Professional People Skills – Work on You AND the Work
by Kate Nasser |
There is much press today about whether people skills (also known as soft skills) are considered during the hiring process. Do people skills count more than your occupational (aka hard skills)?
Quite honestly, to me the debate is both useless and a bit risky. Your professional career is in your hands. Hiring managers, teams of current employees, HR reps are people. They may consider people skills. Do you want to gamble that those interviewing you don’t consider people skills in making the choice? Whether they do it consciously or subconsciously, why bet that they won’t? Develop your professional people skills. Work on you AND the work. Be workplace ready!
When to start? Yesterday. Developing your people skills can begin in school. In can happen in your everyday life — inside and outside of work. I was lucky enough to have a mother who demanded it of us. So when I graduated college with a BS Mathematics, I had been developing the interpersonal skills of my right brain while sharpening and expanding my left brain.
Is it too late to start? Never. I continue to learn and improve my people skills. You have infinite interactions with people and it costs nothing to learn “on the job” so to speak. Even those who debate whether or not interviewers consider people skills in the hiring decision, agree that people skills are expected and assessed for job assignments and promotions once you have the job.
How to start? The most productive first step is to understand your own personality type — for two reasons.
- You will interpret what other people say and do based on your own personality type. It is your reference sheet.
- Knowing your type gives you limitless potential for adapting to others of a different personality type. It is the fuel for success in teamwork, leadership, customer relations, and long term professional friendships.
Here is some valuable footage on personality type differences to spur your learning: GPS Your Brain to Work With Any Personality Type.
Get Started! Take a well respected personality indicator like The Kiersey Temperament Sorter and then use the knowledge in your daily interactions. People-skills are the conduit to delivering your occupational knowledge to those around you and to the company that employs you.
If you get stuck, you can always call me (or my mother) for help!
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach in This Technical World
Masters in Org. Psychology
Kate Nasser delivers her 20 years of experience and her natural intuition about people in inspirational keynotes, transformational teamwork and customer care workshops, and coaching for your success. Preview her new customer service training DVD Customer Service USA.