I think a lot of this is influenced by the corporate environment or at least the department/section you're in. For example, at my previous job I worked on a small IT team writing software and saving the data for users who were all in the helping professions. Since it was a small IT team, we wore several hats, including business analyst, help desk, etc. Everyone on the IT team built good rapport with the users - we would listen to them, sometimes for quite a while, before saying anything. We just got good at it, out of necessity.
In my current job I work in a large IT team. The culture here is everyone does what their job title suggests. Basically, you don't do anything else. Of course, this isn't a hard and fast rule, more of a general guideline. So, although I think of myself as having good soft skills, for the most part I have to wait for someone else to interface with the users and then distill that information to me. I miss not interacting with users more. Bottom line, I'm sure where I work is like a lot of other places that people here can relate to.
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