Google “soft skills” and you’ll find that they are defined as the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people.
The health IT industry is emphasizing the value of soft skills, and today’s job candidates and project consultants are either landing or losing positions based on them. Health IT hiring managers regularly ask me about our consultant’s soft skills and consider them as important as their occupational and technological skills.
Therefore, in the event you are currently seeking a new health IT position, you will need to understand or even demonstrate that you have the right soft skills to be successful on the job. So my best advice to you…get in touch with your soft side and hone these skills quickly!
With that in mind, here are 7 top soft skills considered vital for health IT consultants:
1) Excellent Communication Skills: Emphasis is being placed on IT professionals who are not only articulate but who are also active listeners and can communicate with any audience. Good communicators are able to build bridges with colleagues, customers and vendors.
2) Strong Work Ethic: Organizations benefit greatly when their people are reliable, have initiative, work hard and are diligent. Workers exhibiting a good work ethic are usually selected for more responsibility and promotions.
3) Positive Work Attitude: Wanting to do a good job and willing to work extra hours is highly valued. In general, a person having a positive work attitude is more productive and is always thinking how to make things easier and more enjoyable. Plus a positive attitude is catchy.
4) Problem-Solving Skills: Today’s businesses want IT professionals who can adapt to new situations and demonstrate that they can creatively solve problems when they arise. To be considered for a management or leadership role, problem-solving skills are a must.
5) Acting as a Team Player: Clearly, a worker who knows how to cooperate with others is an asset. They understand the importance of everyone being on the same page in order to achieve organizational goals.
6) Dealing with Difficult Personalities: Businesses want people who are capable of handling all types of difficult people and situations. Health IT workers who succeed in this area are in great demand.
7) Flexibility & Adaptability: The business and IT climates change quickly. Job descriptions are becoming more fluid. Therefore, professionals who are able to adapt to changing environments and take on new duties are becoming more valued in the workplace. Those who rely on technical skills alone limit how much they can contribute.
The importance of soft skills in a health IT environment cannot be stressed enough. Healthcare organizations link them to job performance and career success. Having the right soft skills mean the difference between people who can do the job and those who can actually get the job done.
How have your perfected your soft skills? Share your comments here on the HIMSS Blog.
Frank Myeroff is President, Direct Consulting Associates.