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What soft-skills are important for your career?

Jason_Cao
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Since school-age, test scores and GPAs (grade point average) have been the measures of our capabilities. As we start and progress into our careers and family life, we discover the importance and necessity for developing our emotional intelligence and other soft skills.

What soft-skills do you consider to be most important for you?

24 REPLIES 24

SergioG_TX
Active Contributor

Jason,

this is agreat question.. i would even suggest to end up with a blog. I believe and encourage people in the community to, yes of course know the technical skills, but also the soft skills not only to be able to communicate clear ideas, establish relationships and even more importantly, to relate and even being able to explain certain situations. I have been my own victim of being so deep in technology that sometimes even the simplest explanation takes me a little bit to communicate to non-technical people. Further, I believe that participating in a social media channel such as scn, twitter or any other you should be able to show respect and use correct wording... I have seen time after time where members violate the scn rules of engagement, sometimes adding bad responses, etc. In my experience, I have benefited from soft skills when I have interacted with individuals here specifically, then being able to recognize some of the contributors at several SAP event (sapphire, tech ed, SIT, ASUG...) it actually has benefited me and built relationships with people around the globe. more and more soft skills are needed to keep the relationships going. .... thank you for bringing this up, Jason

Jason_Cao
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Thanks 9958e4b6df99431a84a41b015b639ac8 ! Great tips on gaining and applying soft-skills. Communication skills is definitely important for explaining sharing our knowledge, ideas and challenges. It can have such an impact (both positively and negatively). Good choice!

Thanks also for the suggestion to gather everybody's input for a blog! Will do!

denis_konovalov
Active Contributor

1. Confidence in one knowledge
2. Ability to listen to others even if you disagree with them
3. Ability to remain calm when other side of conversation goes bonkers/unprofessional/confrontational....
4. Project positive attitude even if management ideas are completely idiotic.

listening is one of the biggest and probably most important one to have --- it is not easy.. but if one manages to do it well.. it is a game changer.

good feedback

Jason_Cao
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Hi denis.konovalov, thanks for these contributions! Agreed with 9958e4b6df99431a84a41b015b639ac8 - listening is a challenging yet important skill to have. I also like the "remain calm" skill, which I consider as self-management. Great list of skills.

Here's at t-shirt we wore at SAP Inside Track Kids Vancouver.

listening to understand as opposed to listening to respond

I'm stil learning it's okay to close your mouth and listen even if it means you forget what you wanted to say.

Really hard as I'm guilty of cutting people off as I have ideas that I think are really important to share. Then reality hits that (1) It's rude. (2) It's really rude (3) It's absolutely rude (4) It's arrogant to think that my thoughts are more imporant and valid than the person who is currently talking

But the reality is, if I forget does it really matter if they don't hear the words now. If I forget, is it really that important to share now or perhaps less important in light of learning new information from the person. and finally, if it's really important I'll eventually remember it - even if it's around midnight wen insomnia kicks in and my mind goes into overdrive.

qmacro
Developer Advocate
Developer Advocate

Some of the soft skills important to me are:

- knowing how to learn: continuous learning is a constant for many of us in this industry. Being able to effectively keep learning, staying abreast of or ahead of the curve, is important. Learning is a skill in itself and a very useful one to me. I'd recommend this course: Coursera's Learning How To Learn.

- saying 'no': generally speaking, only you know what are the right things to do, and when. Also, you are the best person to judge whether you have too much work to do. Being focused is not only about saying yes to the right things, but also saying no to other things. It's sometimes really hard to do, but seeing as one can get better at it the more one does it, I'd class "saying 'no'" as a skill.

- developing people: this can take many forms and be at many levels, but something I have tried to do in the past is improve my ability to help others grow. I wrote a little about this towards the end of my post "Things I do to make my life better".

Pretty sure I agree 100% with you DJ; it can be tough to do those things at times but being flexible enough to learn while juggling other tasks, and being able to say 'no', to help make sure you can manage your time (to learn, and get things done) are two fundamental issues for me. I'd like to think I try to help people develop too, which is a vicarious circle we all benefit from. No-one loses if we all get better at what we do.

Learning to say “no” is one I’m still working on, personally. I’ve realized how important it is to be able to set boundaries and make space for yourself to succeed. Well put!

Jason_Cao
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
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Thank you dj.adams.sap ! These are wonderful soft-skills to have! Thank you for sharing the Coursera course on learning! I've found that people who are authentically curious have found creative ways to learn.

I like the "saying no" skill as well - the greatest benefit I see is stress management.

ankurch
Active Contributor

Hello Jason,

Very nice question as per my understanding I believe these topics are required -

  1. Innovative thinking to continuously improve your career along with the business.
  2. Implement and execute the ideas, I think many of us having idea to build better but because of fear to failure we never go for it.
  3. soft spoken and listening skills.
  4. stay focused and stay hungry.
  5. Each day learn small things we turn you into a better person you were yesterday, never skip this.

I think these are the points I wanted to mentioned, but I know there are lots of things which we need to develop, I welcome open idea.

Thanks,

Jason_Cao
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

These are wonderful points ankur.chauhan! Thank you for sharing them!

When I read this list, I think about entrepreneurs, and how they need to continue to learn, innovate, stay motivated and not be set back by failures. I guess we all need to be entrepreneurs for our own self.

ankurch
Active Contributor

Fantastic suggestion - We have to be like entrepreneurs to keep us motivated and keep going further...

former_member181891
Active Contributor

In addition to what others have shared, I’d say humility. This can go such a long way both in knowing that you can never know everything (and therefore must rely on the smart people around you) and that your pursuit of knowledge is never complete. Being able to confidently say “I don’t know” is a crucial skill in building relationships based on trust and mutual respect, and ultimately in becoming a great leader. Even better is “I don’t know but I will find out.”

Thank you jcantrell! Yes, agree humility is a wonderful skill to learn and practice - I am a big fan of servant-leadership. Humble leaders are honest about what they don't know, and show how secure they are by giving others a chance to shine.

mmcisme1
Active Contributor
  1. Be open and LISTEN. If you are thinking about what you are going to say next - you are not listening.
  2. Have a positive outlook. You can't always be positive but constant complaining is very bad. Not only will it impact others. Your own attitude will gradually change.
  3. Always be able to offer an alternative.
  4. Communicate what you need as clearly as possible.
  5. And as DJ Adams - the largest "soft" skill would be to constantly learning. There are opportunities everywhere.

Jason_Cao
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Thank you c436ae948d684935a91fce8b976e5aa7! These are all good skills to have our career and home life.

Learning how to learn is definitely an important skill to have. I have come across people believe they are too old to learn, or don't need to learn more. I think this is only in their head - meaning it is their belief, which may not reflect reality. However, I think the point here is that there are more effective learning techniques and habits than others, and the start is to be open and willing to learn.

#1 for sure! I'm guilty of this myself. I'm a work-in-progress 🙂

mmcisme1
Active Contributor

And you think I do this all the time? I try to. I don't think I ever will be able to do this completely. 🙂

All I can do is keep trying. I know the problem - now to fix it,

Michelle

So many great themes here about staying open, continuous learning, and the willingness to find the answers we don't know.

Being mindful of the approach - sometimes how someone asks is just as important as what is being suggested/requested.

Jason_Cao
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Thank you focusmobility! I thought I posted a response to your comment but must have forgotten to press "submit." 🙂

I agree it is important to consider our approach to learning. It's true we should not be afraid to ask questions (and for help) - how we ask can determine the degree of success in achieving our goals.

Lakshmipathi
Active Contributor
  1. Encourage others to ask you question. By doing so, you come to know about your knowledge gap
  2. Don't feel shy to ask if we don't know anything. In some cases, even our juniors will show the right direction
  3. Eagerness to learn self by putting some basic efforts
  4. Never give-up for any failures as they are the stepping stone for success
  5. Don't get offended when someone discourages you. Ample time is there to prove them they are wrong

Jason_Cao
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
0 Kudos

Thank you lakshmipathi.ganesan! These are all important skills and behaviours. There seems to be a common thread in these points. May I ask what 'things' you think we need to have in order to follow these points? I first thought "self-confidence" but I think it goes beyond that - perhaps courage? Even (or especially) in moments when we're not confident, courage is needed.

Jason_Cao
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
0 Kudos

Thank you lakshmipathi.ganesan! These are all important skills and behaviours. There seems to be a common thread in these points. May I ask what 'things' you think we need to have in order to follow these points? I first thought "self-confidence" but I think it goes beyond that - perhaps courage? Even (or especially) in moments when we're not confident, courage is needed.