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Soft Skills for Engineers & Their Importance in the Workplace

The engineering industry is known for its technicality. Engineers must have the technical skills necessary to perform their duties. Yet, you shouldn’t lose sight of those critical soft skills that enable you to communicate and grow.

Soft Skills Are Critical as We Continue Working From Home

Although many engineers are working from their homes in today’s working world, you and your colleagues are still working towards the same goal. Your work as an engineer is dependent on your colleagues’ work and vice versa. For project success, you must communicate and collaborate effectively. To do so, you must possess and use your soft skills.

Technical engineering skills include programming and system design. In contrast, soft skills are non-technical skills that focus on how work is completed. For example, they include how you manage your workload, how you complete tasks and how you communicate with others. Let’s jump into five soft skills you must have as an engineer.

5 Critical Soft Skills for Engineers

1. Communication

Communication is key to your success as an engineer. You must be able to communicate with fellow engineers as well as those without engineering experience. Solid communication helps you understand project requirements and explain project limitations. Within communication, there are other soft skills such as:

  • Active listening
  • Presentation
  • Non-verbal communication

How to improve: Just like with any skill, practice makes perfect. Start small by learning to listen. When someone is speaking to you, listen to understand, not to respond.

2. Openness to Feedback

In engineering, it’s common for feedback to result from any project. Being open to feedback is essential. You must remember that feedback is meant to improve a project and its outcomes. You must also remember that you don’t always know what’s best. Other soft skills related to feedback include collaboration, managing your emotions and staying humble.

How to improve: Before you react to feedback, ask yourself this question: “How will this feedback improve the project or my work?” By understanding what you can glean from the feedback, you’ll be more appreciative of it.

3. Compassion

All members of a team, including those in leadership, need compassion. In today’s crazy world, listening, approaching disagreements with patience and empathy are crucial to team success.

How to improve: Don’t forget that we’re all human. Even highly-skilled engineers make mistakes. Approach issues with a problem-solving mindset instead of anger or annoyance.

4. Leadership

Even if you don’t hold a title of leadership, it’s still important to have leadership as a soft skill. There may be times when you know a more effective way to solve a problem. Through leadership, you’ll be able to guide your team towards a better solution, resulting in improved project outcomes. Plus, you’ll contribute to an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas.

How to improve: Don’t be afraid to share your input. During team discussions, listen to others and contribute your thoughts.

5. Organization

Engineering projects have many moving parts. As an engineer, you must be able to organize and prioritize tasks to meet project goals. Also, engineering managers must be proficient in workflow management when instructing team members on the next steps.

Organization is also important when working from home. Keeping a clean and organized workspace can enhance your productivity.

How to improve: Each day, create a list of the tasks you must complete to move a project forward. It’s also helpful to schedule time for each task on your calendar.

RFA Engineering: Well-Rounded & Dedicated Engineers

We understand the importance of technical skills and the ability to communicate, problem-solve, collaborate and get work done. Our well-rounded engineers contribute to our ability to deliver the best service to you. To learn more about our engineering services, give us a call at 952-843-2700 or send us a message.

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