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Soft Skills for Software Engineers - Empathy

Soft skills are individual personality traits that determine whether you will work well with your colleagues and be a good fit at a company. These are intangible but extremely important for almost every kind of position.


How Well You Put Yourself in Others’ Shoes. Being able to empathize with your team allows you to fully understand the problems that they face and find a way to make your project work for everyone.

Empathy is typically associated with being able to put yourself in the place of someone else. For Software Engineers, empathy is about putting yourself in the place of your colleagues and your clients. Empathy will help you not just deal with them but also understand them and their needs.

Empathize With Your Colleagues

Remembering how it felt to start your first job out of college is sometimes difficult. It’s only natural to roll your eyes at the latest blunder made by the office’s newest hire.

Suggesting new ideas is much easier when there is an understanding between members of a team that there won’t be any negative feedback or mockery, no matter how someone feels about an idea. #Empathy allows us to predict how others are likely to react to what we say, meaning that we can tailor how we speak to our audience. If you don’t like someone’s idea, ask yourself why. Then, when you give feedback, start off by saying something positive about their suggestion, then what you don’t like, and finish off on another positive. This ‘sandwich’ approach means that the person you’re giving feedback to won’t dwell on the negatives but will understand the pros and cons of their idea.

Of course, it’s not only the new kid on the block who encounters hurdles; sometimes, your supervisor or a senior like me having more than 25 years of experience, might be feeling the pressure from their own boss, or team morale might have taken a hit for whatever reason.

Empathize With Your Clients

When you program, you should cater to their needs rather than to what you think they should need.

We are experts in IT; it’s important not to assume our clients are, too. we have to effectively put ourself in the client’s place—from accessing our website or service initially, to making a purchase or whatever the endpoint is supposed to be. By developing empathy, you can make sure that your product offers what your clients want.

Empathizing with your user, allows you to see things from their point of view. They’re the ones that will be using your product, so you must always, always try to see things from their point of view before your own. Just because you like how something looks/works, that doesn’t mean your users will.

Colleagues of all ilks appreciate a kind word. Empathy can really help a team gel. That is the reason, it’s among the most important soft skills; it’s even been identified as the No. 1 job #softskill.


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