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What soft skills/demeanors, unrelated to engineering education, are often extremely valuable as an engineer? ?

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Brian’s Answer

How to send and respond professionally to emails.
How to talk to people and communicate concepts clearly to people from multiple different backgrounds.
How to ask for help
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Roberto’s Answer

- Critical Thinking
- Effective communications
- Collaborative methodologies, like Design Thinking
- Learn how to continuously learn


Online learning is a key element of life-long learning.
You might want to consider digital credential from elearning platforms, such as Coursera or also at https://skillsbuild.org for free educational content and credentials
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Vinay’s Answer

I believe that having patience and persistence can often lead to success in the field of engineering.
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Liwen’s Answer

Fantastic question! The response truly varies from person to person. If I had to choose, I'd say curiosity, the ability to learn, and storytelling skills are key.
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Drew’s Answer

A limiting factor in engineering education is the lack of time for non-engineering courses. Before I went to engineering school, I studied Political Science for two years and sold life and health insurance for about a year and a half. The stereotypical engineer is boring. Engineers who can communicate, persuade others and understands liberal arts has a significant advantage over other engineers.

Drew recommends the following next steps:

Join a local Toastmaster's group to improve your speaking skills.
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Sean’s Answer

How to communicate clearly and at the right technical level for your audience. When presenting status to your manager you don't want to overwhelm them with all the details. When you are speaking with technical people you also need to gauge how much technical detail they understand and speak appropriately.

How to estimate how long a large task will take, usually by breaking it into smaller sub-tasks. If schedules are planned weekly or bi-weekly, you need to be able to estimate how much of the task (or how many small tasks) you can do in that time period.

Respect and empathy for others. Some teammates might not be as skilled as you in certain areas, but look for the areas in which they know more than you and learn from them.
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david’s Answer

I like your question, as every career has soft skills that are in short demand. For engineering, the ability to listen and accept decisions that do not reflect an engineering perspective. For example, as an engineer, you might design a product that will cost $1,000 to manufacture, yet the marketing product may want to hit a price point of $700. To do that, you would have to compromise the design to hit the desired price. The final product would be inferior, but your role is to make it happen. The other skill that I think is important is accepting that others in the conversation do not understand engineering terminology or the implications of what they want. Listening to them and educating them on what they are requesting is a delicate skill to be learned and practiced. Good luck to you.
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Marshall’s Answer

Greetings-

Soft skills are skills that may not pertain to the job.

These are things like Active listening, Coaching, Problem solving, Communication skills etc.

Almost any soft skill will apply to any role or even life. Many of these will help make you a more valuable teammate and possibly help you advance your career and that carrer of those around you. All of the below would be useful:


Communication

Leadership

Emotional intelligence

Creativity

Problem solving

Time management

Critical thinking

Teamwork

Adaptability

Decision-making

Collaboration

Conflict resolution

Public speaking

Resilience

Skills management

Assertiveness

Mentoring

Storytelling

Stress management
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John’s Answer

Hello there!

Just a friendly reminder that honing your soft skills can be a game-changer in your career journey. Here are some key ones to always remember:

- Mastering the art of time management
- Embracing the power of teamwork
- Nurturing your emotional intelligence
- Excelling in communication
- Welcoming and giving constructive feedback
- Striking the perfect work-life balance
- Seizing opportunities to give back

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
John
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Jeff’s Answer

Long gone are the days of lone programmers working 20 hours a day, releasing their projects when ready! Software projects have grown into massive team efforts so you have to be able to communicate with others, express your ideas, convince other team members, and listen to other team members. You need critical thinking and problem solving skills. You also need negotiation and team-work skills.

Hard skills, such as programming, design, test are all teachable. It's really the soft skills that will give you an advantage over your colleagues.

When I teach college classes, I always add a presentation. Public speaking is one of the most important soft skills but most people are very scared. With large, multi-national, multi-cultural teams, you have to let others know what you are doing and how you are making a difference in your team and company. It's the only way to get ahead, get promoted and, in some cases, keep your job. You have to sell yourself and your contributions. Your manager might think you are the best thing to happen to your company ever but if none of the other managers know who you are or what you do, you won't get very far. Lyndon Baines Johnson was fond of saying "I gotta go on TV and tell the people of our great country what I done for them today!" Sell yourself!

Jeff recommends the following next steps:

Take a public speaking class!
Take another public speaking class!
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Patricia’s Answer

Hello,

The previous response provided some excellent points. These are abilities that you typically don't acquire in a structured environment, but rather through observing others and gaining experience. It's frequently about adopting a certain mindset. Here are some additional skills that are worth considering:

Resourcefulness - When there's a lack of clear direction, how do you tackle problem-solving?

Empathy - Treating others as you would like to be treated is crucial.

Persistence - How can you transform obstacles into opportunities? It's all about maintaining a positive, can-do attitude.

Follow-through - Fulfilling your commitments is key. This not only builds your credibility but also fosters trust.

Remember, every challenge is an opportunity to grow and learn. Keep pushing forward, and you'll be amazed at what you can achieve.
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