Soft Skills

  • majorbloodnock

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 9389

    The "golden rule" may be taught from birth, but is it learned from birth? I sometimes suspect not. It's not the way you tell or ask someone to act that is important, it's how they decide to act on that order or request. And yes, that's a fairly blatant use of soft skills.

    Soft skills are simply a matter of getting people to do stuff you want or need in situations where you haven't the power to dictate. Soft-headed, politically correct or cowardly notwithstanding, if you don't use soft skills, you'll get less help than those who do, and DBAs are almost always in a position where they can't demand and do need co-operation from people.

    I wholeheartedly agree that we look around and see far more selfishness and far less politeness and consideration than we'd like. I don't know what the solution may be, and I wish it were otherwise, but if you're canny then that self-centred attitude can often be exploited to still get the co-operation you may need - it just requires the use of a different set of soft skills.

    N.B. Just because soft skills are so called doesn't mean they're either soft or pleasant. Certainly they include knowledge of how good manners, how to make friends and how to build up trust, but even if you never choose to use them, the armoury also includes tools such as emotional blackmail and political maneouvring. Indeed, the knowledge someone has those weapons available but chooses not to use them does in itself help to establish that person's integrity. Take the simplistic view of soft skills at your peril.....

    Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 997104

    majorbloodnock (9/10/2008)


    Indeed, the knowledge someone has those weapons available but chooses not to use them does in itself help to establish that person's integrity.

    I found absolutely no correlation between soft-skills and integrity. In fact, I've seen some real "snakes-in-the-grass" who had outstanding soft-skills. And, I've seen several folks, some on this very forum, who have no soft-skills at all that I would trust with my professional career when it comes to integrity. It's nice when someone who has integrity also has soft-skills, but I'll take absolute integrity and honesty over just having soft-skills any day. Being able to say "Sorry, I was wrong" takes no soft-skill... it takes integrity. 😀

    I agree with pretty much everything else you've stated especially the part about "Take the simplistic view of soft skills at your peril..... ". 🙂

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".
    "Dear Lord... I'm a DBA so please give me patience because, if you give me strength, I'm going to need bail money too!"

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • majorbloodnock

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 9389

    No problem, Jeff. You'll find we're not disagreeing anyway. It's kind of the point I was trying to make; that soft skills are largely skills of persuasion, and that they can take many forms, not all of which are pleasant, socially acceptable or even legal.

    Of course, you're right that just because someone has good soft skills doesn't mean they're upstanding and moral. However, I personally believe integrity will show itself over time, and finding someone studiously avoiding the use of the "darker" soft skills is just one demonstration of this.

    Therefore, thanks for taking what I said and turning it into what I meant 😉

    Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720887

    Quite a few slick car salesman here in the US have great soft skills. Not sure that's good.

  • nunYoBidnez

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1128

    majorbloodnock (9/10/2008) Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat


    😉

    We are always in the manure; only the depth varies

    Now what kind of soft skill is that?:P


    Kindest Regards,

    The art of doing mathematics consists in finding that special case which contains all the germs of generality.

  • Wayne West

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 22586

    nunYoBidnez (9/10/2008)


    majorbloodnock (9/10/2008) Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat


    😉

    We are always in the manure; only the depth varies

    Now what kind of soft skill is that?:P

    That's a soft, gooshie, stinky skill. :hehe:

    -----
    [font="Arial"]Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information upon it. --Samuel Johnson[/font]

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720887

    Hey, I have a lot of those skills!

    Actually going to work on them now as a break from work. See what the horses have left. :w00t:

  • majorbloodnock

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 9389

    nunYoBidnez (9/10/2008)


    majorbloodnock (9/10/2008) Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat


    😉

    We are always in the manure; only the depth varies

    Now what kind of soft skill is that?:P

    This might just possibly be an appropriate point to reintroduce an old (perhaps somewhat hackneyed) parable about the non-conformist sparrow.

    There was once a sparrow who decided that, this year, he would not fly South for the winter. Winter came, off went his friends and the sparrow waited to see what it'd be like at home. However, unsurprisingly, he discovered that it just got colder. Much colder. In fact, so cold that he saw the error of his ways and changed his mind.

    So he took off and headed southwards. Unfortunately, it being a particularly cold winter, he became so cold whilst flying that his wing muscles cramped up. Unable to flap, he found himself heading relentlessly downwards towards, as it happened, a clearing in a farmyard. No sooner had he landed than a passing cow came along and defaecated directly on top of him. It was at this point that the sparrow felt things couldn't really get much worse, and he just sat there feeling particularly sorry for himself.

    However, whilst doing so, the fresh cowpat actually had the effect of warming up the sparrow, so that his muscles unbunched and he found he was able to move his wings again. So surprised was he at this unexpected benefit, and so relieved to feel warm again, that he started cheeping happily. This happy birdsong was heard by the resident farmyard cat who cleared away the cowpat, found the sparrow and promptly ate him.

    Three conclusions can be drawn from this story:

    1. Anyone who sh*ts on you is not necessarily your enemy.

    2. Anyone who gets you out of the sh*t is not necessarily your friend

    3. If you're warm and happy in a pile of sh*t, keep your mouth shut.

    😉

    Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat

  • Wayne West

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 22586

    majorbloodnock (9/11/2008)


    ... Three conclusions can be drawn from this story:

    1. Anyone who sh*ts on you is not necessarily your enemy.

    2. Anyone who gets you out of the sh*t is not necessarily your friend

    3. If you're warm and happy in a pile of sh*t, keep your mouth shut.

    😉

    An oldie but a goodie, one that I hadn't heard in a long time.

    Thanks for the joke this AM, I needed it. :w00t:

    -----
    [font="Arial"]Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information upon it. --Samuel Johnson[/font]

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720887

    An out-loud chuckle was heard in the office this morning. Very nice story!

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