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Soft Skills

Soft skills form a big part of our professional business analysis skills that we need to be really effective in our roles. Essentially our role is made up of hard skills (tool & techniques) and of soft skills which is about us communicating in various ways. This includes our ability to build strong relationships through rapport with stakeholders, negotiation, persuasion and often even conflict resolution in the context of engaging with people during requirement gathering, validation and agreement. The better we are in using our softer skills, the more effective we will be when managing our project requirements.

So, are you fluent in Soft Skills?

We can all communicate, right? Right and wrong! Communication is one thing, but communicating really effectively is a skill most of us need to learn. Soft skills have a lot to do with communication and therefore it is important to understand a bit more aboutinterpersonal communication.

Interesting facts about interpersonal communication

  • Did you know that our body language speaks louder than words? Did you know that our tone of voice speaks louder than words too? Change your body language and your tone of voice and it changes the conversation completely.
  • As a business analyst trying to get your message across it is very useful to understand what representational systems are. This is all about how a person processes information most effectively, quickly and easily using their senses (audio, visual, kinaesthetic, auditory digital). Learn all about the signs of the representational systems and you will learn how to engage with your stakeholders much for effectively!
  • We each have a unique view of the world. You may say that you have discovered this fact before but do you know why this is? It is all about our basic values and beliefs about what is true and what is not true. For example: If a stakeholder is always sceptical and hard to deal with, it may be that something happened once in the past which created a belief which he now believes is a true fact in general terms. If you can uncover what the belief is, you have a chance in indirectlyhelping that person change that belief by demonstrating the contrary is true. This may assist you improving the relationship with this stakeholder.
  • There is a specific way you should present to an audience of people to ensure that you are presenting in an optimal way which brings across your message. As a business analyst it is very good to have strong presentation skills and it something you should practice regularly. A good presenter is often also seen as a good leader.

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