In the information technology workplace your skills make you what you are. But to other people, it's often your outward appearance that communicates just how good you are.
This "look of competence" is explored in this ComputerWorld article, a Q&A with Cara Hale Alter, a specialist in communications training. She explains the ever-important behavioural cues and nuances of speech that project a confident, capable image. Many people make mistakes when it comes to their body language, she says, and not only junior-level employees who haven't trained themselves in the art of personal presentation.
Even senior executives fall victim to the fallacy that effective communication is merely speaking clearly, she says:
"It's critical to distinguish between what's adequate and what's optimal," Alter adds. "To really stand out today, you've got to ratchet up each of your skills -- improve your posture, voice and eye contact, increase your energy and expression, and more."
And perhaps more importantly, good soft skills can ensure the job you land is optimal--not just "adequate."