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Session Details

Title: It’s Not Soft Skills, It’s Survival Skills

Speaker(s): Dave Davis

Time: 11:35 AM

Room: Savannah - Vaco


Abstract: Using an example of a story I heard several years ago: “the elder of a "primitive" tribe went down to the lagoon one morning at sunrise and sensed something was wrong! Although the lagoon was calm and peaceful, this leader took drastic action had the whole tribe retreat into the mountains. The next day, a massive tsunami hit the islands and all the tribe huts and village was destroyed. This elder used his expert knowledge and intuition to save the village from a disaster that showed no symptoms of threatening the day before. The presentation will explore how innate survival skills, along with softskills, is essential for a project manager in the 21st century. You need to be constantly surveying your surroundings and react to threats or potential devastation. You need to constantly be protecting the team and be willing to take drastic measures to do. Soft skills will get everybody to do as required, survival skills provides the team a safe environment. Survival skills incorporate the ability to sustain success. It requires fantastic analysis skills regarding the context of your environment and the ability to define what you immediate is to improve your situation. Its rapid analysis joined with decisive action. It is essential in planning agile iteration and in helping to define value. It not only is applicable to stakeholder analysis, but the application of that analysis to prioritize the next course of action for the team. There may not be any visible threats but if you don’t take action the results will be devastating. And most important, it utilizes the motivation and influence skills of you as a leader. This represents the ultimate application of your life experiences, expert judgement, and taking appropriate action. Learning Objectives: 1. The attendee will understand the survival skill of using expert knowledge to survey the landscape and sense threats to the team and use softskills to get the team to take action. 2. The attendee will be able to identify threats and opportunities posed to the team and explore ways to mitigate the threats and maximize the opportunities. This will focus on using softskills to influence with both adversaries and advocates to drive the most value. 3. The attendee will discuss the challenge of AI replacing project managers and how the role of the tea, lead in the 21st century will emerge similar to a tribe elder that can sense the changes in the environment, decide to take action, and combine soft skills and survival skills to influence behavior and deliver value to the organization. Summary: Soft skills and emotional intelligence are fantastic coaching tools that provide critical to motivation and individual growth. However – they are just a subset of the skills required that an organization / project manager must possess in order to create a completely productive environment. Like the ancient tribe elder, you must be able to evaluate the environment and take action to protect from the team from pending disaster. If we make promises to our team for a safe environment – we must be able to react to threats to that environment. This presentation looks at how the Agile Team / the organization/ and the Team Lead can evaluate an environment and take appropriate action.

Topic: Other (Communication)

Target Audience: General

Keywords: communication, buy in, leadership, management, influence, advisement


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