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.