What are your most important soft skills?

Infosec_SamInfosec_Sam Security+, CCENT, ITIL Foundation, A+Madison, WIAdmin Posts: 451 Admin
edited May 2019 in IT Jobs / Degrees
I stumbled upon this podcast this morning and found it to have some pretty good insights. It's under 10 minutes, so it's a pretty quick listen. It talks all about how hard skills and tools can be taught in a few days, but soft skills are much more difficult to train, and therefore are much more valuable to have. The ability to communicate technical problems to non-technical personnel is huge in this field, and it can make the difference between a promotion into IT management and being stuck in a technical role. Another topic the host spoke about was the ability to work as a team, and I think that skill doesn't always get the attention it deserves. Granted, a bad experience in a team can ruin the idea for many folks, but a group of people who really synergize with each other can have a big impact on their organization.

So, what do you think are the most important soft skills to have? I'd love to see your thoughts below.

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Comments

  • SoCalGuy858SoCalGuy858 CISSP, GCIH, GSEC, Project+ The TriangleMember Posts: 142 ■■■□□□□□□□
    These were touched on above, but just to expound a bit on these communication-related principles:

    1) Being able to translate the "bits and the bytes" into business speak is probably the biggest barrier I see to advancement, whether in cyber security, IT, or any other related field.  I hear a similar line from tech pros that boils down to "executives don't understand... they just love to say no to us!"  Well, did you break in down in a manner that they can easily digest, or did you make their eyes glaze over?  You don't need to have MBA-level knowledge, but the ability to translate the lower-level components of a given system into how that benefits the company - particularly if you can communicate a quantitative value to it - is important.

    2) Being able to communicate succinctly.  This definitely goes hand-in-hand with the above comment, but I feel that it warrants its own bullet because you can definitely communicate something "simple", but in a long-winded manner.  This is another key to advancement and success in these fields... even with executives that may still have a solid technical grounding... they don't have the time to hear it all (which equals money!).  Whether you're giving a presentation, writing an e-mail, or even speaking to them in person... the higher up the chain you go, the shorter and more brief you should be.

    LinkedIn - Just mention you're from TE!
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,400 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think the tech roles need someone that has a lot of soft skills.

    i think the biggest soft skill is listening.  Not listening to fix a problem, but listening to understand the problem , and the persons frustration.  Techs want to jump in And fix the problem, but they forget the human element of the problem.  Often times people want to be heard, and then have their problem fixed or worked on. 


    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,400 ■■■■■■■■□□
    These were touched on above, but just to expound a bit on these communication-related principles:

    1) Being able to translate the "bits and the bytes" into business speak is probably the biggest barrier I see to advancement, whether in cyber security, IT, or any other related field.  I hear a similar line from tech pros that boils down to "executives don't understand... they just love to say no to us!"  Well, did you break in down in a manner that they can easily digest, or did you make their eyes glaze over?  You don't need to have MBA-level knowledge, but the ability to translate the lower-level components of a given system into how that benefits the company - particularly if you can communicate a quantitative value to it - is important.

    2) Being able to communicate succinctly.  This definitely goes hand-in-hand with the above comment, but I feel that it warrants its own bullet because you can definitely communicate something "simple", but in a long-winded manner.  This is another key to advancement and success in these fields... even with executives that may still have a solid technical grounding... they don't have the time to hear it all (which equals money!).  Whether you're giving a presentation, writing an e-mail, or even speaking to them in person... the higher up the chain you go, the shorter and more brief you should be.

    Agreed

    i worked with some high level IT leaders ( project managers and IT directors) , and it seems like the higher they go in the food chain, the less words they use.

    i remember one lead project manager saying less is more. Basically, can you make s point in one or two sentences.

    Always thought the book How to Win Freinds and influence people is a greAt book

    Also, the compassionate geek has some good you tube videos on soft skills


    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Member Posts: 399 ■■■■■□□□□□
    The ones I see most lacking are:

    Punctuality
    Positive attitude
    Industriousness
    Overall social skills
    Appropriate etiquette in written communication
  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA CCNA R&S, ITIL, Security+ ZZ9ZZAMember Posts: 543 ■■■■□□□□□□
    For those of us on the spectrum, social skills are difficult and a constant challenge. I'm sure I didn't make the cut in interviews because I missed a social cue here and there. 

    'My dear you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly' Winston Churchil

  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,078 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Biggest issue I see is people not thinking things through to the 2nd and 3rd order effects. For instance, you can solve a problem two ways, one way is faster but more likely to cause a problem elsewhere, the other way takes longer but causes fewer problems. Examples include not documenting changes, making a change on a Friday or right before vacation and not communicating a change to other teams.
  • BarbaradsBarbarads Member Posts: 16 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Love and wisdom.
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