Friday Jan 11, 2013

Soft Skills, Leadership, and now Empathy

A recent post by @mikejwalker on a new Soft Skills course by Architecting the Enterprise rightly points out the importance of soft skills for the EA discipline. I think this is a great addition to the profession and shows formal recognition of the importance of soft skills in the industry.

The EA positions I've seen in companies are generally at a 1st or 2nd line management grades. Corporations seem to recognize at some level the need for a "higher stature" for the EA professional. The leadership skills take more cultivation than just updating the HR records, however. It takes a skillful balance of things perhaps even learned outside the scope of the office such as running a youth organization or planning other non-profit events. Corporations are wise to invest in leadership training - often only slated for management - for EA professionals. 

The EA profession is both strategic and change-oriented impacting people far more than the bucket of bolts on your data center floor. Changing behaviors in humans is at the core of the discipline. 

The above was written last week. This week @nickmalik rightly opines on the importance of empathy EAs. I only scanned this article (which deserves a good read by the fire with my favorite scotch). He's definitely onto something here...

Bottom line - soft skills are becoming increasingly important!!! So, fellow EA professional, what do you do to hone your soft skills? Who do you draw upon for leadership lessons?

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Art, Artifacts, and Best Practices for Enterprise Architects

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