As a manager, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to tell my team to “Get it together!!”
FYI: A gentleman by the name of Fikayo Idowu can do an almost perfect impression of my manager’s voice. Where am I going with this?
When I tell my team to get it together, it’s probably because they aren’t communicating clearly or working effectively together. Communication, teamwork, agility, and adaptability are some examples of soft skills that are highly sought after by tech founders and recruiters alike. Communicating clearly isn’t just about speaking eloquently– it’s also about being able to let your manager know when you are running behind on a deadline or facing challenges with your KPIs. Agile employees are able to fearlessly face new challenges and solve problems without complaining or whining. I like how Workable defines soft skills on their website:
“… they’re general characteristics that help employees thrive in the workplace, no matter their seniority level, role or industry. They’re often called transferable skills or interpersonal skills,” Workable.
In today’s edition of Entering Tech, you’ll learn a bit more about soft skills, why they are important, and how you can develop them on the job. Happy reading 🙂
by Koromone Koroye, Timi Odueso and Caleb Nnamani.
Over the past 5 editions of #EnteringTech🚀
, we’ve talked about upgrading your journey with hard tech skills like no-code development, product design and social media management.
This week, we want to talk about the soft
life side of tech: soft skills.
While hard skills are technical skills that teach you how to do your job, soft skills are transferable personal skills that help you excel at work.
Image source: YungNollywood
Soft skills are interpersonal skills you develop over time; and unlike hard skills that you learn in university, soft skills are learned through interaction with peers and team members.
Soft skills include communication, integrity, discipline, time management, loyalty, curiosity, trustworthiness and a bunch of other stuff.
Solisten up, there are many soft skills out there, over 20 in fact. But because we like y ‘all, we’ve spoken to several people to find out the top 5 soft skills you’ll need if you want to suceed in tech. They are:
🗣️Communication: You already talk every day, why not make it work for you?
Effective communication is knowing when, where, and how to talk to your coworkers—or anyone really.
Communication can be verbal: listening, writing, talking and presenting; and nonverbal: facial expressions and body language. Nobody wants to work with someone with a stony face and a look of disgust permanently etched.
By learning how to communicate effectively, people learn about your strengths and see how you add value to the team.
🤝🏾 Collaboration or Teamwork: If you want to go far, you have to go with people.
We live in the digital age and remote work is becoming more popular. Knowing how to work in collaborative environments is an unspoken requirement in most startups.
Collaboration and communication are twins because you cannot do one well without relying on the other.
Collaboration helps you solve problems quickly because you’re sharing them with your team, and pulling in stakeholders. You’re not hiding failures, hoarding the limelight, or laying blame. You’re working together with others to find the best solutions.
Everyone loves helpful people, and collaborating is a sure-fire way of getting things done and getting to the top.
🌱 Growth mindset: And no, we’re not talking about job hopping.
Everything changes quickly, especially in tech. There are new updates to tools, apps and businesses being released every other day. If you want to survive, you have to have a growth mindset.
Here’s what that means: you need to be able to change and adapt quickly.
During COVID, companies around the world had to shut down their physical offices and move entire teams to virtual workstations; this change forced many employees had to adapt quickly.
This also means the ability or willingness to learn and develop new skills, hard or soft. A growth mindset comes with knowing that you’ll always need to learn new things if you want to be good at what you do.
⌚️Time management: Please, there’s no “African time” in tech. To succeed, you always have to be on time with most things like deadlines and meetings.
Time management is critical for the team, but also for you. Developing time management skills and knowing how to balance your time will help you get better at executing tasks at work.
If you don’t plan and spend your time well, your co-workers might get the impression that you are falling behind on your work 🙁 or it’ll give your colleagues the impression that you’re not serious.
If you can’t meet a deadline or a meeting, communicate the changes to people and let them know.
🔎 Curiosity and discipline: Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.
The biggest names in tech are there because they were curious enough to find out the problems people had, and solve them with tech.
If there’s a skill that’s critical to the growth of tech innovation on the continent, it’s curiosity; or knowing how to ask the right questions in any room.
Curiosity doesn’t just mean asking though; it means digging deep enough to find the answers and if you’re curious enough to find answers to questions, then you’ll be a valuable asset to any team.