Technical or social skills – what’s more important?
This morning I read this incredible article from The Atlantic and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I had to throw in my two cents on the subject.
The article talks about social skills versus technical skills. The timing of this article is amazing because I was just talking about this very thing with my friend last night!
My friend is wonderful, she’s one of those absolutely golden human beings – though she’s a little bit quiet. She’s really technically skilled, but she’s seen other people at work get promoted without the technical chops she has.
She’s thinking, “What’s the deal? I know how to do the job better than they can!”
This situation isn’t unusual – at all.
Everyone else just happened to be a bit more open and sociable. Even if somebody is really, really nice on the inside, it they’re not as forward with it – people don’t know. It can be little hard for people who are a bit more introverted. It’s really important to remember though that the soft, social skills are super important for getting ahead in any area in life.
I’ve seen this over and over again.
The most technically skilled people are not the people who tend to move up – often because they don’t play up their social skills.
Especially if you plan to move up into a management role, you’ve gotta have those people skills! Sometimes these technical experts put up a wall around themselves by thinking, “I’m the best. Everyone knows that, so I don’t need to bother with the ‘fluffy’ stuff” – but you do. At least, you do if you want to move up and on.
Here comes the boom
We’re in a time of major change.
The jobs that are highly technical are increasingly done by computers, so those jobs start being less in demand.
The jobs which can’t be done by a computer – something which requires emotional intelligence – become more valuable.
Engage the social!
The people who are good enough at their job, and have the social skills to supplement it, go further in their careers.
What about us entrepreneurs?
This is important not only to people in jobs but also to us entrepreneurs. People are attracted to other people who are nice, kind and make others feel great. You can be as sweet as you are on the inside, but unless you show people a little bit of that, it doesn’t come back to you.
Always remember to have fun in your work, whether it’s your job or your business. It’s your life and no one’s going to live it for you. You may as well have a great time doing it, because it’s also a really smart career move.
Wishing you great water-cooler conversations + silly social fun (both offline AND online),
Let your social self shine by commenting your thoughts below! Or, come on over and get even MORE social with me on Twitter or Facebook.