SOFT SKILLS TSID Conference June 23, 2012 Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills Before we get started I would like you to take a few minutes to list the hard and the soft skills you possess. Hard Skills definitions • Technical or administrative procedures related to an organization’s core business. • The primary skills that are needed to perform a particular job. • Specific, teachable abilities that can be defined or measured. • Concrete areas of knowledge and abilities Hard skills • are acquired through education and training. • are easier to learn because most of the time the skills sets are brand new to the learner and no unlearning is involved. • also include your academic degrees, pertinent licensees, certification . • may make a person a subject matter expert. Hard Skills examples • Technical or administrative procedures • Office Software (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint) • Second Language fluency • Project Management • Financial Procedures • Business Communication/Writing • Web Design Interpreting Hard Skills •ASL / English fluency •Translation •Consecutive Interpreting •Simultaneous Interpreting •ASL to English and English to ASL Interpreting •Transliteration Soft Skills definition • Behaviors and characteristics that employees demonstrate unconsciously and routinely (Daytona Beach Community College) • Learned through practice and experience (DDI International) • Personal and interpersonal behaviors that develop and maximize human performance • The accumulation of life skills as they apply in a business environment. (Trios College ) • Workplace standards of behavior needed to interact and cooperate effectively with coworkers and the general public. (U.S. Department of Labor) Soft Skills • Non- technical skills • Someone’s personal culture – the framework of individual beliefs , actions and behaviors. • Include a wide variety of business skills including: interaction with co-workers professionalism and work ethic critical thinking or problem solving Interactions with Co-workers • Networking • Communication - sharing information with others • Teamwork/Collaboration • Demonstrating Empathy Professionalism and Work Ethic • Dressing appropriately • Integrity • Optimism • Enthusiasm/Motivation Critical Thinking and Problem Solving • Ability to pull together data to solve a problem • To develop a solution to the problem in a reasonable manner • To think outside the box to solve a problem Soft Skills • Usually learned from one’s parents • Play an important role in how a person responds to us. • Usually fall under the category of “attitude” • Relatively hard to evaluate and hard to teach. Soft Skill Traits •Friendliness •Loyalty •Diplomacy •Tact •Tone of voice •Creativity •Common Sense •Agreeableness •Social graces •Self discipline •Self confidence •Non-judgmental •Thick skinned Interpreting Soft Skills •Confidentiality •Flexibility •Adaptability •Positive attitude •Works well with their team/partner •Communicates with team, interpreter coordinator •Able to effectively negotiate with deaf client, hearing client, Group Activity • Looking back think of 2 or 3 of your interpreting/professional/ personal success stories. • List all the soft skills you used to create that success. • Describe briefly the successes and what it took to achieve it. • Reviewing past successes is a great way to help us explore and identify skills we take for granted. • It will also help us to recognize skills that we may not be aware of until you see the same skills appearing over and over again in very different situations. What do employers say • Recent graduates often have strong technical skills but need more non-technical training • Lack of soft skills is the primary reason for employee turnover • Strong evidence concerning the impact of soft skills on performance . A person with highly developed soft skills far exceeds the average person. • Emotional intelligence. • Teams with agreeable and conscientious workers are more productive. • We are looking for employees who are fully engaged in their job. • The importance of soft skills in the work place can’t be underestimated. • Everyone likes to work with people they enjoy! What do deaf students say? “My interpreter is great! Gives me the answers on tests.” “The interpreter is very skilled, but tries to be my advocate. I can advocate for myself.” “Lousy interpreter. Not warm and friendly.” What do interpreters say? Great Interpreter; Would not work with him and I sure would not hire him. He has a mean streak. “She is an incredibly gifted interpreter. She has great voicing skills, ASL is superb, her people skills are excellent, she is professional and she has a Level III!” “She is a good interpreter, but she is rigid about educational interpreting. She can’t be flexible.” “She is always making excuses – it gets old” What do Administrators say? She is a fabulous interpreter. But, I can’t depend on her. She is never on time” “He may not be my most skilled interpreter, but he is my most mature one. What he lacks skill-wise he makes up for in attitude.” “Fantastic interpreter. ASL to English skills are exemplary but he is known to break confidentiality” What do Interpreter Coordinators say? Interpreters that are too needy, too demanding, too rigid make me crazy” “There are interpreters who are good but just don’t care - they are not invested in the process, the Deaf client or their team.” “Interpreters who do not treat other interpreters respectfully - I don’t want to use them.” What do Deaf people say? • Dependable • Trustworthy – keep confidentiality • Honest • Friendly • Sense of Humor • Ethical • Punctual • Professional • Good Manners • ABLE TO DO THE ASSIGNMENT! Leaders of all levels rely heavily on their soft skills by: • • • • • • • • • • Setting an example Teambuilding Facilitating meetings Encouraging innovation Solving problems Making decisions Planning Delegating Coaching Encouraging and motivating In closing • People rarely get fired for poor knowledge, but often people are let go because of a poor attitude, laziness, or unwillingness to work with others. • Hard skills get you the interview • Soft skills get you the job and the skills to keep the job! • What kind of an interpreter/employee are you?