Episode 94 Transcript

One of the things I tell my students is that in  general in society in business you have two types  of jobs you have the technician or the subject matter expert who has a skill like an engineer  an artist a computer programmer a carpenter a plumber somebody who has a very specific set of  skills to do a very technical task you could also consider someone who works at a bank at  the reception of a bank you know receiving payments  
giving cash exchanging money that would be considered a technician  
any job where you can write down a very 
specific job description and something that
is repetitive you go in you do your work it's 
typically the same type of work every day  the same type of tasks you just need to follow a script you need to follow  
instructions and you do the same job every day 
and that's pretty much what a technician would do  they're doing the same skills the same processes  with little variation um and uh most of the jobs in society are are technicians um and  
then you have the other type of job which is 
typically a manager someone who is involved in  strategy in leadership in management in guiding teams creating structures and processes and rules  and that job is often uh much more creative it requires uh the organizing of people  
leading of people the coordinating of different 
departments and different skills and expertise  and often there isn't a very good exact job description or process for for being a manager  you'll have somewhat vague goals or objectives and you have to figure out how to achieve those  goals and so there isn't a a an instruction manual 
there isn't a detailed job description on how to  
go about doing that you need to understand what 
the needs of the company are or the organization  and you have to be able to figure out how to get there on your own and the irony of this situation  is that the way that most companies promote people to a manager is by being very good at a technical  
job so if you're very very good at a technical job 
you get promoted and eventually become a manager  of other people who are in that same 
field who have those same skills and the problem with this method is that the skills that you need to be a good manager are  very different from being a good technician for 
example if you are a computer programmer you need  to be very good at javas cript or c plus or any of the other coding languages you can be very  good at creating code writing software creating 
websites doing front end or back end development  you can be very creative and proficient in that in those skills however once you get to  
the manager position it's a completely different 
set of skills that you need to be good at and  
typically what we call those are soft skills so 
for example some soft skills could be your social  
skills your people skills how do you relate to 
people can you communicate with them can you  
understand them what they're trying to say what 
their needs are um how what's your attitude what's  
your comportment are you patient are you kind are 
you a good listener do you communicate clearly  
you know what is your attitude are you 
friendly are you open to criticism are  
you open to feedback are you available to 
talk to people a lot of these ideas are
soft skills you know the ability to 
empathize with someone if they have  
a problem can you understand them do 
you have empathy for their situation  
do you understand the problem that they're 
having and can you help them find a solution
soft skills are often things 
that you you can't really measure  
how do you measure patience or being a good 
listener you can't really measure these things  
but an effective manager is going to 
be good at these soft skills emotional  
intelligence meaning can i sit with someone in 
the same room and understand how they're feeling  
to understand um what they think about their 
job their satisfaction and be able to ask them  
questions that give me gives me the truth of 
the situation emotional intelligence being  
if i have an assignment can i form the right team 
as a manager can i can i bring in the right people  
to form the right team to get the job done so 
this would be another example of soft skills  
what are some other soft skills  
being able to persuade so if you're you're a 
manager not everything you do you can just give  
orders a lot of what a manager does is work with 
other departments and other managers that are on  
the same level so you can't tell someone what to 
do if they don't work for you they're they're a  
peer there's someone who's on the same employment 
level as you and you need to work with them you  
need to persuade them to do what you need to be 
done so persuasion would be another soft skill  
um the ability to speak in public would be 
a soft skill to speak in front of a group  
to communicate to repeat to emphasize what 
you're doing not just verbally but in written  
one can you read and write clearly meaning can 
you read something that someone else wrote and  
understand what they're trying to say directly and 
indirectly these would be other examples of soft  
skills another one would be uh critical thinking 
or creativity can i can i look at a problem  
and understand the essence of the 
problem and a pathway to a solution  
that would be an example of soft skills 
being innovative in my solutions or  
understanding what resources i have available to 
achieve an objective that would be a soft skill  
that a manager would need to understand and 
be good at because that's what managers are  
they're people that take resources and then they 
use those resources to achieve an objective to  
get a solution so that would be an example of a 
soft skill another soft skill would be patience  
in troubleshooting you come to a problem 
managers are are by nature problem solvers  
so can you see a problem can you can you have the 
patience and the discipline and the determination  
to find a solution so patience is a soft skill 
and the ability to troubleshoot and to move past  
obstacles to find solutions to problems that would 
be another example of a soft skill or leadership  
leadership is a soft skill and again 
it's something that's very hard community  
to to to quantify it's hard to measure 
leadership you're trying to just know it  
inherently if you were asked by 
someone is is uh zubir a good leader  
is ryan a good leader well you would just sort of 
know but you could give examples but you couldn't  
give a score it's not like a test it's not like a 
an engineering or a mathematics or a biology test  
it's something that you just sort of 
know intuitively how could you define  
leadership as a soft skill well um the ability 
to resolve conflicts leaders need to be able to  
lead people and resolve problems in conflicts so 
conflict resolution could be another example of a  
soft skill another soft skill is empowerment 
taking people understanding their skills and their  
abilities and empowering them to do good work 
giving them authority giving them decision making  
capacity empowering them to do the work that 
needs to be done and understanding what the  
limitations of that are would be a soft skill 
another one could be mentoring or supervising so  
you have maybe weekly bi-weekly or monthly 
meetings with your employees as a manager  
and you mentor them you give them guidance you 
counsel them on the work that they're doing  
you offer them advice feedback so mentorship 
would be another example of a soft skill  
the ability to cooperate to be friendly and 
cooperate with other people would be a soft skill  
and again these are things that are important 
for for individual workers but but also so  
important for managers can i cooperate with my 
team can i cooperate with my boss and my peers  
do i have to always get my way or 
do i have the ability to negotiate  
do i have the ability to accept the 
desires and preferences of others  
and work towards a common goal can i be flexible 
and understanding these would be soft skills
yeah so i think this is a good 
list and again just to summarize  
technicians have hard skills the ability 
to do specific tasks and carry out specific  
job descriptions and in general managers are 
more defined by their soft skills those things  
you can't measure leadership empathy teamwork 
cooperation communication listening being creative  
critical thinking these are all examples 
of soft skills so i hope this helps

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