Why scientists and engineers can be sceptical of (and resistant to) soft skills interventions
Scientists and engineers can be sceptical of (and resistant to) soft skills interventions, and when invited to workshops, they often don’t genuinely engage.
This could be because traditional Learning and Development approaches talk about “continuous development” yet scientists and engineers like to solve a specific problem.
Moreover, engineers and scientists want to decode and understand the mechanism of how something (e.g. communication) works (e.g. why self awareness matters) and why the (communication) technique proposed is the correct one.
Traditional Learning and Development approaches focus on “idealised situations” which engineers tend to be cynical about because their reality is often far from the example shared in the session.
This difference in how they think about soft skills development means that often L&D initiatives are not as successful or have the desired impact, often further making the scientists and engineers even more sceptical of soft skills.
This is why I like to approach L&D from a problem solving stance, which tends to resonate with engineers. I provide concrete formulas for addressing specific situations they identify in their work.
I love geeks, I am a geek! I teach soft skills the way I wanted to be taught.