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For the IT professional, employee experts claim that tech skills bring the interview, but soft skills score the job and help you keep it. Being skilled with computers and troubleshooting is an essential part of working in IT, but if you plan on truly excelling in the field, it's vital to have a combination of hard AND soft skills. Boosting your soft skills not only gives you the advantage on a new job or a promotion, but these skills also have benefits in all areas of a person's life, both professional and personal....
For the IT professional, employee experts claim that tech skills bring the interview, but soft skills score the job and help you keep it. Being skilled with computers and troubleshooting is an essential part of working in IT, but if you plan on truly excelling in the field, it's vital to have a combination of hard AND soft skills. Boosting your soft skills not only gives you the advantage on a new job or a promotion, but these skills also have benefits in all areas of a person's life, both professional and personal.

What are soft skills? What are MY soft skills? This course identifies seven skill sets and offers 3-4 Nuggets per skill set to help you improve your soft skills.

Steve Richards has been a CBT trainer since 2013 and a multimedia/communications business owner for almost 30 years. He brings a wealth of experience mentoring others to better communicate, work well with others, and be all they can be.
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1. A Case for Soft Skills (6 min)
2. Writing Skills: Power of the Written Word (9 min)
3. Writing Skills: Email is Your Friend (12 min)
4. Writing Skills: Tech Reports for the Non-tech Reader (9 min)
5. Presentation Skills: Planning an Effective Presentation (9 min)
6. Presentation Skills: Avoiding Death by PowerPoint (10 min)
7. Problem Solving Skills: Developing Countermeasures (6 min)
8. Problem Solving Skills: Continuous Improvements (14 min)
9. Problem Solving Skills: Identifying the Problem and Finding the Cause (8 min)
10. Time Management: There are Only 24 Hours in Each Day (10 min)
11. Time Management: Benefits of Prioritization (10 min)
12. Time Management: Plan, Do, Check, Adjust (9 min)
13. Team Building Skills: Building Your Team (8 min)
14. Team Building Skills: Listening and Accepting Criticism (7 min)
15. Conflict Management: Conflict Resolution Strategies (7 min)
16. Conflict Management: Conflict is Good (4 min)
17. Conflict Management: Developing Adaptability (6 min)
18. Career Management: Creating Your Resume and Preparing for the Interview (11 min)
19. Career Management: Positioning Yourself to Move Up the Ladder (12 min)

A Case for Soft Skills

00:00:00

Hello, everyone this is Steve Richards. I want to welcome you to the CBT Nuggets course on Essentials Soft Skills for the IT Professional. In this nugget, we're going to talk about a case for soft skills. ["LAW AND ORDER" THUNKING] I'd like to open up my case by showing you two pictures.

00:00:19

I'd like ask you a question-- which one is the IT guy? Yeah, I know it's probably stereotypical and a perception thing. I've dealt with perception before. I own three pit bulls, and it seems like whenever we go out for a walk, it amazes me how people automatically just get on the other side of the path and walk around us.

00:00:39

So I understand perception. My guess is you probably picked the one on the right, and that is the generic IT guy. And what I'd like to talk about is something that I'm going to call a gap. This is a gap between IT guy and who we're going to call corporate guy.

00:00:57

And it's a gap between how they look at each other. One of the common things that I've heard in the past is that IT guy feels like corporate guy says, I don't get these guys. I don't seem to understand how they talk. I don't seem to understand how they work.

00:01:14

I don't understand much about them. And of course, IT guy is saying, he doesn't get me. So there's a gap. We've got an IT guys that doesn't feel appreciated, and we've got a corporate guy the claims he doesn't even understand what IT is all about. And we're going to ask ourselves this question-- is it possible that a soft skills improvement could reduce this gap for us?

00:01:37

In other words, could we move more towards the right to get closer to, and reduce the gap from, the corporate guy? So that's what this course is all about. Before we go any farther, I don't want you to confuse my intent. In no way do I want to say that soft skills is a replacement for hard skills.

00:01:55

You need hard skills. Certifications are very important. Keep training. CBT obviously is a great place to learn. Keep training and learning those hard skills. What I'd like to say is rather than versus, how about and? Soft skills and hard skills to be a better IT professional.

00:02:14

So with that being said, what are soft skills? Well, I like to offer you three different ideas. The first is I'd like to call them the foundation blocks. Foundation is where you start. Foundation is how you communicate. Foundation is how you deal with conflict.

00:02:29

Foundation is how you actually advance your career. The foundation blocks are those skill sets that you use to move forward. Secondly, I'd say, is a place that you can build the emotional intelligence. The soft skills is what helps you go from an idea over into the heart and mind of another person to bring them along with you on the idea towards using their benefits or their skill sets to help you out in accomplishing your idea.

00:02:59

And then finally, some would say soft skills are common sense. I love this sign. Caution. Sharp edges. Do not touch the edge of this sign. And if you look real closely, let me show you what's at the bottom. I don't know if you can see this. Also, the bridge is out ahead.

00:03:12

Common sense is a soft skill that says, you know. I got to really look at what the other person needs, and what they are hearing me say, and make my presentation based on what they hear, not necessarily on what I hear, or what I say, or what I think.

00:03:30

So these are soft skills. I know vague is probably the word going through your mind right now, but what I'm going to do over the length of this course is build on the idea of how can I take you from where you're at right now-- whatever those skills may be, and by the way, I believe that everyone right now has soft skills, what we're talking about is improving them-- is how can I take you from a place where you are right now and move you forward to improve to become even a better IT professional?

00:03:59

Why do you need soft skills? First and foremost, for employment. You need to be able to hold a job. You need to be able to tell people what you need. You need to be able to tell people what you think they need. The second thing is advancement. If you want to start at the bottom and move up, you need to be able to move up somehow.

00:04:17

And the way you do that is by using your soft skills. And then lastly, piece of mind. I'm talking about soft skills being something that you can use not just at work, but at home, for fun. Whatever it is you want to do, soft skills will help you just chill out, if you will, without having to worry about how my communicating what I want to do, how do I say the right thing, I don't think they like me, what do I do about that?

00:04:43

All those issues are how you deal with soft skills, and that's what we're going to be talking about. I picked seven that I consider to be the seven essentials skill sets, and through the course, we're going to be talking about each and every one of these.

00:04:57

In fact, we have multiple nuggets, three, four, on each of these topics. And so I will hope this will be a way that you can improve on the skill sets. Writing skills, presentation skills, how you write, what you write, presentation, everybody's got to do it at sometime.

00:05:13

How do you actually present to others what you're trying to communicate? Now there's a problem. How do you deal with a problem? How do you solve a problem? Well, guess what? We only have 24 hours in a day, they always say. How do you manage that time?

00:05:27

You can't do it all by yourself. Team building is something we all need to do. We need collaboration. We need other ideas, like minds that can come together and help us be even better at what we're trying to do. But when we build a team, sometimes we have conflict.

00:05:41

How do you deal with the conflicts? And then finally, career management. How do you want to deal with your career? You want to stay where you're at? You want to grow where you're at? You want to move onto someplace else? These are all things that we're going to talk about in this course.

00:05:56

Wow. I know this is a lot, and I know it's abstract, but soft skills are abstract. There's no standardized testing for soft skills. There's no certification, although I wish there were so. What we're going to try to do is take where we're at and improve.

00:06:11

Be a better IT professional when we're done-- that's the goal. That's all the time we have for now. I hope this has been an informative nugget for you, and I want to thank you for viewing.

Writing Skills: Power of the Written Word

Writing Skills: Email is Your Friend

Writing Skills: Tech Reports for the Non-tech Reader

Presentation Skills: Planning an Effective Presentation

Presentation Skills: Avoiding Death by PowerPoint

Problem Solving Skills: Developing Countermeasures

Problem Solving Skills: Continuous Improvements

Problem Solving Skills: Identifying the Problem and Finding the Cause

Time Management: There are Only 24 Hours in Each Day

Time Management: Benefits of Prioritization

Time Management: Plan, Do, Check, Adjust

Team Building Skills: Building Your Team

Team Building Skills: Listening and Accepting Criticism

Conflict Management: Conflict Resolution Strategies

Conflict Management: Conflict is Good

Conflict Management: Developing Adaptability

Career Management: Creating Your Resume and Preparing for the Interview

Career Management: Positioning Yourself to Move Up the Ladder

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