Develop Your Soft Skills
In any team you are part of, developing your “soft skills” will make you a better team player. Those are the communication skills that let’s you better handle the dynamic within the team. Some can be considered trivial, such as being tolerant, initiative, positive, but even a small set of guidelines can make a huge difference between a mediocre team player to an awesome one.
Here are some guidelines I’ve gathered, that can assist you getting started with improving your soft skills
- Don’t use I, use we
- Don’t leave unreplyed mails in the end of the day, be responsive
- Be positive in your mails, use less “not", and more “yes, it can be done”, use less “it’s complex / impossible” and more “it is challenging / achievable”
- Negative mails are not productive, find something positive to add. It is even better to say it in-person, sometimes sending a message through mails can result the wrong intent
- Don’t say “we need more people” all the time, work hard, prove, that if you’ll have more people you would have a stronger team.
- Find a way to clearly communicate that you are in-the-zone mode and when you are available
- Be available, don’t hide entire day coding in hidden corridors, in meetings, or working from home.
- When you are asked for assistance, always say yes.
- Don’t spam, don’t send mails to massive mailing lists, I find sending direct mails much more effective.
- Take 5 minutes, 1 hour, a day, as much as you need, before you want to send a mail that takes out extreme emotions out of you
- Don’t write long mails, just get to the point
- Timing is everything, there is a meaning if you communicate with someone in the morning, or in the end of the day. Find the right time.
- When giving feedback (especially negative one) - do it in a constructive way and use examples ,reasons and not emotions.
- Learn to accept other emotions even when you feel different, start with accepting (even if you don’t understand) and go to your goal at the conversation.