member of a management team you need the ability to communicate your ideas effectively … in both spoken and written form. You need to be able to think about your “business” as a business person, not just from the technical seat you occupy (which could be IT, engineering, legal, accounting, marketing or any other profession). You need the interpersonal skills to navigate relationships at various levels, you need the ability to negotiate effectively and you need to know when to press your point and when to “get on board”.
All of these skills can develop over time IF you pay attention, recognise their importance and work on them.
The reality is that there are many, many people who are excellent technically (maybe even brilliant) but they are undone by those important soft skills they do NOT possess.
Do not underestimate the value of EQ versus IQ … it can be the difference between a long and rewarding career and “something else”!