The top 15 non-technical skills you need to help land a high-paying job

  • In addition to understanding technical skills and programming languages, there are plenty of non-technical skills that are important in advancing your career.
  • We looked at the non-technical skills with the highest importance scores across the 28 highest-paying jobs in the US from the Occupational Information Network 's database.
  • Critical thinking and active listening had the highest scores for these six-figure jobs.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .

Insider Today

Not every skill needed to succeed in your job involves using fancy technology. You also need to be a critical thinker, be able to solve complex problems, and have good coordination skills, among other non-technical skills.

The Department of Labor's Occupational Information Network (O*NET) has a list of the varying importance scores of different skills for each occupation. Each occupation is given an importance score from one to five for each skill. Five is the the maximum score a skill can receive in each job.

Skills on O*NET are classified under six general categories: Basic skills, complex problem solving skills, resource management skills, social skills, systems skills, and technical skills. There are 36 detailed skills within these main categories, such as time management, mathematics, and active listening.

After recently finding the most popular technology skills listed on O*NET across the highest-paying jobs in the US , we decided to look at the most common non-technical skills in those jobs. To do this, we averaged the scores for each skill for 28 of the 30 highest-paying jobs. We excluded two jobs that were categorized as "all other" (undefined roles within dentist specialists, as well as the physician and ophthalmologist categories) because O*NET doesn't list scores for these broader occupation categories.

O*NET includes separate scores scores indicating both the importance of a skill and the level of proficiency needed in that skill for an occupation. O*NET uses the example of lawyers and paralegals where "lawyers (who frequently argue cases before judges and juries) are required to have a higher Level of speaking skill, while paralegals only need an average Level of this skill." For the purposes of our analysis, we focused on the importance score, rather than the level score.

Read on to find out the 15 most commonly required non-technical skills among the highest-paying jobs, along with their average scores. We also included each skill's definition from O*NET and the average annual salaries for the three jobs with the highest score in each skill. In the case of a tied score, we ranked the jobs with the highest average salaries as of May 2019, the most recent data available.

15. Systems analysis

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this systems skill is defined as determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Average O*NET score from the 28 highest-paying jobs: 3.23 

The jobs with the highest scores for this skill:

1. Chief executives - $193,850

2. Sales managers - $141,690

3. Petroleum engineers - $156,780

14. Persuasion

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this social skill is defined as persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Average O*NET score from the 28 highest-paying jobs: 3.26 

3. Lawyers - $145,300

13. Service orientation

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this social skill is defined as actively looking for ways to help people.

Average O*NET score from the 28 highest-paying jobs: 3.33 

1. Psychiatrists - $220,430

2. Family medicine physicians - $213,270

3. Nurse anesthetists - $181,040

12. Time management

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this resource management skill is defined as managing one's own time and the time of others.

Average O*NET score from the 28 highest-paying jobs:  3.48

2. General dentists - $178,260

11. Coordination

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this social skill is defined as adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Average O*NET score from the 28 highest-paying jobs:  3.50

2. Psychiatrists - $220,430

3. Sales managers - $141,690

10. Active learning

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this basic skill is defined as understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Average O*NET score from the 28 highest-paying jobs: 3.72 

1. Obstetricians and gynecologists - $233,610

3. Chief executives - $193,850

8 (tie). Writing

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this basic skill is defined as communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Average O*NET score from the 28 highest-paying jobs:  3.73

3. Natural sciences managers - $145,450

8 (tie). Monitoring

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this basic skill is defined as assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Average O*NET score from the 28 highest-paying jobs: 3.73 

1. Anesthesiologists - $261,730

2. Chief executives - $193,850

3. Psychiatrists - $220,430

7. Social perceptiveness

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this social skill is defined as being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Average O*NET score from the 28 highest-paying jobs:  3.76

3. Public relations and fundraising managers - $132,630

6. Complex problem solving

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this complex problem solving skill is defined as identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Average O*NET score from the 28 highest-paying jobs:  3.86

2. Surgeons - $252,040

3. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons - $237,570

5. Judgment and decision making

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this system skill is defined as considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Average O*NET score from the 28 highest-paying jobs:  3.92

3. Surgeons - $252,040

4. Reading comprehension

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this basic skill is defined as understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Average O*NET score from the 28 highest-paying jobs:  4.01

1. Lawyers - $145,300

2. Postsecondary law teachers - $129,950

3. Obstetricians and gynecologists - $233,610

3. Speaking

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this speaking skill is defined as talking to others to convey information effectively.

Average O*NET score from the 28 highest-paying jobs:  4.05

1 (tie). Active listening

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this basic skill is defined as giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Average O*NET score from the 28 highest-paying jobs:  4.08

2. Lawyers - $145,300

3. Family medicine physicians - $213,270

1 (tie). Critical thinking

non technical problem solving

According to O*NET , this basic skill is defined as using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

2. Obstetricians and gynecologists - $233,610

non technical problem solving

  • Main content

Problem-Solving Skills: Think Beyond the Whiteboard Test

non technical problem solving

Are you technically brilliant? Even a rock star? 

Sorry, that may not be good enough to get you hired or promoted, said Philippe Clavel, senior director of engineering at Roblox, a game development platform company based in San Mateo, California.

Mastering technical problem-solving skills involving data sets and algorithms are all fine and good, but getting a handle on these non-technical problem-solving skills are equally important, according to hiring managers.

Prior to joining Roblox, Clavel managed a technically brilliant engineer who had a toxic personality that constantly challenged others and failed to let them think, Clavel said. After giving feedback to the engineer about his behavior, Clavel paired him with someone more senior to ensure he and his teammates worked together in solving problems.

This engineer eventually started to change and realized it wasn’t so hard to temper his comments and even say hello to people. 

“The outcome was much better. He could do more with other people than what he could do alone,” Clavel told Built In. “It definitely speeded up the collaboration process by 20 percent because there was more discussion on the front end.”

More on people Management How to Make Your Next Meeting the Best Ever

How You Sabotage Yourself

Without possessing non-technical problem-solving skills, you are likely to miss out on landing your dream job or securing that promotion you’ve been seeking.

“Technical skills can be acquired. What I’m looking for when I hire someone is can they learn quickly? Technology changes very quickly and you have to stay on top of it,” said Igor Grinkin, a DevOps manager at San Francisco-based Newfront Insurance.

Roughly 50 to 60 percent of job candidates that come through Roblox’s door believe their technical prowess is the only thing of importance to land the job, Clavel said. He noted this belief is especially prevalent among new college graduates. However, Roblox’s interview process tends to weed people who lack non-technical problem-solving skills by the time they reach Clavel for an interview, he said.

“I would say a lot of people think these skills aren’t important. But I will be honest, they are wrong. We especially see this in new engineers, but even senior engineers think this way. They think, ‘I’m so good at technology, there’s nothing else I need to know.’ But, what this does is it prevents you from having the job you really want, because that will be one of the differentiators with you as a candidate. Or, if you get the job, it will block you in your career,” he warned.  

Amazon Web Services (AWS) also places a high importance on non-technical problem-solving skills, according to Caitlyn Shim, a general manager and director of AWS Organizations and Accounts at the Seattle-based company. “We don’t want brilliant jerks,” said Shim.

“You can be extremely smart, but if you can’t work with others, you’re gonna have a really hard time in the end. Ultimately, we’re trying to tackle problems that one person can’t solve alone.”

She added if you can’t work in a group, then you’re limiting yourself to solving one-person-sized problems and limiting your career. 

More on People Management Why Are Companies Still Offering Unpaid Internships?

Why These Non-Technical Problem-Solving Skills Are Needed

Effective communication and collaboration skills are an “absolute must” for any job at autonomous vehicle maker Waymo, said Annie Cheng, engineering director at Mountain View, California-based Waymo. She, like other hiring managers, notes that solving big problems takes more than one person.  

You also need to learn from your mistakes, as well as have an open mind, when tackling problems, Cheng added, noting these attributes rank high in non-technical problem-solving skills.

“Being able to think out of the box, looking at things from different angles and considering alternative solutions is an important problem-solving skill, especially if you’re working on a novel, or a moonshot project,” Cheng said.

10 Critical Non-Technical Problem-Solving Skills

  • Active listener
  • Good communicator
  • Collaborator
  • Open mindedness
  • Accepts feedback
  • Learns quickly and from mistakes
  • Attains consensus
  • Drive to see problems through

Making mistakes is not only inevitable but it’s a key part to developing your problem-solving ability, said Cheng, noting it leads to learning from one’s mistakes.

Driving consensus is another non-technical problem-solving skill you should master, said hiring managers.

“We have passionate people who have really strong opinions but you also have to listen to each other. Then, you have to be able to figure out how to pull the right things from everyone’s ideas so that you can all come to a good consensus in the end,” Shim said. “That’s a skill in and of itself.”

Embracing feedback will grease your problem-solving skills and prevent you from becoming stuck to one idea, no matter how much you love it and believe it smacks of brilliant innovation, said Shim, noting it’s a tough but important skill to develop.

Drive is also critical to problem-solving skills, especially complex ones.

“In computer science and software development, you have to push to the finish line. But there’s a lot of complexity that may get in your way. While it’s easy to say you want to finish, you need to go the extra mile,” Clavel said.

Curiosity is also needed for problem-solving, he added. Engineers progress by wanting to learn more and that, in turn, adds to the bench of tools you can call on to solve problems.

These non-technical problem-solving skills are important for all technical roles, hiring managers said, but they note some skills, like effective communication , have greater weight for some positions.

Engineers who work in the product feature area at Roblox, for example, need to have good communication skills because they are working closely with designers in determining what users want. Excellent communication skills can help explain your vision to product managers and designers, said Clavel.

Actionable Steps to Develop These Problem-Solving Skills

“There’s no silver bullet, as every person is unique,” Cheng said. “While some people naturally have good soft problem-solving skills, others might need to invest quite some time to develop those.”

Emotions also often overshadow the core problems you are trying to express, Cheng observed.

“One piece of advice I gave to a direct report years ago is first learn to detect whether they are in an emotional state and see if they can control their emotion while trying to express the core problem. When they find it challenging, use different communication methods, such as writing, so they can filter out emotions and focus on bringing clarity to the key problem statement,” Cheng said.

Talking to lay people in words they can understand can bolster your technical communication skills. This skill can also be developed by teaching courses or explaining your work to a fifth-grader, she added.

There are many different ways to develop your problem-solving skills — consider these five steps from authors John Bransford and Barry Stein detailed in their book, “The IDEAL Problem Solver: A Guide to Improved Thinking, Learning, and Creativity.”

IDEAL Steps

  • Identify the problem
  • Define the challenges
  • Examine potential strategies
  • Act on the strategies
  • Look at the results and evaluate whether other actions are needed

Broaden your collaboration skills by going beyond the day-to-day scope of your work and try collaborating with coworkers outside your team on projects across the company, such as forming an ERG group or working with interest-based groups like a cycling or yoga group, Cheng said. She added these efforts may also improve your communication skills too.

Matching employees with other employees to help them grow is an effective solution to develop their non-technical problem-solving skills, Clavel said. 

Managers can also take other steps to help employees develop their non-technical problem-solving skills too.

Rather than telling your employee, ‘Hey, you need to focus on communicating better or improving your creativity,’ try giving examples over time, Clavel said. The combination of knowing they need to change and having examples as a framework leads to more realistic outcomes where they can develop these problem-solving skills, Clavel said.

“Engineers are smart and it’s a matter of learning how to apply your smartness to other areas.”

“You may not get all of the skills at once, but that’s OK. You may not be very good at communication, but you can compensate by your drive or creativity, or other of those skills.”

Self-discovery in developing non-technical problem-solving skills yields the best results, hiring managers said. 

That is what Shim saw at AWS.

“Someone used to present their ideas with a bunch of attitude and was kind of aggressive. But he saw when someone else would restate his ideas in a more open way, others would listen to it and were far more receptive,” Shim said. “That really helped him see it’s not necessarily what you say, but how you say it. He started to experiment with different presentation styles and found one that worked and felt natural for him.”

Great Companies Need Great People. That's Where We Come In.

Non-Technical Skills Data Science

Data Science: Non-Technical Skills for a Data Scientist

  • Data Science

Eric J.

Data Scientist requires both technical and non-technical skills. In this post we will look closer at the non-technical skills for Data Science.  The non-technical skills involve critical thinking and problem solving, strong business understanding, having communication and storytelling skills to share the results in a compelling way, and finally, a curious drive to find out more and dig deeper into the data set.

What is Data Science?

What skills do a data scientist need, non-technical skills a data scientist need, faq: non-technical skills for data science.

Data science is an interdisciplinary field that extracts knowledge and insights from structured and unstructured data , using scientific methods, data mining techniques, machine-learning algorithms, big data, and a business understanding.

I like to think that Data Science is about combining programming , statistics, machine learning , and AI, computer science, to find interesting insights from large data sets. Then, package it and present it nicely to various colleagues and management within the company, to move from insights to actions.

Data Science Skills for Data Scientist

As data science is a broad and general term (with no clear definition), therefore, the skill description for what a data scientist needs is quite broad.

Before we look at some of the requirements and skills that are good to have, remember that a data scientist doesn’t have to be an expert in all these fields, but preferably have profound knowledge and experience in one or two of them, and some basic working knowledge in the others.

A data scientist work with several components (although may not be an expert in all fields) related to:

  • Data Engineering
  • Mathematics 
  • Data visualisations 
  • Software Development
  • Machine Learning
  • Business Understanding

The power of data science is to combine these different areas.

If you want to learn more about the technical skills a Data Scientist need, check out our post: Technical Skills to become a Data Scientist

 In general, a Data Scientists require: 

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Communication and Storytelling skills

Let’s look at them a bit closer

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are valuable skills relevant to any career. For data scientists, it’s even more important because, in addition to uncovering insights, you need to properly frame questions and understand how those results relate to the business and drive the next steps that convert into action.

Problem-solving is involved in nearly every aspect of a typical data science project from start to finish. Almost all data science projects can be viewed as one long problem-solving activity.

For a data scientist, problem-solving skills are valuable too:

  • Analye questions, hypotheses, and outcomes objectively
  • Determine which resources are required to solve a problem
  • Analyse challenges from different angles and viewpoints

Three components of problem solving for a data scientist

  • Defining the right question : It might sound easy and trivial, but it can be the most challenging part to specify the key question or problem correctly to focus on the right things. For a data scientist, it’s quite rare that your colleagues and/or customers know exactly which situation they’re trying to solve, they might have a broad overview, but you often need to make it clear and define what you are going to try to uncover.
  • Formulating and evaluating hypotheses : Hypotheses is a statistical technique that helps data scientists  test the validity of their statements about the real-life events
  • Drawing conclusions : This involves careful and thorough analysis of the different possible courses of action and then coming up with the possible conclusions and recommendations

Business Acumen for Data Science

Data scientists should have a thorough understanding of the business to address present issues and assess how data may assist future development and success.

A data scientist should be able to comprehend the company and its particular needs, understand what organizational issues need to be solved and why, and ultimately, be able to transform data into outcomes that are useful to the organization.  

But how do you get that business understanding ? And how do you know the insights gained from data are valuable to the business or not?

Well, there is no short answer to that and very individual how you learn, but what we can say is that we could describe it as there are three levels of business expertise

Three levels of business expertise

  • General Business Knowledge : The term “generic business knowledge” refers to information that is shared by all businesses, regardless of industry or firm. For example, general strategic management models such as the balanced scorecard, SWOT analysis, or perhaps, logistics flows, manufacturing, etc
  • Industry-Specific Knowledge : Industry expertise will vary depending on the industry in which the company operates. For example, suppose you work in finance, you must be concerned with laws and compliance, accounting standards, or if you work in the healthcare industry, how human medicine testing should be done, and the necessary approvals
  • Company-Specific Knowledge : Unique knowledge for the company you are working for. This could be, for example, what is the company’s competitive advantage, internal way-of-working and structure, the business model, revenue model, target market, business process, etc.

Communication and Storytelling Skills

Another ability that is critical in data science is effective communication. Communicate information in a way that emphasizes the importance of the actions you recommend and defines data-driven insights in business-relevant terms. 

Data scientists in business must be skilled at data analysis and must effectively and fluently convey their results to both technical and non-technical people.

Data storytelling in Data Science

A good presenter will use storytelling techniques in the presentations. Data storytelling is the practice of building a narrative around data and its accompanying visualisations to help convey context and the meaning of data in a compelling fashion.

In other words, use the data to paint the picture and effectively use data to tell your story.

The three key components to data storytelling:

  • Data : The data serves as the foundation of the data story 
  • Narrative : ​​Also called a storyline, is utilised to communicate data insights, the context around them, and actions you advise and hope to inspire in your audience.
  • Visualisations . Visual representations of your data and narrative may help tell the message in a clear and impactful way. These visualisations might take the form of charts, graphs, diagrams, etc. 

Not only will curiosity keep you driven to continue your learning in the long run, but it will also help you know what questions to ask when you are diving into a new set of data. In most cases, data reveals various insights that might be interpreted differently.

A data scientist must be able to go under the surface of data to uncover and comprehend hidden insights and patterns. In other words, have that curious drive to dig deeper and find those hidden gems of insights

What are the non-technical skills required to be a data scientist?

In general, a data scientists require non-technical skills such asu003cbru003e• Critical thinking and Problem Solving Skills u003cbru003e• Business Understandingu003cbru003e• Communication and Storytelling Skillsu003cbru003e• Curiosity

What are the three key components to data storytelling?

1. u003cstrongu003eDatau003c/strongu003e: The data serves as the foundation of the data story u003cbru003e2. u003cstrongu003eNarrativeu003c/strongu003e: ​​Also called a storyline, is utilised to communicate data insights, the context around them, and actions you advise and hope to inspire in your audience.u003cbru003e3. u003cstrongu003eVisualisationsu003c/strongu003e: Visual representations of your data and narrative may help tell the message in a clear and impactful way. These visualizations Might take the form of charts, graphs, diagrams, etc.u003cbru003e

What are the three levels of business expertise in Data Science? 

• General Business Knowledge u003cbru003e• Industry-Specific Knowledgeu003cbru003e• Company-Specific Knowledgeu003cbru003e

Eric J.

Meet Eric, the data "guru" behind Datarundown. When he's not crunching numbers, you can find him running marathons, playing video games, and trying to win the Fantasy Premier League using his predictions model (not going so well).

Eric passionate about helping businesses make sense of their data and turning it into actionable insights. Follow along on Datarundown for all the latest insights and analysis from the data world.

Related Posts

An image of a container ship at sunset showcasing the integration of Data Science in Supply Chain management.

Data Science in Supply Chain: A Match Made in Spreadsheet Heaven!

  • Examples and Use Cases

Structured vs Unstructured Data: Complete Guide

  • Data Science Process Mining

Kubernetes Data Science Workloads

Kubernetes: The Ideal Platform for Data Science Workloads

  • Data Science Data Management

7 important non technical skills your candidates should have.

7 important non technical skills your candidates should have.

A degree. Software proficiency. Experts in digital technologies. A strong portfolio . Technical skills. When hiring members of a creative team, these tend to be the skills that hiring managers tend focus on – and with good reason. Though extremely important, these technical skills aren't always enough on their own; they need to be supplemented with critical non technical skills (often called “soft skills”) in order for a candidate to be well-rounded and a productive member of your team.

Here are the examples of seven important non technical skills you need to look for in your creative candidates to make sure you've really got the best candidate.

Soft Skill #1: Communication

non technical problem solving

Match your core skills to your dream job.

Career Advice • Marketing & Creative

It's said so often that it sounds cliché, but good communication skills actually are one of the most important traits in a candidate for any position.

Poor communication leads to missed information and misunderstanding. Not only can this result in disagreements and frustration, it also wastes everyone's time as people chase each other for details and clarification, and redo work after expectations are finally sorted out.

It's just as important to remember that exceptional communication leads to excellent work. Better ideas, more efficient approaches, effective use of time—all of these things happen when team members communicate well with one another.

It makes sense to expect your best candidates to have good communication skills. After all, a creative person's job is to communicate—they communicate messages and ideas with their words, design, art and copy. So, extending that ability to communicate effectively in a team environment just makes sense.

Soft Skill #2: Time Management

non technical skills time management

Deadlines: no one who loves doing creative work loves them, but you just can't keep the wheels rolling without them.

Deadlines keep projects from dragging on into eternity and offer that little bit of pressure that often spawns some of the best creative work. Consistently meeting deadlines shows your clients that you care about their time and can be trusted to meet their needs.

To meet your deadlines as a team, each person needs to have solid personal time management skills. You (and your project manager) don't want to be constantly chasing someone down to get them to complete their portion of the project, so the rest of the team can get to theirs.

Time management is a difficult skill to learn because it often involves breaking a lifetime of bad habits, so it's really best to hire staff who have proven that they are already capable of working with deadlines.

Don't be afraid to ask directly what tools they use to manage their time or for a time when they missed a deadline. Hearing how they handle their current work will help them see how they'll handle yours.

Soft Skill #3: Cooperation

non technical problem solving

How to build a more effective remote team.

Managing & Leading Teams • Marketing & Creative • Remote Work

Whether your employees work in office or remotely, they're working as part of a team. Nobody works entirely in a silo. Each member of your team needs to be able to collaborate, compromise, and handle feedback—both giving and receiving—in a mature and respectful way.

The result? A happier team, a healthier environment and some fantastic collaborative work.

Difficult projects and stressful deadlines are inevitably in business. During these stressful times, the non technical skills and expertise that a team member possesses can make or break a company culture.

Equally important, any creative who is interacting with clients at any level should be able to cooperate with external business contacts, respecting ways of doing things that are not their own to become a true partner.

To drill down for this non technical skill, ask about the most difficult person they've worked with and listen for their takeaways. Their view of cooperation in tough situations will help you see if they fit in your team.

Soft Skill #4: Adaptability

non technical skills adaptability

Part of what makes any creative person an ideal candidate is their confidence in putting forward their own unique ideas.

However, as valuable a skill as that is, there comes a time when they will have to adapt to someone else's vision. This is difficult for some people to accept, but conforming to the expectations of clients is the only way to maintain a vital business.

It's important that candidates demonstrate their flexibility before coming on board, so be sure to ask questions through the interview process about times they've had to deliver work in a way they didn't personally agree with or had to work in an environment that required frequent change.

Teamwork is often a game of give and take where visions sometimes do not perfectly align. Creative candidates who possess interpersonal skills, a high emotional intelligence, and a positive attitude will thrive when the job requires patience.

Creatives without a comprehensive set of non technical skills and the necessary situation awareness may find themselves quickly overwhelmed by their job function.

An employee who displays adaptability can be your greatest asset—their flexibility will make for a better relationship and will help your business through trying times as well as improve employee retention.

Soft Skill #5: Problem Solving

In any job, problems of all kinds are sure to arise. It's inevitable.

Though you can't predict the nature of the problems you'll encounter in the future, you can prepare by hiring employees who are comfortable solving problems.

An employee who can't solve problems on their own will require you to essentially do it for them—which will be a burden on your time, your resources, and your patience.

Remember: the best opportunities and discoveries often arise from problems and someone's ability to creatively solve them.

So, when assessing candidates, look for opportunities to talk about not just the work, but the problem they solved in each example through the use of their non technical skills and problem solving skills.

Do yourself a favor and fill your team with people who see the potential in any problem, and you'll have a powerful team.

Soft Skill #6: Organization

non technical skills organization

While many creatives are quite organized, sometimes when you're working with creative employees, a certain amount of chaos can come with the territory.

However, there is a difference between a messy desk and an inability to answer an email on time.

Though a certain amount of controlled pandemonium is okay, your business will suffer if disorganization creeps into your project communications and timelines.

Especially since just one disorganized employee can set off a chain reaction of missed details and inefficiencies and negatively influence others on your team.

Tight deadlines are inevitable in business, and it is ideal for candidates to have some level of organization and time management skills.

You don't have to expect perfection from your staff, but a certain amount of organization is paramount to getting your ideas off the ground and keeping your clients happy.

Ask questions about how candidates stay on top of projects and how they organize their time. Just a few simple questions can help you find the standout candidate. Learn more about the benefits of project management for creatives .

Soft Skill #7: Storytelling

Whether getting buy-in from an internal team, helping the company land a new client or simply presenting alternative solutions, the best creative talent know how to tell a good story .

In fact, for digital projects that require design, content, UX and development, the ability to tell a story is mission critical to creating truly compelling work that meets user needs.

From defining a customer journey to developing user workflows that drive desired behavior, storytelling can be found in every creative role. Want to know if your candidate can tell a good story? Listen carefully to how they present their work and ask questions about the user stories they worked with to create great digital experiences.

To reiterate, technical skills are no doubt important—they can help you gauge a candidate's ability to handle the work that's waiting for them and deliver final projects that work. However, all the technical skills in the world can't make a project run smoothly, efficiently, and harmoniously.

Before you bring a new team member on board , make sure they have the essential soft skills needed to complement their technical abilities.

Soft Skills: In Summary

When looking for the perfect hire, non technical skills, or soft skills, should be considered as heavily as technical skills.

Technical skills can often easily be taught but honed interpersonal skills, robust networking capabilities , strong interpersonal skills and sharp decision-making techniques are more challenging to develop and cultivate.

It's important during a job interview to uncover how well equipped candidates are in those departments to ensure finding an ideal fit for your role.

non technical problem solving

Top 5 hiring trends in 2024 from expert recruiters you need to know. 

Career Advice, Compensation, Insights & Trends, Recruiting & Hiring

non technical problem solving

Maximizing your team performance with competitive salaries.

Compensation, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Insights & Trends, Managing & Leading Teams

non technical problem solving

A growth mindset is key to generative AI expertise.

Development & Technology, Insights & Trends, Managing & Leading Teams

DEV Community

DEV Community

Alan Solitar

Posted on Nov 6, 2019 • Originally published at remotedevdaily.com on Mar 29, 2019

How To Explain A Technical Problem To Non Technical People

One thing that I think a lot of developers struggle with is with how to explain a technical problem to a non-technical person. Developers often work all day with other developers where they can bounce around ideas, talk about bugs, and use technical language without fear of confusion or being misunderstood. However, there are times where developers must attend meetings with potential customers, explain a new feature to a non-technical boss/employee, or converse with any other potential number of non-technical individuals.

This type of communication can often be overlooked by developers, particularly if you are an introverted person, like myself. However, the more you are involved in the software industry, you realize that being able to explain technical issues is extremely important. It doesn’t matter whether someone has technical knowledge or not — no matter who you talk to, you want to treat them with respect and conduct the conversation in a way that is beneficial and easy to understand for both parties.

For example, put yourself on the other side of the table for a minute. Let’s say you are having a private meeting with your lawyer. You have an issue, and you are looking for clarification, advice, and potential resolution. As such, you wouldn’t want them to start throwing around a bunch of legal jargon or start citing really obscure sections of some complex legal document. You want to know in plain, direct language, what the law says, how it affects your situation, and what the proper course of action is.

Likewise, as a software engineer, you need to be aware of who your audience is and what the best way to convey the information they are seeking. How can we do this?

1. Show The Problem!

As software developers, the products we work on often have visual components. Subsequently, most of the problems that we encounter in development affect user experience in some way. This may be that an end user is seeing incorrect data, certain features are broken, a page hangs, etc… Problems such as this are something that can be seen. As such, we can use tools such as screenshots or screen sharing in order to demonstrate these issues.

This allows you to show the problem in a more universal way that doesn’t depend on knowing certain technical words or understanding any design/implementation complexities. For example, let’s say you have a bug where a modal doesn’t close. This could be due to a problem with an api route, a bad event handler, or any other number of things. But when you demonstrate the problem by doing a live run through of the feature, no matter what the cause, your audience will generally understand what’s wrong. Somebody may not know the word “modal,” but they will certainly be able to see that the “big floating box with a button in it” doesn’t close properly

2. Explain the problem in business terms.

This is really useful if you are talking to an investor or a non-technical boss. A lot of the time, non-technical people don’t necessarily want an in-depth understanding of the problem. What they really want is to understand a few basic things:

  • How does this affect our customers?
  • How long is this going to take to fix?
  • Are there going to be any costs associated with this?

Rather than explain the technical details, you can boil down the issue into these core components.

For example:

“There is a problem with the code and thus the user is not able to perform Action A . I have located the problem, and it will take approximately X Days to fix. We will also need to upgrade to the next tier of aws which will cost Z Dollars more a month.”

This is great. It cuts through the technical level and gives these people the information they truly want.

3. Explain Your Terms

It may be that the above situations do not apply. There may be a situation where a non-technical person really does want a relatively in-depth understanding of the problem at hand. In this situation, what I find is helpful is to take a step back and really think about your words.

Since you are explaining a technical problem, it’s okay to occasionally throw in a technical word. But when you do, be sure that you explain that word. Don’t be ashamed or feel hesitant to explain terms that might seem a bit basic to you. Either you’re audience will nod in affirmation of something they already know, or they will be happy to receive an explanation of an unfamiliar word. Further, don’t take for granted that your explanation was understood. You should try your best to encourage questions and make sure that you can clarify any potential points of confusion.

I think that about covers it. Hopefully this information was helpful in understanding how to explain technical problems to non-technical individuals.

The post Explaining A Technical Problem To Non Technical People appeared first on Remote Dev Daily .

Top comments (0)

pic

Templates let you quickly answer FAQs or store snippets for re-use.

Are you sure you want to hide this comment? It will become hidden in your post, but will still be visible via the comment's permalink .

Hide child comments as well

For further actions, you may consider blocking this person and/or reporting abuse

bcouetil profile image

🦊 GitLab CI: Deploy a Majestic Single Server Runner on AWS

Benoit COUETIL 💫 - Feb 17

griseduardo profile image

Husky e lint-staged para pré-commit em React

Eduardo Henrique Gris - Feb 7

amol9372 profile image

Spring boot and PostgreSQL in Docker Compose

Amol Singh - Feb 8

Husky and lint-staged for pre-commit in React

Once suspended, alansolitar will not be able to comment or publish posts until their suspension is removed.

Once unsuspended, alansolitar will be able to comment and publish posts again.

Once unpublished, all posts by alansolitar will become hidden and only accessible to themselves.

If alansolitar is not suspended, they can still re-publish their posts from their dashboard.

Once unpublished, this post will become invisible to the public and only accessible to Alan Solitar.

They can still re-publish the post if they are not suspended.

Thanks for keeping DEV Community safe. Here is what you can do to flag alansolitar:

alansolitar consistently posts content that violates DEV Community's code of conduct because it is harassing, offensive or spammy.

Unflagging alansolitar will restore default visibility to their posts.

DEV Community

We're a place where coders share, stay up-to-date and grow their careers.

  • You are here:
  • American Chemical Society
  • Industry Matters
  • ACS Boss Talk
  • Most Valuable Non-Technical Skills for Scientists

Infographic: Most Valuable Non-Technical Skills for Scientists

Most Valuable Non-Technical Skills for Scientists

Victor Aguilar, Chief Research, Development and Innovation Officer, P&G, 1/28/2021

"First, I would say that there are many skills that I personally value and are important in the context of each individual. It is the combination of those skills that makes everyone unique. This said, I believe that Innovation is a team sport that requires not just technical skills and mastery but a lot of creativity and imagination. And I believe creativity is an acquired skill that comes from being very inclusive, which is the ability to listen to others, seek and understand different points of view, create diverse teams, and then integrate all of this information into something bigger than the original idea.

Hence, harnessing creativity requires a great deal of collaboration. Another important skill when it comes to innovation is the willingness to pursue uncharted territories, to constructively challenge the status quo, and to take risks to achieve greater goals and objectives."

Charlotte Allerton, Head of Medicine Design, Pfizer (2/6/2020)

"At Pfizer our primary stakeholders are the patients. Patients are waiting for breakthrough medicines. We hold this front and central to all the work that we do, and it brings an urgency and courage to our work that I highly value in our colleagues. All scientists need to have integrity, resilience and tenacity to be successful. In science we have many setbacks, and I really value colleagues who are transparent about their learnings, pick themselves up after a failure, take a step back and work out a new route to the goal. We have to do this time and again in drug discovery, as continuous learning is part of our overall success. At Pfizer, our inventions and breakthroughs come from working in diverse teams of colleagues. Being able to collaborate broadly, listen to others’ views, advocate for your own, cut through the complexity to a clear plan and build trust through acknowledging the contributions of others are all skills that I see as instrumental to success."

Gerard Baillely, Vice President R&D Corporate Functions, P&G (8/29/2019)

"Let us try a theme and variations on the letter C, shall we? I look first and foremost at the combination of Conviction, Critical thinking and Curiosity (Voracious curiosity for learning, for solving problems, for inclusion of diverse vantage points from colleagues, interdisciplinary or emerging fields, external partners, backgrounds). When individuals have these 3 Cs, they have huge potential for growth, for rallying partners and ultimately build competitive advantage and value creation for their company through non- obvious insights, smart reapplication of proven concepts and rigorous science.

In P&G, we adopt “Leading with Courage” as a performance vector, congruent with these three Cs. Of course, the 4th and 5th C’s (Communication and Confidence) are mentioned by all as a point of entry to engage senior managers or investors. Yet, for R&D, those skills can be learnt and are vain without the substance of the first 3 Cs. I will also venture to say that R&D leaders must have more patience with listening to consumers or technologists who have diverse communication skills or levels of confidence. This is a prerequisite to discern the next non-obvious insight that can solve problems or create opportunities in our fast moving consumer goods industry."

John Banovetz, Senior Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Technology Officer, 3M (4/9/2019)

"At 3M, we highly value the ability to collaborate and work on a cross-functional team. This is a key component of our innovation model as inventions and technical advances rarely come from a single individual. The diversity of thought and additive power of teams helps creative new and differentiated solutions for our customers."

Billy Bardin, Global Operations Technology Director, Dow (4/15/2021)

"Succinct and direct communication capability combined with the ability to frame an opportunity within business terms so that leaders and stakeholders understand the technology value proposition are critical. One can have the best idea, but if a leader doesn’t understand it, no opportunity for commercialization will be forthcoming. The role of our scientists is to provide robust technology solutions for business opportunities and to help create business opportunities for emerging, valuable, and competitively advantaged technology. In order to accomplish this, our scientists must be able to communicate with technical experts as well as with finance, business, commercial, and marketing leaders. The flexibility in communication style and approach is not always easy to develop or master, but when done well, can make a scientist or engineer an extremely influential leader. Innate curiosity and initiative are common characteristics demonstrated by many of our most successful scientists and engineers, and are two of the traits on which I focus when I’m interviewing potential candidates. Team members that question how or why things work and with a desire to improve them or develop better solutions can help to elevate everyone’s thinking. They bring unique perspectives to problems, which often leads to more elegant solutions than what may have been developed otherwise.

David Bem, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President Science and Technology, PPG (9/26/2019)

"Our global research & development team at PPG has a true spirit of innovation and invention. It is important for manufacturers like PPG to look beyond current market needs, and develop coatings that will serve future customer needs – needs they may not even recognize yet.

For example, we see profound changes coming in the transportation industry with the future of mobility. With the ongoing development of self-driving and autonomous vehicles, PPG has a strong opportunity to enable and enhance the future of transportation through next-generation coatings, including cathode coatings for electric-vehicle batteries, coatings that help self-driving cars detect other vehicles and infrastructure around them and anti-fingerprint coatings for interior vehicle applications. By anticipating these changes and having an organization that is constantly looking for new opportunities, PPG will contribute to the future of change."

Karin Briner, Vice President, Global Discovery Chemistry, Novartis (2/4/2021)

"Our mission at Novartis to reimagine medicine and invent novel breakthrough therapeutics, bringing them with urgency to the patients, takes many talented scientists from diverse disciplines who work together through complex, unprecedented problems toward their one common goal. Therefore, the ability to deal with ambiguity and cut through complexity, turning setbacks into learning opportunities, being open to new ideas, and a collaborative, inclusive mindset, are in my opinion, important non-technical skills contributing to success."

Serban Cantacuzene, Vice President R&D Americas, Air Liquide, Inc. (10/10/2019)

"I value their creativity, their out-of-the box thinking, their skills to communicate well internally and externally, their team working spirit, as well as their capacity to constantly adapt to new topics and environments. Last but not least, I should mention the customer and patient focus, that drives everyone’s passion at Air Liquide and fuels our engagement."

Chuck Crawford, Chief Innovation Officer, GOJO Industries (3/4/2021)

"There are many, and this is also an area where a detailed answer can be quite individualized, leveraging the skills of our team members against the needs of the business. However, those non-technical skills that tend to be common denominators include collaboration, communication, and creativity. Further, the ability to connect technology to needs – to connect what is possible to what is needed – is a prized skillset. These are highly coveted skills in any organization, and I have found this to be particularly true here at GOJO."

Nicolas Cudré-Mauroux, Chief Technology Officer, Solvay (11/21/2019)

"Our mission is to create value by developing solutions for our customers. The technical competencies of our scientists are absolutely amazing. Focusing these competencies on the right projects requires marketing skills and, simply, the ability to ask the right questions and to listen to the answers from our customers. Great scientists who have the ability to do that and to connect with other people, scientist or not, are the real stars in our organization."

Alexa Dembek, Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer, DuPont (11/7/2019)

"I know every CTO would say this, but our scientists are about the most innovative and driven group of professionals you would ever come across. I am continually inspired by their dedication and commitment to be on the leading edge of solutions for our customers and society.

That said, by the time I get to interview candidates for our most critical positions in the company, I already assume they’re smart. That’s a given. What I look for then is the quality of thought they exhibit, outside of a laboratory environment. What is her strategic perspective to problem solving? Is she a good communicator and can she lead teams effectively? I learn a lot by the quality of people’s questions. Curious people ask great questions and you must be continually curious to succeed at DuPont. And you also need to collaborate across diverse teams to get to the best solutions."

Peter Eckes, President of Bioscience Research, BASF (9/12/2019)

"Every innovation has a disruptive component. This requires change, which makes successful innovation so challenging. In this context I see two skills as very helpful: Resilience and the ability to inspire others for a new idea. "

Margaret Faul, Vice President, Process Development, Amgen (8/6/2020)

"Process Development, which is the art of converting molecules into medicines, is an increasingly complex business that requires the partnership and collaboration of a broad and diverse team, including manufacturing, regulatory, clinical, quality, and supply chain -- to mention a few. Thus, one of the key attributes for success is “collaborate, communicate and be accountable”.

Our scientists need to be able to seek input and involve key stakeholders in important decisions. In addition, they need to be able to understand what is required from each organization and to be open to welcoming diverse opinions, and driving to decisions that support the successful advancement of our molecules. They also need to be able to clearly communicate decisions and rationale effectively, and when a decision is made, be accountable for implementing the decision rapidly. Obviously, this is not always easy, but a “One Amgen” approach ensures success for all, and when a molecule is successfully launched, a win for patients. " 

Vikram Gopal, Sr. Vice President, Technology, Ascend Performance Materials (6/20/2019)

"At Ascend, we believe collaboration and open feedback drive innovation. We expect everyone, not just our scientists, to work within and across teams to understand the full scope of problems and develop sound, sustainable solutions. Innovation involves failure, especially when you are pushing technology to its edge. It is critical for team members to demonstrate humility for what we know and respect critical feedback." 

Neal Gutterson, Sr. VP and CTO, Corteva (1/16/2020)

"For starters, emotional intelligence. It’s critical. The work we’re entrusted with is centered on collaboration and co-creation, and that requires a keen understanding of how to work with people and inspire, engage and build networks of trust.

Closely related to that, I think, is having a strong sense of intellectual curiosity—that innate drive to look for better ways to do things for farmers, consumers and society at large. That tends to go hand-in-hand with another trait I value in people, which is passion. Passion for purpose, for transforming agriculture and for delighting our customers. Today we’ve also got to be digitally savvy, and as comfortable with using digital computational tools as we are with algebra. Digital literacy is foundational. " 

Stephan Habif, Senior Vice President, Research & Innovation, L'Oreal (11/19/2020)

"Passion for Beauty, integrity and respect. I also value hard work, resilience, courage, curiosity, and pragmatism: getting the job done ." 

Jason Harcup, Global Vice President Personal Care Research and Global Vice President, Prestige Division, R&D, Unilever (5/20/2021)

"I value “values” themselves: Drive, judgement and the desire to change everything we do for our consumers and our planet for the better." 

Christine Heckle, Research Director, Corning Incorporated (4/22/2021)

"Science is, at its core, a creative endeavor. One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Mae Jamison, who said, “The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity.” People who can keep two disparate thoughts in their mind at the same time, and work across disciplines, tend to be very creative in solving problems and coming up with new ideas. Therefore, individuals who make an effort to build a network of diverse connections and are open to learning new things will find a way to leverage those connections or knowledge in a new and interesting way.

Karen LaMonte, a fabulous glass artist, talked about learning, reading, studying, and how it all seeded ideas in her brain that – all of a sudden – would pour out of her like water released from a cloud. We value scientists (and engineers and technicians) who are open, collaborative, engaging, always learning, and open to new ways of doing things." 

Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, LanzaTech (10/29/2020)

"Asking questions and challenging the status quo. Being able to attack data and read between the lines is often what helps us move forward. Would also add (not really a skill) but perseverance, as this is a tough gig and we have a bit more to go on our journey!" 

Patricia Hubbard, Sr. Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Cabot Corporation (8/15/2019)

"There are two non-technical skills that are extremely valuable for any chemist working at Cabot or in the industry. The first is critical thinking, and the second is good communication. As chemists progress in their careers, their roles often require that they are able to influence both technical and non-technical audiences from inside and outside of their organizations and for me, critical thinking and good communication have been key to building influence.

These “softer skills” come naturally to some, but all employees can continue to improve them over their careers. At Cabot, we are dedicated to creating a learning culture and provide a variety of training opportunities for employees at various levels in their careers. In addition, what I find often more important is the individualized coaching many receive from our own internal leaders, and leadership development specialists, who have expertise working with technical professionals. " 

Philippe Knaub, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, FXI (2/20/2020)

"Several non-technical skills are critical to the success of a scientist at FXI and I would argue in most modern research groups. The first one is team work and how a scientist can interact and integrate within a group. Any individual contributor will be sublimated when immersed in the right team and see his/her efforts increase in an exponential manner.

Hand in hand with teamwork, I value very highly individuals with great interpersonal skills. They not only excel within a team but also vertically and horizontally across the organization. They contribute to the energy of a group and are the catalyst that leads to excellence and excitement that make the researchers get up every day and look forward to coming to work and making a difference.

Classical leadership traits, like hard working and driving for results, can of course not be forgotten. One last skill I would like to highlight is persistence. One thing we all learn in R&D is that we more often fail than succeed and the researchers with a high “batting average” are usually the ones that take low risks and work on line extension projects only. Statistics don’t lie (or rarely do) and break-through projects have a much higher chance to fail than to succeed. And the ones that succeed have many disappointments and redirections along the way, and only succeed thanks to the persistence of the individuals that work on them. This trait of character is most efficient when associated with a touch of optimism: the people seeing the glass half full and always looking for the bottle to top it off.

I realize that it may take more than one person to do all that, which brings me back to the teamwork theme I started with and the team composition. I have spent a lot of time over the years and paid a lot of attention to find the right blend of individuals that create the perfect team. At the time I worked for Dow Chemical, one of our great R&D leaders, Kurt Swogger, studied his group and found out that. Having more creative minds who typically cannot implement their ideas or even sort out the good ones from the wild ones, leads to an organization with a very robust front end full of ideas but no one to bring them to conclusion. On the other hand, an organization with too few creative minds and only finishers ends up working only on value preservation, line extension and never invent anything new. "

Tim Knavish, Executive Vice President, PPG (5/28/2020)

"There are a few core strategies that I’m passionate about to drive a successful, engaged and diverse team. I believe in working hard to implement positivity, embracing change, maintaining high energy, trusting your people, and celebrating successes within our global teams.

One thing that I continue to impress upon individuals and teams within our organization is to be bold earlier, and don’t be afraid to take chances. It’s my advice to all PPG employees, regardless of where they are in their careers. Looking back, I wish my younger self received this advice. I’m also a big believer in drawing motivation from the people around me and encouraging others to do the same. I like to win as a team, not as an individual – winning is cool when it’s collaborative. Finally, I’m a big believer in hiring the right talent for the right roles, and trusting them to lead with their expertise. I much prefer to lead alongside our talented people. " 

Ellen Kullman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Carbon (3/19/2020)

"We have a world-class team at Carbon that includes scientists and engineers who aren’t just well-recognized in their fields, but who are curious about many fields and who are collaborative—people who are motivated to see how science can be applied to help solve challenges across a range of disciplines and industries, people who think holistically and have the imagination and drive to invent new ways of approaching practical, everyday problems. This inspires me every day!"

Bob Maughon, Executive Vice President, CTO and CSO, Sabic (4/30/2020)

"There are three areas that I see as critical to advancement and impact:

  • Performance: The scientists that can collaborate, within their teams and across all functions, are the ones that can translate their technical acumen into business results – this is the difference between innovation and invention.
  • People: Scientists should be devoted to the development of the next generation of scientists, challenging, and supporting younger talents but as well taking ownership in enabling their success. True leadership is not demonstrated through individual achievement, but instead through inspiring, mobilizing, and enabling others.
  • Pipeline: Willingness to take risk and bring new ideas forward. All of our researchers have strong technical skills, but those researchers who are willing to speak out, take risks, champion new technologies, and inspire others to join them, are the ones that stand out.

The desired behaviors, expressed in the SABIC Leadership Way, of being a Talent Champion, a Collaboration Partner, an Innovation Pioneer, and an Excellence Driver, are very much aligned to these areas of focus."

Mark Noe, Vice President, Pfizer (2/18/2021)

"One important facet of work at Pfizer is our ability to work as part of diverse teams. Pharmaceutical research and development requires strong teamwork owing to the complexity associated with designing a new medicine that has all the properties required to be a transformational medicine. As such, our scientists need to be open to others’ perspectives, willing to share their own ideas and able to constructively challenge others regardless of their level in the company.

In doing each of these things, we ensure that the best ideas are considered and implemented. I think it is important for our scientists to expand their professional network inside and outside the company, which requires a willingness to go beyond their own laboratory or local work environment and learn about the scientific challenges that others are facing – as well as share their own. Doing so can bring diverse and often valuable outside perspectives to solving problems, without some of the blinders associated with working on a project for a long time. Finally, because we work in an industry that thrives based on innovation, the ability to think creatively about how to solve a problem is crucial. Often, innovation requires taking a step back and discarding assumptions that limit how one approaches solving a problem, and as mentioned above, being open minded to new thoughts that you or others might generate. "

William Provine, President and Chief Executive Officer, Delaware Innovation Space (12/17/2020)

"Most of the time, in a science-based innovation company like DuPont, it is hard to differentiate or separate the importance of the technical and non-technical skills in one’s successes, as success or progress either in projects, business, or one’s career is built upon the integration of such skills in solving a challenge or puzzle, or making progress towards a business objective.

When I find myself in my most impactful or productive state, I’m definitely actively learning, assessing and integrating information, connecting and listening to others, and studying the fundamentals at play in the internal and external landscape. I find that I’ve had the most success in my career from being adept in my ability to work across functional, cultural, and technical domains; creating strategic plans and objectives and driving for results and impact in very complex landscapes.

I would encourage all early career scientists and engineers to be an active learner, connect and listen/learn from others, and learn to constantly adapt to new information and keep focused on making progress, even when there exists large aspects of ambiguity and many moving parts. "

Jag Reddy, Vice President, Strategy and Growth, Grace (12/10/2020)

"First, it’s important to remember that ART includes research scientists from both Chevron and Grace, and they form the core of scientific innovation. In the Grace Value Model, we talk about Great Talent and our High-performance Culture.

Unless a technical person is also a talented collaborator and communicator, their technical skills alone will not achieve the best results—for themselves or the JV. We expect everyone, including our scientists, to be team players, able to see the big picture and align with business goals. At both Grace and ART—and, I believe at Chevron—team success is more important than individual success. "

Carlonda Reilly, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Kennametal (11/12/2020)

"I am proud that our scientists have a passion to understand unmet customer needs and are able to apply their technical knowledge to solve our customers’ greatest challenges. Additionally, our most effective scientists are the ones who can communicate and collaborate cross-functionally both internally and externally to deliver the best solutions to the customer."

Robert Reiter, Head of R&D, Crop Science, Bayer (5/13/2021)

"Given the collaborative nature of our work and the extra challenges we face in the digital sphere, I’ve come to really value openness and a strong sense of resilience in my team. So much of science is finding roadblocks and then figuring out how to overcome them. It takes someone who is personally driven, open to trying new things, and willing to take those roadblocks head on to find success in the field and the lab. In addition, curiosity is key. You always have to be thinking about what’s to come and be invested and engaged enough to seek our new answers and new solutions."

Marcus Remmers, Chief Technology Officer, DSM (12/12/2019)

"I appreciate scientists who show an entrepreneurial spirit: speaking up, taking calculated risks and initiative, and having a sense of urgency. That’s why I’m pleased that at DSM we develop these skills through specific programs.

Also, self-reflection is very important: we want people to take time to reflect on what has worked well for them and others, how they can do better, and what they can learn. Trying new things is part of this – I like the Pippi Longstocking quote “I have never done it, so I will probably be good at it."

Finally, I value storytelling. Trust in institutions and government is at an all-time low: we can’t assume any longer that people will automatically accept scientific evidence. We need to learn to discuss our solutions in a way that nonscientists can understand and appreciate. To address this need, we offer storytelling workshops for our R&D community."

Seva Rostovtsev, Director, Head of Discovery Chemistry, FMC Agricultural Solutions (5/27/2021)

"I look for the person’s ability to work in interdisciplinary teams. Such work requires many non-technical skills, including the ability to communicate effectively, ability to listen carefully, desire to learn something new, patience, and capability to build trust. "

Florian Schattenmann, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President for Innovation and Research & Development (R&D), Cargill (3/5/2020)

"Collaboration and communication. Most of the opportunities in front of us will require more and more interdisciplinary R&D work. We just talked about new innovative alternative protein solutions. A lot of people with different backgrounds, often based in different locations, have been involved to make it happen. From the chemistry of food ingredients, including what’s going on during cooking, to materials science to processing and engineering and so on.

Collaborating seamlessly across a wide range of technical and scientific disciplines and finding a common language are critical components to success. "

Jyoti Seth, Vice President of Technology, GCP Applied Technologies (10/24/2019)

"Scientists’ creativity is very valuable to the company. Scientists need to combine that with business acumen; practicality; thinking through the commercial process, from bench scale to large scale; speed and collaboration. The open mindedness of the scientist is especially valuable so that they can use their available knowledge and resources to move the project forward. Thinking about the team over individual contributions is also highly valued. "

Kathleen Shelton, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, FMC Corporation (8/1/2019)

"Two critical skills that every new employee needs to be successful are the ability to effectively communicate to non-technical audiences and strong business acumen. These skills are new to our scientists and integral to advocating for new ideas, getting the resources they need, and building business relationships. As an ag sciences company, the partnership between R&D and the business is vital to achieving company objectives.

We try to help our scientists understand the business environment through special projects that get them out of the lab and working with colleagues in the business as well as some traditional, classroom-based learning. "

A.N. Sreeram, Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Dow Chemical Company (4/16/2020)

"I would have to say the combination of passion for great science and engineering, working collaboratively across teams and time zones, and perseverance that finds a way to solve seemingly intractable problems. There are certainly many ways to be successful, but time and time again I see it is the folks that just won’t quit that get the job done. I like to think of the Dow diamond as a kind of map of what we do. We start with a problem to solve. We expand the search space, considering and evaluating many diverse ideas with inputs from across our global organization, from scientists and engineers with different backgrounds and experiences. We then begin the process of narrowing toward a practical, viable solution. Ideas and opportunities become products solving customer needs, thanks to the passion and perseverance of Dow people. Like the diamond, we start at a point in space, diverge and expand with vibrant ideas, and converge to a different point in space with a solution that the marketplace demands. "

Dan Sutherlin, Vice President of Discovery Chemistry, Genentech (6/18/2020)

"Curiosity, creativity, collaboration, and independence. Innovation comes from looking at difficult problems in unique ways and applying your technical expertise. Building on that creative spark through teamwork and feedback from others and then following up with the initiative to get things done is a recipe for success. "

Wendy Young, Senior Vice President of Small Molecule Drug Discovery, Genentech (4/23/2019)

"It takes a strong team of individual, highly talented scientists working together to develop a new innovative medicine. In those individual scientists, we value a wide variety of non-technical skills: excellent communicators, good listeners, great collaborators, risk takers, motivators, truth seekers – and, most importantly, a clear passion for helping patients. "

This article has been edited for length and clarity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of their employer or the American Chemical Society.

Copyright 2022 American Chemical Society (All Rights Reserved)

How to Develop the Non-technical Skills Important for Working in the Chemical Industry image

How can you develop the non-technical skills that industry values? BASF’s Peter Eckes, 3M’s John Banovetz, and DuPont’s Alexa Dembek provide three different perspectives

Related Content

non technical problem solving

More From ACS Industry Matters

non technical problem solving

Accept & Close The ACS takes your privacy seriously as it relates to cookies. We use cookies to remember users, better understand ways to serve them, improve our value proposition, and optimize their experience. Learn more about managing your cookies at Cookies Policy .

1155 Sixteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA |  service@acs.org  | 1-800-333-9511 (US and Canada) | 614-447-3776 (outside North America)

  • Terms of Use
  • Accessibility

Copyright © 2024 American Chemical Society

Please enable javascript to view this site.

Image

  • Book Review
  • Case Studies
  • What is TRIZ
  • Who Will Use TRIZ?
  • TRIZ Dictionary
  • Contradiction Matrix
  • 40 Inventive Principles
  • 40 Inventive Principles for Business
  • Resolving Contradictions with 40 Inventive Principles
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Lean Operators
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Genetic Diagnostic Laboratories
  • Mission, Vision & Values
  • Submit an Article
  • Hide Navigation

How to use Pointers to Effects

Pointers to Effects for Non-technical Problem Solving

Editor | On 02, Mar 2009

By Hongyul Yoon Abstract Most Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) tools help solve non-technical problems. The efficiency and effectiveness, however, of TRIZ for solving non-technical problems appears to be much lower than what is used for technical problem solving. The absence of pointers to effects for non-technical problem solving should be one of the main causes. Non-technical problem solving requires some effects that are different from those based on physical science and engineering technology. In order to develop some pointers to effects for non-technical problem solving the structures and meaning of function model and effect were discussed. Based on this some pointers to effects were proposed for non-technical problem solving. Keywords TRIZ, pointers to effects, non-technical problem, General Theory of Powerful Thinking (OTSM), function model, element – name of feature – value of feature ( ENV) Introduction Technical problem solving and non-technical problem solving have been successfully achieved with the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ). (In this paper, non-technical problem solving means some problems which cannot be solved through application of physical, chemical, geometrical and biological knowledge or technological knowledge based on physical science.) The author has run onsite training courses to generate new market ideas or new technology ideas through TRIZ tools based on the General Theory of Powerful Thinking (OTSM). 1 The training participants said that the thinking ways of TRIZ and OTSM helped to systematize an individual’s thinking processes beyond expectations. That favorable response seemed to come mainly from the use of abstract problem models and solution idea models of TRIZ and the OTSM. The General Theory of Powerful Thinking leads individuals to effectively transform a complex and non-typical problem situation into a set of simple and typical problem models. Almost all of the abstract models for thinking offered by TRIZ and OTSM guides individuals to effectively solve non-technical problems as they would for technical problem solving. The author, however, found that the efficiency and effectiveness of TRIZ tools are much lower in non-technical problem solving than in technical problem solving. Some people showed difficulty in coming up with ideas after having a clear understanding of the solution models offered by TRIZ. Others took more time to get effective ideas compared to those who tried to solve technical problems. The causes of those points require deeper examination. One of the causes was checked through the following discussion: Based on the OTSM viewpoint, the process of inventive problem solving could boil down to two main stages: 2 Problem model transformation from a complex and non-typical situation into a set of simple and typical problem models. Application of typical abstract solution models of the human being including those of TRIZ. With technical problem solving, in order to get solution ideas from typical solution models of TRIZ, individuals need knowledge of materials, several types of energy and influences of energy transmission. Even if an individual gets the simple and typical problem and solution models in the OTSM viewpoint, he cannot get a solution idea without scientific knowledge related to the model. It could be a good reason for examining the application of inventive standards to an idea generation for technical problem solving. Figure 1: A Simple and Typical Model Case In Figure 1, the solution model recommends an introduction of a new substance into the tool or the object. Imagine what will happen if a certain additive is introduced according to scientific knowledge. If someone has no knowledge – even a bit – on the physical nature of the world, a person would be hardly able to propose a solution idea with some confidence. As the methodology helps with problem solving, TRIZ offers the way to overcome the shortage of scientific and engineering knowledge. The scientific knowledge itself does not belong to the realm of TRIZ, but TRIZ gives an efficient way to adopt the scientific knowledge – pointers to effects. 3 An effect is a TRIZ-version equivalent of a certain scientific law, principle or engineering knowledge. The pointers to effects help solvers in technical problem fields. Even though the solver has little scientific knowledge, the pointers to effects of TRIZ give individuals helpful clues and directions on the required knowledge. The pointers to effects of TRIZ activate the abstract solution models like inventive standards in a solver’s mind. Main ideas of pointers to effects often lead solvers to a more comprehensive understanding of familiar scientific knowledge. For instance, suppose that a new way to move a solid and light body is needed. Pointers to effects in order to move a substance could lead to vibration. Sometimes even mechanical engineers can barely come up with the idea to adopt vibration in order to move something even though they are accustomed to it. Likewise, those who try to apply TRIZ to non-technical problem solving need some kind of pointers to effects. They might not have enough knowledge required to activate the abstract solution models provided by TRIZ. Sometimes they depend on wrong subjective thoughts against objective knowledge to result in some irritating ideas against an individual’s wishes. For those reasons, many TRIZ learners for non-technical problem solving have required pointers to effects. Pragmatic Requirements of Pointers to Effects in Non-technical Problem Solving The pointers to effects in classical TRIZ are formulated by matching a certain technical function and some physical, chemical and geometrical effect. This delivers the function of an effect that can be translated into “input action” and “output action” (or the resultant change) of an object (a resource) as shown in Figure 2. 4 , 5 Figure 2: General Structure of Pointers to Effects A similar structure could be kept for the pointers to effects for non-technical problem solving. But before developing those kinds of pointers for non-technical fields a question results: What are the requirements for the pointers to effects to provide efficient use? The question may seem too big. The author, however,will discuss it in two quick aspects. By examining how to formulate function model for the efficient use of the pointers to effects. By discussing what kinds of effects are needed for non-technical problem solving. Function Model as a Problem Model The pointers to effects are not always helpful for problem solving. Actually, a function as a problem model must be formulated correctly in order to use the pointers to effects efficiently. The usefulness of the pointers to effects is from the matching of a function and some effects, but this depends on the correct formulation of the problem. Generally, a problem could be defined as a situation where the current state of the target object is different from its state of what is wanted. In this case, a solution is defined as how to eliminate the difference between two states of the target object or to change the current state of the target object to the desired state. The descriptions can be translated into ENV (element – name of feature – value of feature) modeling of the OTSM such as: A problem: where there is a difference between the current value and the required value of a certain property of the target object. A solution: with the way to change the value of a certain property of the target object from the current to the desired. After identifying the problem situation according to the above descriptions individuals can search the knowledge required to change the target object. For example, if one uses the pointers to effects offered by classical TRIZ, the function model is adopted as a guide to search the proper knowledge. Where function is defined as action plus the object in which the action must change the state of the object. 5 The OTSM defined it more precisely as change ( increase , decrease) plus value of a property of an object. According to the above discussion, one can draw two descriptions of function modeling; Function is formulated as action plus object. Function’ is formulated as change (increase, decrease) plus value of a property of an object. Where object corresponds to the target object in the general definition of a problem and a solution. If one hopes to avoid any confusion with the meanings of words, the second formulation could be better for obtaining the clarified meaning. Figure 3 presents the discussion schematically. Through abstraction of a real problem situation, an individual gets a function model as a general problem model. The pointers to effects lead one to map the function model to some effects as a solution model. Figure 3: RelationshipsAmong Function Model,Pointers to Effects and Effectsin a TRIZ Thinking Way In order to use the pointers to effects efficiently, therefore, the property of the target object in the function model must be one of physical, chemical or scientific parameters. The author’s experiences have shown that a few TRIZ beginners formulate functions as one including performance parameters. Performance parameters like productivity, efficiency, device complexity, etc. are not suitable for the property described in a function model for use of pointers to effects. The performance parameters are not determined directly by scientific laws, but by how a certain technical system operates with scientific laws. For example, if one wants to increase the productivity of a chemical process, or the function model, in order to increase productivity it is not matched with certain scientific effects as solution models. Before checking the pointers to effects, one must examine how the required functions are performed and what kinds of losses are happening in the specific process. The working way of a certain technical system belongs to a certain case. The productivity of a certain process depends on the way that a certain process (as a particular case) performs with physical, chemical effects. If one wants to improve performance parameters of an object, one should analyze the object first and then formulate function models to map them to physical, chemical, geometrical parameters through the pointers to effects. Suppose that the goal is to increase productivity of the system. First, analyze the current situation and find that the productivity of the system depends mainly on cooling speedy of the molten polymer. At this stage, apply some effects like conduction, convection, etc. according to the pointers to effects, to cool a substance. When beginners treat non-technical problems with TRIZ, they often make the same mistakes as in technical problem solving. They formulate a problem as a function, which has performance parameters to reduce total cost to increase revenue, to increase productivity, etc. Those performance parameters are caused by a specific situation. Before searching abstract and general solution models, above all, it must be dealt with using analytic tools like multi-screen thinking, function analysis and root conflict analysis. As an example, suppose that one wants to reduce the cost of a consulting company. Through root conflict analysis an individual finds that the biggest part of the cost is caused by inviting external famous lecturers as a promotion. There is a need to find other ways for promotion without inviting distinguished lecturers. Formulate the function model of how to motivate people instead to the initial one of how to reduce cost. Only if a solver formulates function models according to these steps, will the pointers to effects serve as helpful. From this process, the author derived necessary conditions of function modeling for effective use of the pointers to effects for non-technical problem solving. The function model should be formulated as change (increase, decrease) plus value of a certain property of an object. Or action plus object in which the action must change the state of the object. The property mentioned in the function model of pointers to effects should not be a kind of performance parameter, which mainly depends on a specific condition and then needs deeper analysis of the condition. Effect as a Solution Model The definition of effect in classical TRIZ terminology is a relationship of input action (input influence) and output action (the resultant change) of an object (a resource), which is governed by a certain principle of physical, chemical or geometrical viewpoint. An effect as a tool of classical TRIZ shows the change of an object when it is influenced upon. What it says about the change of a certain object is governed by an objective principle, such as scientific. In order to extend the concept of an effect in classical TRIZ to non-technical problem solving, the governing principles in it must be replaced by principles in non-technical solution fields. A more general definition of effect could be as follows: An effect is a relationship of input influence and resultant change of an object, which is governed by a certain objective principle. When examining the principles in non-technical fields the author has used the following points as criteria for the selection of effects for TRIZ application. The principle must be as objective as possible. For example, the principles as advice given by “gurus” in economics and management were excluded. Some people say, “The smarter the employees, the more effectively a company is run.” Is that proven through objective experiments and analysis? If not, then that must not be included in the pointers to effects for non-technical problem solving. The principle must say something about the input influence and resultant change of a certain object. In non-technical problems, assuming objective principles about animals and plants are considered to belong to biological knowledge, the author has yet to find any other kind of non-technical principles except where the target object is a person. If one examines the non-technical principles precisely, she can realize what is said about the change of a certain feature of a person through non-technical influence. For instance, the law of demand as an economic principle could be discussed. That states that quantity demanded is inversely proportional to price – such as the higher the price of the product, the less the customers will demand. That is not about the change of a single object caused by an input influence on it. Figure 4 shows more detailed steps of this as a process. There are at least three objects mentioned in that principle. The seller changes the price of goods. Any kind of signs like price tags are renewed to inform a buyer. Buyers are changed with awareness of a negative incentive, a higher price. There are lower demands for the goods. According to this analysis, the law of demand could be a non-technical effect to solve the problem of how to decrease the value of the demand of people. That means it is for human-targeted problem solving. Figure 4: A Deep Analysis Case in a Non-technical Field As far as this study is concerned, non-technical principles belong to human-targeted effects if biological principles are excluded. The pointers to effects introduced here, therefore, will be composed of human-targeted effects. Pointers to Effects for Solving Human-targeted Problems Some information on psychology, economics and marketing were examined in order to pick up the non-technical principles. 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 Remember, for those with no relationship of input the influence and resultant change were abandoned. After being collected, the principles as effects were classified according to one’s property, which was changed by an individual. It must be mentioned that the list of pointers to effects introduced in this paper is just the first, which must be renewed if new non-technical principles develop. The table belowshows some of these parameters. The “what I want” column shows only the changed properties – without comments that the properties belong to a person. The use of the table is the same as for the table of the pointers to effects in technical problem solving. Formulate the problem as a function model after the ENV model formulation. Find the functions corresponding to the function model from the table. Examine the effects matched to the functions. Generate solution ideas according to the matched effects. These pointers could help application of inventive standards to non-technical problem solving. Instead of using mathematics and chemistry, these effects could be used for non-technical problem solving. A simple example of how to use the table follows: In country A, a supermarket intends to sell some fruit imported from country B, which people of country A dislike. People do not like goods from country B. The manager of the supermarket, however, wants to sell as much fruit as possible because of the high profit. What should the manager do? Try to formulate some function models. If the manager decides to sell the imported fruit, the problem can be formulated as: Problem model 1: An individual wants to decrease the value of the negative attitude of people to the fruit imported from the disliked country. An individual can find the similar function model from the pointers to effects, to weaken the negative attitude where the corresponding effects are as follows: Mere-exposure effect Ritual effect Problem model 2: An individual wants to increase the value of the positive attitude of people to the fruit. In this case the manager should pick up a different piece of fruit, to intensify positive attitudes. The manager can try to get ideas with more than 10 effects. This problem could be tackled with inventive standards. The pointers to effects would serve ideas on field. Some Pointers to Effects for Non-technical Problem Solving Conclusion Based on a precise look into the pointers to effects of classical TRIZ, guiding the development of pointers to effects for non-technical problem solving was proposed. The function model as part of pointers to effects should be formulated as change (increase, decrease) plus value of a certain property of an object, or action plus object where the action must change the state of the object. The property mentioned in the function model of pointers to effects should not be a kind of performance parameter, which mainly depends on a specific condition and then needs deeper analysis of the condition. The generalized definition of effect was suggested as a relationship of the input influence and resultant change of an object, which is governed by a certain objective principle. The author suggested that the target object in most non-technical problems be a human being. Some pointers to effects related to human-targeted principles are classified and proposed to help the idea generation for non-technical problem solving. These pointers to effects must be updated as new non-technical principles are offered. Acknowledgments The author would like to give his sincere gratitude to Nikolai Khomenko and Valeri Souchkov for their valuable advice while the author thought about the theme of this paper. All potential errors in this paper, however, belong to the author. References N. Khomenko, OTSM Training Handout Set , LG Electronics, 2000. H. Yoon, TRIZ Advanced Course , POSCO, 2004. Y. Salamatov, TRIZ: The Right Solution at the Right Time , Insytec B.V., 1999. V. Souchkov, Annotated List of Key TRIZ Components , ICG Training & Consulting, January 1998. E. Arel, M. Verbitsky, I. Devoino, S. Ikovenko, TechOptimizer Fundamentals , Invention Machine Corporation, 2002. N. Mankiw, Principles of Economics , Dryden Press , 1997. R. Cialdini, Influence , Allyn & Bacon, 2001. P. Kotler, G. Armstrong, Principles of Marketing , 8th ed., Pearson Education Inc., 2006. P. Zimbardo, A. Weber, R. Johnson R., Psychology , Allyn & Bacon, 2000. J. Park, “ 유쾌한 심리학 “, 파피에, 2006. R. Thaler, S. Mullainathan, Behavioral Economics This paper was originally presented at the European TRIZ Association’s TRIZ Future 2008 meeting in Enschede, NL.

Related posts:

  • Four Views on TRIZ
  • Welcome to the March 2009 Issue of The TRIZ Journal
  • How to Teach Physical Effects in Game Manner

Share This:

Previous Story

Innovation in hard times, innovation policy for obama.

If you like the TRIZ Journal, please help us by donating towards domain space, admin and technical support.

Latest Articles

  • Playing TRIZ (Volume 2) – More Games and Cases Fostering Inventiveness
  • TRIZ University Takes Off
  • Oxford Creativity achieves global sales on lockdown learning, helping to problem solve pandemic
  • Short Thort
  • Biology – Sea Urchin Spines
  • Editorial Community
  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Editorial and Copyright Philosophy

Arrow

  •  Guest Posts

10 Non-Technical Skills for Resume That Employers Look For

Are you looking for the best non-technical skills for resumes to impress recruiters and secure an interview? Check out these skills that most recruiters are looking for.

non technical skills for resume

Table of Contents

Choosing the right non-technical skills for resume and creatively adding them to the resume with proof is crucial to impress the recruiter and get an interview with the company.

Failing to showcase these skills along with your experiences, education, and technical skills relevant to the position you are applying for can lead to rejection.

Whether you get an interview call or not depends on the soft skills you add to your resume as needed by the recruiter. But what skills are they looking for, anyway?

Don't worry. In this post, we are discussing 10 non-technical skills for resumes that will improve your chances of getting an interview.

10 non-technical skills to include in your resume

Businesses value non-technical skills much. In fact, these skills are what enable them to build strong relationships with and among the employees.

Hence, it is natural they look for these qualities in potential candidates.

When preparing your resume, try to include a few of the skills given below. Because these are the non-technical skills most employers are looking for.

1. Problem-solving

Problems are sure to arise in a job. While it is impossible to predict the kind of problems that may arise, businesses always want employees who are comfortable solving them. Hence, this is a crucial non-technical skill for your resume, for sure.

For example, the problem-solving abilities of Elon Musk are renowned in the business world. When he began his company SpaceX and started working on developing reusable rockets, not everyone was convinced. Although he kept going on, the launches failed consistently. However, he learned from his mistakes, solved the problem creatively, and made better decisions with newer insights to make the launches successful.

2. Decision-making

The ability to make sensible and informed decisions is an important skill that businesses want their employees to have. Working in a professional setup means that you need to make good decisions, and it can affect your team or the business at large.

Therefore, businesses need candidates who can analyze the situation, look at the available data, and see beyond the obvious to make rational decisions.

As this frees businesses from monitoring every decision made by their employees, this is an important skill they want their employees to have.

An example of decision-making skills is how Ratan Tata decided not to sell the car division to Ford Motor Company in the US. At first, Tata decided to sell the car division as it was not making sales or growing. However, as negotiations were not as fruitful as expected, Mr. Tata rethought the decision and backed from the negotiation. And now Tata Motors has some of the most selling passenger and electric cars in the country and owns Jaguar and Land Rover, from Ford, the same company that tried to buy Tata Motors.

3. Attention to detail

Paying attention to every aspect of your job is crucial. More than a skill, it is a necessity in any business. This skill is extremely essential in industries such as technology, manufacturing, healthcare, etc., as the failure to pay attention to detail may result in considerable challenges in the future.

Hence, employers want candidates who pay attention to every bit of their job without constant directions.

4. Time management

The ability to work as per schedules and complete tasks on time is a skill that every business wants from their employees. No business wants an employee who constantly misses the deadline and cannot complete the work on time.

Failure to manage time is also detrimental to the business in a remote setting, where the employees are not under direct supervision.

Hence, employees who are on time with their tasks allow employers to not worry about projects. And naturally, they want employees who respect time and manage it well .

Hence, when you create your resume, show that you are a person with good time management skills by including a sentence that shows that you were always on time with tasks and projects.

5. Adaptability

The corporate world is changing faster than businesses can sit down and analyze. Hence, they are on the hunt for employees who can adapt to these dynamics.

The COVID-19 pandemic first disrupted the world, sending everyone to remote or work-from-home options. Now, the AI revolution is again challenging businesses.

No business wants an employee who is unable to adapt. They need employees who can adapt, face the challenges, and help the business move forward.

An example of adaptability could be Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta. He has always adapted to varying changes in his career and competition from businesses, which led to the formation of Meta, Instagram, etc.

6. Organization

Despite having the right resources to work and improve productivity, many employees still fail to live up to the expectations of their employers. A lack of organizational skills could be the reason.

Staying well-organized is a key habit that enables employees to deliver high-quality work without compromising on efficiency or productivity. That's why businesses need individuals who are well-organized.

For example, Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo, was respected across the industry for her exceptional organizational skills. During her tenure, she has reshaped the company product portfolio, helping the FMCG giant grow even further thanks to her exceptional organizational skills.

7. Leadership

Leadership is a crucial skill that every business covets in their employees. Employers are looking for candidates who can grow beyond managerial positions or roles to more senior and executive roles.

Leadership is the amalgamation of most of the skills we have discussed in this list. These skills make a person effectively take leadership not only in their own line of work but also to motivate and influence others for growth and better performance .

One of the best examples of such skill is Steve Jobs, who has inspired millions of people in the world as a leader in the tech world. He not only created one of the most respected and valued businesses in the world but also inspired an entire generation with his motivational speeches, presentations, and innovations.

8. Interpersonal

When you work in an organization, you will be surrounded by people from diverse backgrounds.

Your ability to interact, work, and engage with them will determine your performance as well as your team’s. This is why employers are looking for people with excellent interpersonal skills , as diversity and inclusion have become integral to any business's success.

Therefore, show your interpersonal skills, such as empathy, emotional intelligence, active listening, etc., in your resume and how you have utilized the skills to get work done.

9. Communication

Effective communication is at the foundation of the success of any business. A business that is open for communication fosters trust and collaboration. And businesses look for professionals with excellent business communication skills .

Communication skills don't just mean the ability to talk well; it is also the ability to listen to people thoroughly, be witty, and keep conversations interesting. Your communication skills also determine if you are a great leader, can make intelligent decisions, and resolve problems.

All great leaders in the world have been excellent communicators. A few examples would be Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Maya Angelou, etc.

10. Teamwork

A business is a team. And without teamwork, no organization can grow or achieve goals. As employees are the ones who must work in teams often, businesses look for candidates who can demonstrate these skills from previous jobs.

That's why businesses constantly look for candidates with demonstrated experience of working in teams, collaborating on projects, etc. If you want to work with your dream employer, teamwork is a skill you need to include in your resume, as they will be looking for it.

There are several experiences that you could include in your resume to show that you have excellent teamwork skills. Such as how you have worked with your team on projects, how you brainstorm better ideas with a team than individually, etc.

These are the most common non-technical skills for resumes to impress a recruiter. Adding these skills is sure to make potential employers look at your resume with increased interest. At the same time, merely adding these skills to your resume will not be enough.

You need to present them as part of your previous professional experiences for credibility. You can look at the job description of the role and include the skills mentioned there to improve your chances of getting an interview call.

Step-by-Step Guide – Deleting Your LinkedIn Account

20 diwali gifts for clients to boost up the business bond in 2023, unlock the biggest secret of engagement to retain your top performers., -->guest contributor -->, commission payouts consider it done.

Streamlined automation for peak performance. Achieve 95% faster commission processing now.

Quick Links

Sales Compensation | Cross Selling | Market Research | Sales CRM | Sales analytics | Sales management | Net salary | Data processing  

Net Promoter Score | Sales Enablement | Indipendent Contractors | Enterprise resource planning | Sales quota | Sales engagement | Commission payout | Data integration in sales | Incentive management | Sales support | Sales gamification | Commission automation | Consultative selling | Sales team training | Sales commission | Revenue marketing | SAAS sales | Fair market value | Amortization | Platform as a service | Sales rewards | Sales forecasting | Marketing qualified leads | Close of business | Minimum viable product | Bant framework | Spin selling | Sales agreement | Annual recurring revenue | Sales cycle | Sales productivity | OTE in sales | Upselling | Commission cap | Customer success | Sales automation | Lead nurturing | Sales pipeline | Forecast accuracy | Sales plan | Direct sales | Pain points | B2B sales | Outside sales | Sales metrics | Sales bonus | Outbound sales | Growth marketing | Inbound sales | Virtual selling | Sales prospecting | Channel incentives | Revenue operations | Channel sales | Market trend | Sales representative | User interface | Customer service | Sales incentive | Commission calculator | Net asset value | Sales channels | Sales leaderboard | Sales funnel | Sales performance management | Sales development | Profit sharing plan | Value based selling | Sales spiff | Sales motivation | Compensation administration | Sales qualified lead | Account based selling | Sales coaching | Gross margin | Sales KPIS | Sales technology | Incentive compensation management | Sales turnover | Business operations | Unit economics | Channel management | Sales meeting | Sales intelligence | Direct selling | Predictive sales analytics | Social selling | Sales associate | Inside sales

Reasons for sales commision automation | Reasons sales contests failing | Evolution of gamification in sales

Incentive calculation system | Why excel is notbest for incentives | CRM integration with compass | Importance of sales automation | Why CRM and sales incentive software is a winning combination | What is OTE in sales | How to design sales incentive plans | Why most sales commission automation solutions fail | Tracking telesales KPI | Channel partner management | Why sales incentive calculation software fails | What salespeople look for when choosing a new company | Sales commission structure cheat sheet | Replacing excel for incentives | Cost of not automating incentives | Democratizing sales data | Burning questions of sales reps and their answers |

Incentive calculation system | Why excel is notbest for incentives | CRM integration with compass | Importance of sales automation | Why CRM and sales incentive software is a winning combination | What is OTE in sales | How to design sales incentive plans | Why most sales commission automation solutions fail | Tracking telesales KPI | Channel partner management | Why sales incentive calculation software fails | What salespeople look for when choosing a new company | Sales commission structure cheat sheet | Replacing excel for incentives | Cost of not automating incentives | Democratizing sales data | Burning questions of sales reps and their answers

Performance rewards gift cards | Loyalty gift cards | Sales targets gift cards | sales team gift cards | channel incentives gift cards

Milestones gift card | Channel gifting gift cards | Revenue ops team gift cards | Fleet rewards gift cards | Agent incentives gift cards | Commission payouts gift cards | Festive rewards gift cards | Commission managers gift cards | Revenue booster schemes gift cards | Bulk payouts gift cards | Sales incentives gift cards | Support staff gift cards | Target based incentive gift cards | Gig workers gift cards | Channel partners gift cards | Volument based incentives gift cards | Slab based schemes gift cards | Trade discounts gift cards | Customer success team gift cards | Sales leaders gift cards | Learner rewards gift cards | Sales reps gift cards | Real estate agent gift cards | Prospects gift cards | Finance teams gift cards | Appreciation gift cards  

Sales compensation software | Sales performance management system | Sales incentive programs

Channel incentive program | Sales incentive plan | Commission management software | Commission tracking software | Insurance commission software | Sales management software | Retail compensation | Retail sales motivation | Fintech sales compensation management software | Enterprise incentive management software | Insurance gamification | Sales incentive management software | Enterprise gamification platform | Enterprise software sales commission rates | Fintech sales motivation software | Sales commission proposal | Spiff commission software | Sales engagement platform | Commission calculation software | Sales quota management software | Sales performance management software | Sales incentive software | Channel incentive management | Sales commission automation software | Insurance commission tracking software | Dealer incentive programs | Sales commission software | Sales gamification software | Commission payout software | Sales compensation management software | SAAS revenue intelligence tool | SAAS revenue forecast software | SAAS sales commission

Sales compensation trends | Bad sales incentive plan | Boosting the potential of tele support tele sales teams through gamification

Channel sales management | Incentives and sales commission programs | How to increase channel sales | Exhaustive implementation success support | Channel partner engagement strategy | Cost benefit analysis for sales gamification software | Gamification can make your team do more | Gamification enhances ux for all | Ways gamification helps you save | Gamify goalsheets to accelerate sales | Sales gamification leaderboard | Improve performance with gamification

Meet Empuls

See how 1000+ HR leaders globally use Empuls to build highly engaged and high performing teams.

Empuls G2 Badges

  • Client Portal

AxiaTP

  • Managed IT Services
  • Microsoft 365
  • Azure Cloud Computing
  • Cyber Insurance
  • Communication Services
  • Synkato UCaaS
  • Microsoft 365 Business Voice
  • Business Internet
  • Multi-Tenant Internet Solution
  • Custom Software
  • Access Control Systems
  • Point of Sale Systems
  • Referral Marketing Automation
  • Directional Drilling and Boring
  • How We Work
  • Resource Center
  • Case Studies
  • Carrier Provisioning
  • Communications Audit
  • Security Audit
  • Synkato Knowledge Base
  • Request Pricing

Managed Services

5 non-technical it skills your it provider should have.

it specialist team having a meeting

Stereotypes have long reduced IT providers to antisocial employees who only emerge from their cubicles to troubleshoot computer problems. This is an outdated idea! Forward-thinking companies know that highly-skilled IT providers offer teams of experts proficient in more than just IT solutions; it’s important to search for a provider with a variety of non-technical IT skills, too. 

Whether working on premise or off location, your outsourced team should offer more than just troubleshooting and must possess a variety of non-technical skills. Let’s review some of the non-technical skills your IT provider should have.

1. Problem-Solving Abilities

Perhaps all IT work is problem-solving; but identifying IT providers who specialize in finding solutions in every aspect of their work is a goal more companies should have. Clever, strategic moves can do more than keep your internet up and running; they can save your company both money and time.

Part of problem-solving is taking suggestions. Often the end users of IT programs—i.e., most employees at your company—may have helpful input on the function of the program, even if they aren’t technologically inclined. IT providers who work collaboratively with your team to solve the problems they bring up will be able to take the company further.

2. Interpersonal Skills

Though IT work is historically solitary, hiring IT providers with solid interpersonal skills is a smart move. IT workers must be able to collaborate with their team, work well with your employees when implementing new IT strategies, and communicate efficiently with higher-ups regarding challenges and solutions in their work.

IT workers need to communicate clearly both in writing and face to face. Conducting themselves pleasantly with your team encourages open lines of communication and can prevent problems before they start.

3. Precision

IT work involves a significant amount of repetitive work. Careful programming requires extensive attention to detail and can result in mental exhaustion. Having the commitment and skill to do detailed work again and again make for excellent IT providers. IT workers cannot be sloppy, but should instead thrive on accuracy.

4. Instructive Skills

Your IT department will spend a significant portion of their time explaining technical things to your non-technical employees. This means that they need to be instructive, confident, and helpful when teaching your team how to use the sandbox version of the site or untangling a download error on a company laptop. IT providers who make outstanding and patient teachers are the partners you need in your company.

5. Assertiveness

Whoever leads your IT efforts needs to be assertive in their position. As experts in their field leading an important arm of your operation, they must be able to explain to you how and why they need to do something a certain way, whether you agree or not. It takes confidence to justify extensive or expensive IT projects to executives, so assertiveness in this position is essential.

Not listening to a shy IT tech can cause expensive and even dangerous digital snafus on your end. Assertive IT professionals will do a great job of justifying projects, defending your company, and protecting your assets.

Find A Provider

When you identify a skilled IT provider and bring them in to support your company, you advance your innovation potential. Find partners who are ready to take on the responsibility of the digital structure of your company and its day-to-day maintenance requirements. IT providers who possess these five non-technical skills are invaluable in a market that depends on IT infrastructure more every day.

Contact AxiaTP today to learn more about what we offer, including great managed IT services in Indianapolis and a skilled team. We’ll work with you to build and implement a winning IT strategy!

Related Posts

  • How-To Guide: Maintaining Uptime Rates While Working Remotely
  • A Consultative Approach to Managed Services
  • Why Your IT Service Provider’s Process Matters

non technical problem solving

IMAGES

  1. triz for non technical problem solving

    non technical problem solving

  2. triz for non technical problem solving

    non technical problem solving

  3. What Is Problem-Solving? Steps, Processes, Exercises to do it Right

    non technical problem solving

  4. PROBLEM SOLVING

    non technical problem solving

  5. Describe How to Implement the Problem Solving Solution

    non technical problem solving

  6. 7 Steps to Problem Solving

    non technical problem solving

COMMENTS

  1. 3 Important Non-Technical Problem Solving Skills a Developer ...

    Photo by Nong V on Unsplash. More often than not, defects raised in lower (non-production) environments end up being a test data or test scenario issue. Before pulling out all the logs and ...

  2. 15 Common Problem-Solving Interview Questions

    STAR, SOAR and PREP are methods a candidate can use to answer some non-technical problem-solving interview questions. Generic problem-solving interview questions go a long way in gauging a candidate's fit. But you can go one step further by customizing them according to your company's service, product, vision, and culture.

  3. Non-Tech Skills Most Important for the Highest-Paying Jobs

    Non-Tech Skills Most Important for the Highest-Paying Jobs Strategy The top 15 non-technical skills you need to help land a high-paying job Madison Hoff Jun 17, 2020, 7:23 AM PDT Public...

  4. 9 Non-Technical Skills That Technology Workers Really Need

    In HackerRank's 2018 Skills Report, for example, some 94.9 percent of respondents said that employers and recruiters valued problem-solving skills; that's well ahead of programming language efficiency (56.6 percent), debugging (47.1 percent), and system design (40.3 percent). "Demonstrating computational thinking or the ability to break ...

  5. Soft Skills for Engineers: Essential Non-Technical Capacities for

    It's about realizing that our work isn't just about solving technical problems — it's about collaborating, communicating, leading, and constantly learning.

  6. Why Problem Solving Skills Are Essential

    Attains consensus. Drive to see problems through. Making mistakes is not only inevitable but it's a key part to developing your problem-solving ability, said Cheng, noting it leads to learning from one's mistakes. Driving consensus is another non-technical problem-solving skill you should master, said hiring managers.

  7. Data Science: Non-Technical Skills for a Data Scientist

    The non-technical skills involve critical thinking and problem solving, strong business understanding, having communication and storytelling skills to share the results in a compelling way, and finally, a curious drive to find out more and dig deeper into the data set. Content What is Data Science? What Skills do a Data Scientist need?

  8. The Importance of Non-Technical Skills for Software Engineering

    When hiring software developers, industry experts focus on non-technical skills like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, adaptability, and initiative, as well as technical skills like programming languages, frameworks, and problem-solving techniques. They assess these skills through various methodologies during the recruitment process ...

  9. 7 Important Non Technical Skills Your Candidates Should Have

    Remember: the best opportunities and discoveries often arise from problems and someone's ability to creatively solve them. So, when assessing candidates, look for opportunities to talk about not just the work, but the problem they solved in each example through the use of their non technical skills and problem solving skills. Do yourself a ...

  10. 7 Non-Technical Prompt Engineering Skills

    Jun 26, 2023 -- Photo by Tim van der Kuip on Unsplash In this article, I shared what the career in Prompt Engineering and how this job is in high demand due to the increase of Generative...

  11. Problem-Solving Interview Questions: How-to + Examples

    To put these skills to the test, recruiters use "problem-solving" job interview questions, also known as analytical questions. Here are some common ones: Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem. Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.

  12. Non-technical Skills: Definition, Examples and Guide

    Non-technical skills, or soft skills, are abilities that relate to how you work and how you interact with others. These skills may not be directly related to a person's profession and instead may reflect characteristics and habits. Interpersonal skills include communication, leadership, teamwork, decision making and situational awareness.

  13. How To Explain A Technical Problem To Non Technical People

    1. Show The Problem! As software developers, the products we work on often have visual components. Subsequently, most of the problems that we encounter in development affect user experience in some way. This may be that an end user is seeing incorrect data, certain features are broken, a page hangs, etc…

  14. A review of TRIZ, and its benefits and challenges in practice

    TRIZ is a knowledge-based systematic methodology of inventive problem solving ( Savranksy, 2000Fey and Rivin (2005) described TRIZ as a methodology for the effective development of new [technical] systems, in addition to it being a set of principles that describe how technologies and systems evolve.

  15. Non-Technical Hackathons to Drive Innovation & Problem Solving

    Non-Technical Hackathons to Drive Innovation & Problem Solving Thyra Allen (Nast) Published Dec 12, 2019 + Follow I've always loved the hackathon concept. What exactly is a hackathon? Google...

  16. Infographic: Most Valuable Non-Technical Skills for Scientists

    This is a prerequisite to discern the next non-obvious insight that can solve problems or create opportunities in our fast moving consumer goods industry." ... "Several non-technical skills are critical to the success of a scientist at FXI and I would argue in most modern research groups. The first one is team work and how a scientist can ...

  17. How to use Pointers to EffectsThe Triz Journal

    Non-technical problem solving requires some effects that are different from those based on physical science and engineering technology. In order to develop some pointers to effects for non-technical problem solving the structures and meaning of function model and effect were discussed. Based on this some pointers to effects were proposed for ...

  18. Non-Technical Skills: Definition and Examples

    What are non-technical skills? Non-technical skills are skills you have that do not relate to your specific job. Also called soft skills, these skills relate more to your personal qualities and habits than your technical abilities. These skills affect how you interact with others and how you complete your work.

  19. PDF Balancing Technical and Non-technical Skill Development

    Non-Technical Skills Oral and written communication Team Work Business Awareness Organization and management skills Responsibility and initiative Problem Solving IT competency Oral Communication Skills Making a speech or presentation before a large group of people such as your manager, your customer, or your peers is now part of the job.

  20. What Is the Definition of Non-Technical Skills?

    Non-technical skills are developed and continually improvable, are based on an employee's experience and personality, vary over time, and generally apply to any type of job. Technical skills (hard skills) are acquired through training and are specific to a job or role. Start scheduling. in minutes.

  21. 10 Non-Technical Skills for Resume Employers Are Looking For

    Problem-solving. Problems are sure to arise in a job. While it is impossible to predict the kind of problems that may arise, businesses always want employees who are comfortable solving them. Hence, this is a crucial non-technical skill for your resume, for sure. For example, the problem-solving abilities of Elon Musk are renowned in the ...

  22. 5 Non-Technical IT Skills Your IT Provider Should Have

    Let's review some of the non-technical skills your IT provider should have. 1. Problem-Solving Abilities. Perhaps all IT work is problem-solving; but identifying IT providers who specialize in finding solutions in every aspect of their work is a goal more companies should have. Clever, strategic moves can do more than keep your internet up ...

  23. What Are Some Non-Technical Challenges of Being a Software ...

    For example, you might get an issue ticket to solve a bug or discrepancy but you are not even sure what the problem is since you have to spend time trying to understand what the heck is the other ...