People Skills Tips for Technical Professionals
by Kate Nasser |
My strong technical background (Mathematics) and my natural intuition about people gives me a special insight into the people skills (also known as soft skills or interpersonal skills) of technical professionals. It is a myth that technical professionals are incapable of highly social interaction.
As with any population, there is a range of abilities which can depend on interest level. Many technical professionals seem to enjoy the technical/occupational skills over the people skills. Yet I see in them a wealth of knowledge and a very deep commitment to helping others.
So this post is dedicated to you, technical professionals and to your people skills, so that all can benefit from your intelligence, knowledge, and deep commitment to help others.
#1 Collaborate vs. Control Instead of speaking through your entire thought and assuming people will understand you when you have completed it, stop along the way and welcome input, collaboration, and discussion. Else you risk alienating people who are not technical in nature.
#2 Dedication vs. Arrogance In any profession, you can choose to share your dedication to your profession with others. This choice creates powerful people skills and influence for your profession. Conversely, you can choose to look down on those who do not have your knowledge. This choice alienates people and reduces your influence. Dedication or arrogance — it’s your choice.
#3 Feelings Lead to Facts Most technical professionals are comfortable with facts and many are uncomfortable with feelings. Non-technical people are loaded with facts that you need in order to apply your knowledge to their business or scientific needs. In order to discover those critical facts, listen to feelings and then ask questions. Otherwise your discomfort and impatience with feelings, will come across as insensitive and possibly cruel. Bonus tip: To discover what they truly want, try a simple empathetic phrase: This can be … important, scary, frustrating … for you. People open up when they feel empathy, validation, and support.
#4 Willingness to Learn is NOT Weakness. My sister is a Ph.D. research scientist. A very bright creative problem solver with decent people skills. She is the first person I call when I have a scientific or medical question and she is glad to help. Yet when she faces a new situation about dealing with people in difficult moments, she calls me. Her willingness to learn and improve her people skills is NOT a weakness. Rather, people skills have increased her influence not lessened it.
What people skills tips would you like to add to this list? The sky’s the limit! Please share your experience in the comment field below.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
©2011 Kate Nasser CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, customer service, customer experience, and teamwork. She turns interaction obstacles into business success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results. See footage on this site.