This tweet definitely piqued my interest, as I am a firm believer in soft skills determining your success as much as (or more than!) the technical skills:
(Side thought: While I’m enjoying embedded tweets in my blog posts, I’m not sure it is the best user experience. I’m adding clicks to your experience. Here’s a link to the “Soft skills advice from design leaders” article mentioned in this tweet, which is actually another link away!)
In our Technical Editing Fundamentals certificate course with STC, Linda Oestreich and I spend time talking with our students about what soft skills a technical editor needs to be a good technical editor. When we introduce ourselves to our students at the start of the class, we list our soft skills instead of our technical skills..
Here’s the list of soft skills that I outlined as critical for being a successful technical editor: problem-solving, negotiating, diplomacy, tact, learning quickly, coaching, teaching, patience, attention to detail, sympathy, insight, breadth of view, sense of humor, and imagination. We also present Tarutz’s list of soft skills: empathy, restraint, good judgment, adaptability, flexibility, persuasion, and decisiveness.
Looking at these lists, I think most of these apply to any technical communication role. Certainly, some of these appeared in the list from designers. These soft skills are often the harder skills to teach or develop as you learn the technical skills or tools to do the technical communication job.