Professional and Career Topics

Expand all | Collapse all

Professional Development of Soft Skills

  • 1.  Professional Development of Soft Skills

    Posted 02-12-2020 16:39
    ​I was curious as to ways that engineers used to develop their soft skills. The majority of us are focused on our technical skills needed to perform our basic engineering functions to include designing bridges and assess soil strength. At the same time, we have to hone in our soft skills to include knowledge of leadership, management, finance and HR. I am very interested in the path that others took to achieve proficiency in these important areas.

    Maher Abed P.E., M.ASCE
    Director of Consulting Management
    Smyrna GA

  • 2.  RE: Professional Development of Soft Skills

    Posted 02-13-2020 16:53

    Maher, excellent question. I learned my leadership skills in the same way as you probably have, as a commissioned officer in the US Army. When I returned to civilian life I honed those skills through reading numerous books written by successful civilian leaders. If I had to recommend only one book it would be the simple "One Minute Manager" by Ken Blanchard. 

    In my career I suddenly found myself promoted to a high level position in a water utility.  I needed to learn those other skills you mention, and fast. I spent three semesters taking night courses to complete a program leading to a Certificate in in Executive Management. This was like a crash mini MBA course. I learned how to comprehend financial statements, HR rules and processes and organizational development. This was an invaluable resource for me. I expect that many universities or colleges near you offer similar programs, probably online in this internet age. Check it out. 

    Bevin Beaudet P.E., M.ASCE
    Bevin A. Beaudet, P.E., LLC.
    West Palm Beach FL