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Soft Skills Are Hard

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In this interactive session, we'll work together on identifying and developing the interpersonal, creative, and cognitive skill sets that are essential in innovative work cultures.

Published in: Design

Soft Skills Are Hard

  1. 1. 1 Soft Skills are Hard Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  2. 2. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style We help companies to plan strategically for user research and to unlock their research super powers. Portigal
  3. 3. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Resources, presentations and to purchase http://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/interviewing-users/
  4. 4. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Part A (2 hours) • I talk • Two-part exercise (diverge) Part B (2 hours) • Matching (organize) • How might we (generate) • Plan (converge)
  5. 5. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style
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  9. 9. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style http://wrd.cm/1oYDjcl
  10. 10. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style http://bit.ly/1omZ2gl
  11. 11. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style http://1.usa.gov/1mzIuy7 • Communication • Enthusiasm & Attitude • Teamwork • Networking • Problem Solving & Critical Thinking • Professionalism
  12. 12. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style http://wp.me/ppfEs-5Ao
  13. 13. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style http://bit.ly/1nBTnzq
  14. 14. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style http://nyti.ms/1nM1EBA
  15. 15. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Noticing the noticing sensation Things that make you go “Hmm” Your attention is grabbed You stop what you are doing Laugh/point/cringe Furrow brow in confusion Whut tha…?
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  21. 21. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleCarry a camera/notepad and use it Thinkaloud protocol – say what you’re seeing (to a friend or device) Get out of your regular/comfort zone
  22. 22. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style http://bit.ly/1Dy7D2Z
  23. 23. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleListening is hard. We’re trained to hear the breath signals that it’s our turn to talk. This is not really listening. F I NISHED
  24. 24. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Listening (and body language) Yes! Not so much.
  25. 25. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleYou can demonstrate that you are listening by asking questions! • Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up • “Earlier, you told us that…” • “I want to go back to something else you said…” Signal your transitions: “Great, now I’d like to move onto a totally different topic…” This level of listening is not how we normally talk to each other • Remember that you are interviewing, not having a friendly chat
  26. 26. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleUse serendipitous encounters with loquacious taxi drivers, airplane neighbors, or social-cue-missing party chatters. Even if we can’t repair society’s listening inequity, we can use it to provide endless practice space. Are you talking to me?
  27. 27. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleObserving Cultural Context
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  40. 40. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style The more ways you have to work out ideas (alone or with others), the more impactful you will be. Moving a pen on paper will to engage your brain (and your audience’s brain) in a different way than moving a mouse or typing on a keyboard.
  41. 41. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style http://amzn.to/1yU5OtK http://amzn.to/1zIZyaX
  42. 42. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Have a different perspective Help others to know what they want Noticing Awareness Collaborate Draw Promptness Time management Organization Running a meeting Facilitation Facilitating conflict resolution Persuasion Selling Negotiating Communication Improving vocal projection Small talk Confidence in public speaking Speaking loud enough to be heard Wordsmithing Storytelling Articulateness Listening Empathy Tolerance for ambiguity Leadership Being okay not having the answer Funny Candid Honesty Humility Pride Kindness Appearing approachable Focus Disengaging Mindfulness Be proactive in helping others Be community oriented Learning people’s names Networking Animal magnetism Routinely seek information online Talk with strangers Work-life balance Positive attitude Openness Going with the flow Curiosity Creative Thinking broadly for solutions Looking past today Reflective Enthusiasm Motivation Confidence Assertiveness Responsibility/accountability Problem-solving Trusting instincts Engaging attention Recognize patterns Critical thinking Taking ownership/proactive Giving criticism or feedback Self-awareness Receive criticism or feedback Accepting direction Setting expectations Respecting other’s opinions Objectivity Independence Patience Self-editing Taking risks Comfort with failure Being honest about limitations Honing instincts Pattern-matchinghttp://bit.ly/WzePfv
  43. 43. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Diverge
  44. 44. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Groups of 2-3 Think about your own palette of soft skills. 1. Each of you identify an essential soft skill – where you know basically how you would develop that skill for yourself. 2. Each identify an essential soft skill – where you have no clue how you would develop that skill for yourself. Clearly add your name to your sticky and post it!
  45. 45. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Now, think about skills you want to see in your community. Think more about nurturing than imparting knowledge. 1. Each identifies an essential soft skill – where you know how you would help someone to develop that skill. 2. Each identifies an essential soft skill – where you have no clue how you would help someone to develop that skill. Clearly add your name to your sticky and post it!
  46. 46. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style
  47. 47. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Matching
  48. 48. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Let’s work on skills where you had no clue (for you or others) • Look for those skills (on either board) under “I know how” • Find the author who knows had to get better at that skill • Together write-up a longer HOWTO sticky (include skill name) • If you don’t find it listed anywhere, move it to the Generate list
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  50. 50. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Ideation Question: How might we improve the experience of students who smoke? Strategies Solutions Create a protected environment for smoking Facilities Build a pavilion Admin Allocate interior room Partners Align with nearby cafe Eliminate smoking Online Smoking cessation games Admin Ban smoking Partners Stop smoking coaches
  51. 51. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Ideation Question: How might we improve the experience of students who smoke? Strategies Solutions Create a protected environment for smoking Eliminate smoking Admin Allocate interior room Admin Ban smoking
  52. 52. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style The carrot (a financial reward for behavior we want to encourage) The stick (a financial cost for behavior we want to discourage) Make a new behavior acceptable by concealing it Make a new behavior acceptable by enabling everyone to participate Make a new behavior acceptable by masking it to look like an existing activity
  53. 53. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title styleThis is a collective, out-loud activity! Talk, listen, build on each other’s ideas • Don’t worry about a “bad” idea…it may lead to a “good” idea Don’t correct; generate alternatives • “Yes, and…” Individual ideas matter less than what is produced overall How can a sour lemon help keep things working smoothly?
  54. 54. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Time Pace of idea generation Addressing needs with low-hanging fruit
  55. 55. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Time Pace of idea generation Innovative Breakthrough Wacky Addressing needs with low-hanging fruit
  56. 56. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Let’s work on skills where we still have no clue • Groups of 3 • Take 2-3 (and mark ‘em) • Brainstorm “How might we?” • If you generate actionable, solid stuff, add to the HOWTO board
  57. 57. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Converge
  58. 58. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Individually, build your action plan from the HOWTO board. Suggest you pick 2 that you can easily envision doing (it’s easy, it’s simple, it’s quick) and 2 where you feel more resistance (it’s still unclear, it takes many steps or a long time). Write it up for yourself!
  59. 59. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Wrap it Up
  60. 60. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style What did you get out of this workshop? How will you apply it?
  61. 61. Soft Skills Are Hard ‹#› Portigal Click to edit Master title style Portigal Consulting www.portigal.com @steveportigal steve@portigal.com Thank you!

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