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The Goal Is Adding In What Isn’t There Now

Most engineers, scientists, and technical professionals select their career path because it satisfies the way they want to move through the world. It satisfies a longing to either understand the world in which they live or it satisfies a desire to create from their own being things that don’t yet exist. Without getting too philosophical, I believe that is what motivates us as engineers, scientists, and technical professionals.

You’ll notice in my description above there is no mention about people or the relationships between people. It’s about the relationship between the engineer, the scientist, and the laws of the universe; the laws of the world within which we exist. If engineers and scientists had wanted to be involved with people they would have become therapists, or sales people, or maybe even doctors. But they didn’t. They became engineers and scientists. They didn’t miss the human contact as they were studying why things work the way they do.

Fast forward to the present. Maybe you have just graduated from college. Maybe you just gotten a technical certificate. Or maybe you have been an engineer or scientist for several decades. Wherever you are along your path, you have probably done pretty well. You have succeeded, maybe even excelled in your technical abilities.

And now, for whatever reason, you are being asked or you are asking yourself to become more involved in management, in leadership, in team participation. And it’s not quite what you thought it would be. It’s difficult. These creatures called human beings are not as predictable as F=ma or E=IR. The laws of physics don’t seem to change with blood sugar levels or with what has happened the day before. People seem like very unpredictable “black boxes”; input goes in but we are never quite sure what the output will be. Engineers often see people as the great unpredictable conundrum.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. People, just like other aspects of the universe, function within relatively predictable parameters. While not as predictable as F=ma or E=IR, humans are indeed creatures that can be understood, led, managed, and worked with in a positive and constructive way…. if one knows how to do it.

STCerri International’s primary purpose is to turn engineers and technical professionals into great communicators, great managers, and great leaders. That is all we do and we do it very, very well.

What are Soft Skills or Interpersonal Skills or People Skills?

These skills include the ability to communicate effectively, build rapport, persuade people of your position or ideas without alienating them, get along with a wide variety of people, be an effective contributor on teams, and lead teams to achieve exceptional results. Soft skills are those skills that generally allow you to be considered a colleague that people want to work with. With the use of soft skills you can move effectively and smoothly through a wide variety of social and professional situations with a wide variety of people, and you can advance your technical-management career.

What is Effective Communication?

The ability to communicate with other people such that people listen to you with their “mental filters” open. Effective Communication does not necessarily guarantee that people will agree with you, but it does guarantee that they will “hear” and hear you with an open mind…and that is the beginning of real influence and leadership.

What is an Individual Contributor?

Someone who is paid for the individual work they do. For example, if your performance review and salary increase are directly dependant upon what you specifically do, then you are in individual contributor. If, on the other hand, your performance review and salary increase are directly related to what others have done as a result of your direction, you are not an individual contributor, you are a manager. If furthermore, your performance review and salary increase are a direct result of certain tasks you do and certain tasks others do as a result of your direction then you are both an individual contributor and a manager.