Are Your Communication and Interpersonal Skills Holding You Back?
IEEE Computer Society Team
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In the complex world of technology, most industry professionals emphasize hard skills like certifications, education, knowledge, project experience, and real-life application. Soft skills are often overlooked, but they are the main drivers behind career advancement and professional development. Soft skills are traits like empathy, adaptability, creativity, teamwork, self-awareness, leadership, resilience, and emotional intelligence—typically the characteristics and competencies you don’t learn in a classroom.
4 Ways Communication and Interpersonal Skills for Tech Professionals Benefit the Workplace
Research shows that soft skills contribute to 85% of job success. Additionally, professionals with high emotional intelligence earn an average of $29,000 more a year. As employers increasingly prioritize healthy work environments, career success will depend on more than technical know-how.
Team members who know how to communicate and treat others with respect help foster a positive work atmosphere. Leaders will take notice when employees’ interactions have an uplifting effect on their company and teams. Environment detractors, on the other hand, won’t last long. Work-life balance and healthy work environments are increasingly important for the modern employee, and it’s to your benefit to be a clear supporter of a positive workspace.
2. Soft Skills Contribute to Better Decision-Making
Strong communication and listening skills allow you to make better decisions, whether you’re a leader or simply one of the group. When you’re able to absorb information from multiple perspectives, you’ll make a better decision that will benefit the company overall.
3. Soft Skills Often Increase Revenue.
When you’re able to empathize, connect, and work alongside others efficiently, better business decisions are made that ultimately drive more company revenue. The more you’re able to effectively communicate with departments like marketing, sales, customer success, and more, the more you’re able to spread key learnings and insights that bolster everyone’s product or service knowledge—especially coming from a technical background.
4. Soft Skills Make Better Leaders.
If you want to take on leadership roles and manage other employees, you are absolutely going to need strong soft skills. Most employers say they wouldn’t promote someone into a leadership role without strong confidence in the person’s people skills, communication skills, and emotional intelligence.
How to Develop Soft Skills
If you feel you might be lacking in soft skills, it can be daunting to think about trying to develop a whole other aspect of your professional persona. Soft skills might not feel the most natural to your personality, and everyone struggles to find their footing at first. However, free online training and seminars are an excellent place to start identifying any soft skills gaps and brainstorming ways to improve. Because 97% of business leaders say soft skills are more critical than hard skills, it’s more important than ever to strengthen these muscles to ensure you’re advancing in your career.