Soft Skillsfor Success in a Digital Workplace Trish Bobst, National Curriculum Specialist Dianne Jackson, CTE Instructor Cengage Learning LAUSD/DACE firstname.lastname@example.org@lausd.net
Workshop Packets • Diagram Worksheet • Soft Skills Competency Checklist • Teacher Resource Materials • Lecture Notes • Classroom Activities • Technological Tools and Terminology
Soft Skills & This Generation… • Gen Y learners (most of our students): • Are busy multi-taskers; media-oriented • Used to working on teams • Remain close to parents who raised them to think they are “stars” and “special” • Optimistic & confident; want to be rich and famous • Are achievement-oriented; need structure and feedback • Will negotiate anything • Lack diplomacy • Bring an “entertainment attitude” to school • Get bored quickly if it’s not FUN • Don’t think of computers & devices as “technology”
Why “Generation Y”… • I've always wondered about this myself. Now I know........- The Silent generation, people born before 1946. - The Baby Boomers, people born between 1946 and1959. - Generation X , people born between 1960 and 1979. - Generation Y, people born between 1980 and 1995.Why do we call the last one Generation Y? I did not know, but a caricaturist explains it eloquently ..Learn something new!
Generation Y Censured
What are Soft Skills? • Moss and Tilly termed these subjective requisites as “soft skills,” which are defined as skills, abilities, and traits that pertain to personality, attitude, and behavior rather than to formal or technical knowledge” (Moss and Tilly 2001, p. 44).
What are “Soft Skills” to you? • Oral and written communication • Teamwork/collaboration • Work ethic/self-motivation/dependability/honesty • Critical-thinking/questioning/problem-solving • Risk-taking • Flexibility/adaptability • Leadership/influencing • Ability to work under pressure • Creativity/innovation/resourceful • Organizational/time management • Attention to detail
What Industry Says… • Technical skill ALONE does not make someone competitive in the job market • In fact, computer literacy skills are assumed! • Today’s workers demonstrate GAPS in: • Communication skills • Team/interpersonal skills • Problem solving • Quantitative reasoning • Business process knowledge • Project management
What Employers Say… Attributes Most Desirable in New Employees… • Ability to work productively on a diverse team • Oral & written communication skill • Ability to think critically and analytically • Resourcefulness in solving problems • Ability to locate, organize & evaluate information from multiple sources • Creativity & innovative spirit • Ability to understand and communicate quantitatively • Sense of integrity and ethics • Understanding of global cultures and values
Employers also… • Expect colleges & universities to prepare students in these areas • 63% say we are not doing our job • 87% rate this preparedness as critical to the United States remaining competitive in the global economy
What Recent Graduates Say… • Provide balance between general knowledge and major-specific skills (72%) • Many end up in fields not closely related to major • They AGREE with Employers! • Critical to success are: • Teamwork skills • Critical-thinking skills • Oral & written communication skills • Yet majority don’t think college prepared them well (51%)
2003 #1 reason students chose to major in a particular subject
2003 They were interested in or passionate about that field or subject.
2009 #1 reason students choose to major in a particular subject
2009 Career Opportunities Job Potential
Which would you hire? What if she added another certification? Now would you hire her?
There are different approaches • Teach soft skills as a piece of your core subject (integrated throughout) • Teach soft skills as a separate component of your core subject • Teach one unit of “soft skills” • Then teach a few units of core subject • Teach soft skills as an equal “piece of the pie” • Capstone, Assessment, Senior Project, etc.
Soft Skills – What % of grade? • 10% will affect a letter grade • If you keep it less than 20%, it won’t affect a grade in a big way
Think about this… • You could have great technical skills, but if you cannot communicate those skills, what good are they? • Aren’t Soft Skills more like… Life Skills?
What are Soft Skills? • Abilities for understanding communication • Interpersonal Skills that complement technical skills • Emotional intelligence • The capacity to behave appropriately
Communication Soft Skillsfor Success in aDigital Workplace Professionalism Teamwork Problemsolving
Verbal Communication • Organizing messages • Nonverbal communication • Giving and receiving feedback
Organizing Your Messages • Start with what your listener needs to know • Limit the amount of information • Eliminate unnecessary words • Make your messages relevant to your listener • Take a direct approach
Nonverbal Language • Maintain eye contact • Present pleasant facial expressions • Gesture appropriately • Maintain good posture • Keep your distance
Giving and Receiving Feedback • Emphasize the positive • Be tactful • Depersonalize negative messages • Provide solutions • Choose your location and timing • Give others permission to disagree with you
Written Communication • Emails and Memos • Writing Cover Letters • Proofreading and Revising
Cover Letters • Address your reader by name • Identify the position • Highlight your most relevant skills • Conclude with a call to action • Follow up with interesting prospects
Proofreading & Revising • Take a break • Slow down • Become familiar with your mistakes • Check your spelling and grammar manually • Ask a colleague to look it over
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TEAMWORK • Reflects the larger organization • Completes projects quicker • Offers creative solutions
Professionalism • Managing Your Image • Practicing Good Grooming and Hygiene • Managing Time
Managing Your Image • Your image is the sum of your observable characteristics • Your presentation signals your role in the organization • Your image affects your career path • Your image reflects that of your company
Practicing Grooming & Hygiene • Bathe every day • Groom facial hair • Care for your hair • Keep your breath fresh • Maintain foot health
Managing Time • Time-wasting activities • Plan your day • Identify Set priorities • Block distractions • Vary the types of tasks you perform • Be flexible
Problem Solving • Defining a problem • Identify Yourself as a Problem Solver • Recognize Problems
Problem Solving • Identify yourself as a problem solver • Recognize problems • Select an intuitive approach for solving problems • Select a systematic approach for solving problems • Make decisions
Recognize Problems Do’s Don’ts Consider problems as opportunities to find innovative solutions Define and then redefine the problem Don’t ignore problems until they are too big to solve easily Don’t stick to your original conception of the problem if you are having trouble finding a solution
Select an Approach Do’s Don’ts Use your intuition for simple problems Follow a systematic process for complex problems Review and reconsider the problem, your goals, and possible solutions Consider the problem from different perspectives Don’t create a detailed procedure that is difficult to complete or duplicate Don’t jump to conclusions