Soft Sklls for the Workplace PPT

People (Soft) Skills for
Success in the Real
Business World!
Being a Leader!
Don C. Bramlett, PE, SMIEEE
IEEE Region 4 Director 2009-2010
IEEE Southeastern Michigan Section
DTE Energy– Project Engineer
Reference Resource
“Stuff You Don’t Learn in
Engineering School”
By Carl Selinger
John Wiley & Sons, Inc
IEEE Press 2004
Good Basic Life Lessons
• You are responsible for yourself
• What you don’t know may hurt you, or hold
you back
• Don’t be afraid of something. Learn about it!
• Build on your strengths; target weaknesses
• Develop important soft skills
• Technical competency is the core of your
career in engineering!
Definition of Leadership
Leadership is the ability to influence
others, with or without authority.
All successful endeavors are the result of
human effort; thus, the ability to
influence others is a derivation of
• Interpersonal Communications
• Conflict Management
• Problem Solving / Decision Making
Interpersonal Effectiveness
Interpersonal effectiveness is the
capability of an individual to do this,
influence others, competently.
Leadership is a direct function of three
elements of interpersonal effectiveness
• Awareness
• Ability
• Commitment
Understanding Yourself and Others
• Understand yourself better and how to relate
to others:
Take a Myers-Briggs Indicators test
What do you like to do?
What don’t you like to do?
What about others? (Ask them!)
• Be assertive; not passive or aggressive
• Updated Golden Rule: “Do unto others as
they would have done unto themselves”
• Determine your mix among career objectives:
money, job security, challenging job,
recognition, etc.
Working Effectively as a Team
• Working through and with people
• Thinking “we”, not “I”
• Getting the Team to work together by:
– Giving the team the big picture
– Dividing work fairly
– Assigning responsibility to achieve
– Giving recognition
Interpersonal Communications
How to Write Better
• Use clear, simple, direct language
• Minimize use of acronyms
• Read more, to see good writing and
improve vocabulary
• Ask peers to review your writing
• Mentally pretend you’re talking to
someone, and write that!
Interpersonal Communications
Essentials of Public Speaking
You can do it!
Know your subject
Know your audience – expectations
Practice, Practice, Practice
Never just read
Speak slowly, clearly and loud enough
Be sincere and enthusiastic
Keep to time
Interpersonal Communications
Keys to Listening
• Listening is not just “hearing” the other
• Avoid distractions & make eye contact
• Concentrate on the person’s ideas &
thoughts, not just facts
• Reassure the person that you are
paying attention: ask questions
• Confirm that you’ve understood
Conflict Management
Tips to Negotiating
• You negotiate everyday!
• Identify your needs & the other’s needs
• Conflict Styles: Avoiding, Competing,
Accommodating, Compromising, and
• Aim for a “win/win solution, if possible
Keys to Problem Solving and
Decision Making
Determine the root cause of a problem
Determine what has to be decided
Identify options, choices & alternatives
What information is needed; what
criteria will be used to evaluate
• Make a decision; be decisive
Dealing with Ethical Issues
• Something that doesn’t feel right, may be
• Unethical is not the same as illegal
• Values vary greatly by culture
• Speak up and follow your instincts
• Talk to peers and mentors
• Read ethics “case studies” and columns in
professional-society and other magazines
The End
Have FUN in
your Career !!!