Toughening IT types for soft skills

What do free falling and jumping through hoops have to do with IT? Ask IT managers – they do it all the time. Do they want to polish those skills with an expert? It's unlikely, but an expert in other IT-essential skills - ducking and weaving - Guy Newman, IT trainer with Dimension Data, is hitting the teaching circuit with a message for "IT people who resist soft skills training with a passion".

A skilled gymnast and former circus performer, Newman is leading soft skills training courses that specifically target IT staff in a bid to create "geeks that speak".

Driven by a need to fill an industry gap where staff with high-level techie skills often lack 'soft skills', Newman admits it is a bit of a high wire act.

"No one wants to be taken out of their comfort zone, which is why they are reluctant to undertake soft skills training; send them to a techie course and they won't hesitate," Newman said.

Skills gained as a former member of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus have come in handy, according to Newman, who claims his biggest lesson learnt as a performer was discipline.

"We trained long hours with strict Chinese gymnasts," he said adding that IT is no longer just a technical discipline as staff now deal with all levels of the organisation.

"Once upon a time they were just in the IT shop but now IT people need to develop effective communication and leadership skills if they want to broaden their career opportunities."

Because IT practitioners tend to be logical, analytical, and shy, Newman said course participants find it difficult at times to work as part of a team.

"They tend to use a lot of jargon and assume others understand them; this is because they live in a world disparate to the one we normally live in," he added.

The first course ran in May, one of the few soft skills courses that actually target IT and include communications, leadership, team building and time management, which is the most popular. Business basics will be introduced to the Sydney and Melbourne courses in coming months and Dimension Data plans to assess course demand in October.

The courses are $395 per person and customised training is available for in-house teams.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sandra Rossi

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?