#AskSuman: Answers To Your Career Questions!

The first session of #AskSuman was held last week. It is a Twitter activity that I did to answer any questions people might have about skill building or career growth. There were interesting questions about different aspects of training and soft skills. I am going to share some of them here.

The first one was from Kunjal Kamdar, who is a social recruiter.

I think this is quite an important question and the only way one can encourage employees to build skills is to make it a part of the organisational culture. In fact, in today’s times there are a 100 ways to continue learning on one’s own. From free online courses to blogs, there are several ways to keep up your knowledge and skills.

Another question, from Kapilan, was about the continued debate on which skills are more important?

https://twitter.com/bkapilan/status/771647692933992448

My answer is always soft skills! Technical skills are hard skills that have to be the same for everyone to follow. But soft skills are critical to your ability to communicate in different situations. Whether it is convincing a senior and being assertive with a subordinate, it is soft skills all the way.

Dealing with one’s boss is always a toughie. And bringing this up was Arun, highlighting his problem in being able to be diplomatic. My suggestion was to try and reframe his message in a positive manner to avoid blunt responses. It is best to keep work communication formal and professional.

Bringing in the topic of coaching was the following insightful question on encouraging coaching in organisations.

Since coaching is such a great tool for self-development, I think it should be an important element of organisational culture at all levels. Coaching programs at different managerial levels should be a part of LnD initiatives. Any manger should be able to coach. Encouraging managers to develop a coaching habit is a great start to set that as a culture.

After the intense topic of coaching, we came to the brass tacks of presentation skills. The popular question:

Being comfortable with hand gestures is a good start. Don’t hang your arms on your sides or tie them behind yourself. Practice to use the right gestures and feel natural about them.

Continuing this conversation was the next question on too much gesturing and you can see my tweet in response here. Constant practice to be comfortable with your body is the key to confident body language.

I had a great time answering the questions and I’d also like to thank everyone who found the time to be a part of this. The part of the challenge and the thrill was not knowing what might come up during the chat. Would you like to be a more such sessions on answering your questions. Do drop me a line here to know more. Are you on Twitter? Let’s catch up with me there for more such conversations!

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