IT workers need soft skills, too!

- By Dr. Di

You may not remember this, but there was a time when IT functions were very separate from other things going on in an office—maybe because computers were huge and kept in refrigerated rooms.  But, no more.  Now tech staff are working right along with—actually collaborating with–other business employees to produce the most creative result possible.  In a recent global survey conducted by Deloitte, it was found that three soft skills sets for tech people are growing in importance:  1) Creativity, which involves being able to think about users and customers as human beings who will experience products in a unique way; 2) Flexibility of Thinking, where the tech person will be able to  take a multifaceted (not just data-driven) approach to problem-solving; and 3) Emotional Intelligence (EI), where the tech employee will have a mature, ego-less way of communicating and relating to others.  That is, they will display a high level of EI in their interactions with others by being self-aware and empathetic in their approach.

I’m not saying to forget about developing your analytic and data skills—they will be sought by employers for the foreseeable future.  But, also work on honing your soft skills and increasing your emotional intelligence by choosing experiences where you’ll have a chance to be your most accomplished self.