Not long ago, one of my 30ish year old coaching clients brought something to my attention that he encouraged me to ponder and to take action on. I’ll call him Bob.
Bob told me that he wished I’d been available to him 5-6 years ago as a coach when he was a Team Leader for the first time in his career. Because he knew more about a particular technology than everyone else in his company, he was asked to lead the team that was implementing a new version of the technology.
Knowing a lot about technology and leading a team are two entirely different skill sets Bob told me.
Bob told his story as if it had happened yesterday. The memory of being asked to do something he was not trained to do was fresh in his mind. In the end, he admitted that he did a great job of leading the technology side of the project but he also admitted that he didn’t do so well when it came to leading the people side of the project.
I sensed that Bob wasn’t happy with his previous boss for putting him in this situation without giving him proper preparation.
Bob continues to rise in his career. Today he is a Vice President. The training he didn’t have around people leadership 5-6 years ago still isn’t part of Bob’s skill set. That’s why he came to me for help.
I’m working with Bob at his request to help him develop people skills or soft skills as Bob called them so he can deliver his best possible performance as a new Vice President.
Bob is a gifted technologist but he admits to not being a gifted people person. He has to be one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met. His high IQ unfortunately doesn’t translate into naturally having exceptional soft skills.
In Bob’s current role where he routinely works with his company’s leadership group and he routinely meets with his company’s customers, Bob has come to the realization that the technical skills that propelled him to where he is today are not enough.
It was the President of Bob’s company who told him he needed to develop better soft skills. This comment captured Bob’s attention.
If you’re a rising technologist who is gifted with high IQ and you’re great at all things technical, the sooner you start developing soft skills like Bob is developing, the better.
Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810