Turning Talents Into Strengths: Stories of Coaching Transformation - My 11 co-authors and I give you insights into how strengths coaches assist individuals and teams in developing to their full potential.
WORKS IN PROGRESS
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Assessment of Social Skills - 20+ self-assessment check points to help you gauge your social capabilities.
Social Abilities Infuse Tech Know-How with Power - an article supporting my presentation ("Balancing Tech Know-How with Social Skills") at STAREAST 2018.
Software Testing Skills: Why Social Skills Are Essential For Software Testing - an article published in the EuroSTAR Huddle sharing how soft skills balance with technical and offering suggestions for strengthening them.
PRESENTATIONS & INTERVIEWS
Improving Communication and Social Skills - an interview recorded at STAREAST 2018.
- Why Testers, Developers, and Managers Need Better Communication - an interview recorded at STARWEST 2017.
- Balance Technical and Social Skills for Project Success - an article published in conjunction with my track session at STARWEST 2017. Additionally, my 5-minute presentation starts at 33:40 in Lightning Strikes the Keynotes.
- Perfect Pitch - Finding Harmony Between HR and IT (interview) part of the 9 to Thrive HR: Deep Dive Series presented by the Human Capital Institute. In this interview I share my perspective on the relationship between IT and HR, as well as the importance of recruiting for and developing soft skills among employees.
The resources posted here include links to external/affiliate content that I have found useful in my career. The core areas of focus are: Strengths, Leadership, Software Quality Assurance, and Soft Skills. Your suggestions for additions are welcome but please understand that I will not endorse anything I have not personally used.
Gallup Strengths Exploration (videos) - Short 1-2 minute cameos on YouTube providing insight into the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder talent themes. View your talent themes and the themes of your co-workers, family, and friends to obtain greater understanding.
StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath (book) - Learn about the research and the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder talent themes. The book includes suggestions for developing strengths based on your talents. (My Getting Started with Strengths package includes the assessment and access to the eBook version of this text for download.)
Touch Points: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest Moments by Douglas Conant and Mette Norgaard (book) - Reinforces the need for inquiry, reflection, and practice in developing your leadership skills. Your personal leadership model enables (or prevents) you to build connections and empower yourself and others.
Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono (book) - I've only lead a few meetings where I formally used the thinking hats to guide the discussion; however, the philosophies behind the hats infuses the way I lead. A great read ... especially if you're seeking to build an innovative and inclusive environment.
Always Growing by Jones Loflin (book) - A quick read that uses a gardening analogy to break down important aspects of leadership. You can also check out my blog post, Growing Software, inspired by this book.
SOFTWARE QUALITY ASSURANCE
The Mythical Man Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition by Frederick Brooks Jr. (book) - Written initially in 1975 and update in 1995, this text outlines many of the challenges of software engineering and testing. You'll quickly see that the challenges described still exist today (40 years later)! Brooks offers insights into why this occurs and suggestions for next steps.
One of my favorite industry blogs is the EuroStar Software Testing Huddle. In this community individuals from all over the world share resources and perspectives on software testing.
The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Workplace Lessons Smart People Wish They'd Learned Sooner by Peggy Klaus (book) - Knowing yourself enables you to handle criticism, listen effectively, navigate political waters in an authentic manner. Reading this book again after learning my Top 5 talent themes gave me new perspective on how to best to communicate with and influence others.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey (book) - Learn how to take control of your life and improve your influence with the 7 habits. While all the habits are valuable, my favorite is #3 (Put First Things First) - when we prioritize the right things we enable our strengths, and the strengths of our teams, to focus on a challenge effectively.