Personal Attributes

Created by Dyllan Allison

Personal Attributes

Personal attributes are what attracts employers to you. Basically personal attributes are unique selling points that employers look for in employees; there are 3 types of personal attributes that employers look for, and these are specific skills, general skills and attitudes.


  • Specific Skills - Specific skills are skills that are needed in the workplace and are probably the most required skill to have. In IT, a huge amount of technology knowledge would go in your favour when applying for jobs and this is simply because the company you want to work for doesn't have to teach you as much. They can rely a little more on you to know what you're doing already when you start working for them rather than spend time and money of teaching you. There are many different types of specific skills employers want like knowledge of basic health and safety.
  • General Attributes - General attributes are skills that almost anyone can possess but they're also skills that haven't needed to be taught. Things like time management and team working skills are perfect examples of general attributes since they're skills you should have and skills that shouldn't have to be taught. Time keeping and team working is especially important since you're constantly going to be working in a team and always going to plan your time for projects or repairs that are needed to be done.
  • Attitudes - Attitudes to working is another big skill that employers look. Just like the other two, there are many different types of attitudes you can have but some are more appealing than others like for example: good work ethic and patience. Good work ethic basically means you should follow rules, turn up to work on time and always do your work and patience is a definite must in IT. You'll constantly be running into new problems and facing new challenges and you need to have the patience to sit through them. There are many other types of attitudes that employers look for like being dependable and confident.

Effective Communication

Effective communication is important no matter what you're doing. Whether its in the workplace or just having general communication skills, its an important skill to have. In the IT industry its especially important since you're going to be communicating with a mass amount of people on a daily basis, plus you're also going to be working in teams often but this would depend on what exactly you're doing like. These types of communication can involve:


  • General communication - General communication skills involve basic communication skills. Being able to talk to people effectively will be part of any job available, especially in IT since you'll be communicating with people constantly. You also need to be able to adapt your voice and terminology since you'll be speaking to people from different cultures and/or people that came from a different part of the country. Avoid using slang or local terminology so that everyone is able to understand you when you're speaking; this is especially true if there are any cultural differences between you and a client as they would not be able to understand what you are saying or they may be offended by what you say.
  • Interpersonal skills - Interpersonal skills involves communication that includes little to no verbal exchanges. Verbal communication is obviously important but so is the use of body language. You need to be able to communicate using your own body language such as if you're angry, you may convey this to people with body language, this way people would know not to approach. In a workplace you need to be showing a more positive and friendly body language so that people know that they're able to calmly and confidently approach. Another interpersonal skill is sign language as its a way of communicating with someone who has hearing difficulties/disabilities. it may not be as important in the IT industry but it is an interpersonal skill that may be needed for other jobs.
  • Communicate in writing - Communication in writing is especially important for the IT industry as you will most likely be writing emails to people on a daily basis. You need to be able to write these emails at a high professional standard as it would reflect badly on not only yourself but also on the company you would be working for if your emails came of as immature, childish and non professional; this would obviously mean that the use of features such as emoticons wouldn't be appropriate on a formal email/letter. Spelling and grammar would also be highly important whenever writing letters or emails as again, it would make your email/letter letter look unprofessional.

Barriers to Effective Communication and How to Avoid Them

During your time in the workplace, you're bound to end up facing one of the mentioned below barriers that will stop you from being able to have a proper conversation with someone, weather it be from face to face communication or through online emails/chat. The first of these barriers that we will discuss is background noise.


Background Noise

Background noise can always be irritating and normally will ruin conversations. It takes people away from one on one talks since sometimes the person will be too focused on trying to find out where the noise is coming from or they will be too interested on what is happening in the background. Background noise can be literally anything that is causing noise in the background of a conversation such as another conversation happening or a movie; since people are naturally curious we become more fixated on what is happening which is not only a mood killer but also ends any conversation happening early between two parties. To avoid any sort of background noise and reduce any potential impacts is simply move. Move to a quieter area where there is less people and little to nothing happening in the background, if this cannot be accomplished then try to have the conversation at a later time if its important. You could also continue with the conversation via email or text message but its always better to talk with the person you want to face to face.


Distractions

Distractions can mean many things but just like background noise, people may become highly irritated by anything happening during a conversation. Once of the biggest distractions you will most likely see in any conversation is phones, this is simply because people for some reason feel the need to constantly check their phones, even when they're talking to someone right in front of them they will still check. Its natural curiosity especially when something is happening on the phone itself such as getting a text message. To avoid something like this you could always continue the conversation at a later date, if its urgent then simply move. Sometimes there's little you can actually do about problems like this so just finding somewhere quiet to go to may be the only option you have. You can also politely ask the person you're conversing with to listen while you're talking instead of paying attention to whatever is happening somewhere else or on their phone.


Physical Barriers

Physical barriers can be very simple types of problems. Too big of a room so its hard to hear someone talking, lack of confidence from a presenter and also lack of proper equipment are all some examples of types of physical barriers. Lack of confidence from presenters is a big physical barrier simply because you may not be able to understand or learn what is needed from the person that you have to listen too. To overcome barriers like this you could always simple ask them to slow down and explain in their own time; there isn't much you could possibly do about lack of confidence since its an aspect that you personally cannot control but lack of proper equipment can be. Getting correct equipment would be another way of overcoming such a barrier since like for example; if you need video chat to talk to a client or member of staff overseas, you would need the best possible video chat software in order to get the correct quality needed when talking. Finally you could always just move to another room if the one you are currently in is too big and people are struggling to hear you or you are struggling to hear someone else, if this isn't an option then you may simply have to move closer to each other.


Location

Location can be a barrier but in IT its not as apparent any more. Location barriers can involve the obvious 'they live in a different country' which means to find a way around you would either have to send emails, letter or voice chat using software and this is why its not so much a problem any more compared to what it used to be. Its a very easy barrier to overcome thanks to the internet and the countless amount of software available for video chatting online. There can be some complications that still exist such as lack of computing knowledge which can stop you from getting around this barrier but this again is a simple issue and basic knowledge of software like Skype can be taught in minutes.


Lack of Concentration

The lack of concentration is another barrier that may need to be overcame whenever communicating with someone. People have good days and bad days, sometimes we just want to be left alone and relax which can be a problem at time when conversing with someone; they would lack concentration when talking to them and probably wouldn't care for what you have to say. To overcome such a barrier you could simply carry on the conversation at a later date, its hard to get someone in the mood to listen to you when they simply don't want to so waiting until a later time is one of the only options. If its urgent then you may have to continue even if they don't want to listen; as a precaution you may also want to email exactly what you told them, they may not remember what you said since at the time they weren't really in the right mind set and lacked the concentration to listen.


Cultural Differences

Cultural differences can relate to many different types of communication but in general it counts for things such as language barriers and local language/gestures. There are hundreds if not thousands of different languages that exist in the world and you're not always guaranteed to talk to someone who speaks English well, if at all but to get around a barrier like this an interpreter would be needed; this would depend on how well they can speak your language. Its all ways going to be a struggle to speak to someone of a different language or cultural difference so it can at times be a difficult barrier to overcome. Certain gestures must also be avoided whenever talking to someone of a different cultural background as some gestures that we use can mean something completely different to another person. This is an easy barrier to avoid as you can simply not use the type of gestures of local language you normally would when talking with friends but this type of barrier can offend if not avoided.