Michelle_Price_Soft_Skills_Transcript (71KB pdf)
Interviewer: So we’re here with Michelle Price, who is a Vice President with one of Alberta’s leading Oil and Gas companies, and she’s agreed to talk to us a little bit about communication and leadership today so thank you for coming, Michelle.
Michelle: Oh, you’re very welcome.
Interviewer: So could you tell us a bit about how communication has impacted your work?
Michelle: I believe that over time I’ve become hopefully more patient and improved on my listening skills so that I am more responsive to the wide diversity of people that I interact with and communicate with. You have to be sincere in your interactions. So you need to let people know you’re interested in what they’re saying. And that generally means that if you’re speaking to someone one-on-one, you have appropriate eye contact with them, that you allow enough time for individuals to answer questions you have, or to give input. That will vary with individuals. Some will speak very freely and some will not. You have to adapt to the individual you are talking to. You may need to ask probing questions. You may need to repeat points that have been made so you can confirm your understanding of what’s been said. And it depends as well what type of interaction you’re having. If it’s a social interaction, or if it’s a technical interaction, you have to adjust your listening skills.
Interviewer: Yeah, that’s a great point. And speaking of technical skills and soft skills, so do you think that throughout your career it has been more the soft skills side of your skills set that has given you more leadership opportunities or do you think it’s more the technical side or are they equal?
Michelle: It wouldn’t necessarily be the technical side because my technical expertise doesn’t align with the role that I have right now. I have a commerce degree and I’m a chartered accountant but right now I’m leading safety culture and operational reliability for our company. But there are a lot of leadership skills that are directly transferable as you manage people, set goals, plan and implement. To me, I think it’s a combination of having the ability to deliver results, but the only way you can be effective and deliver results is if you have those strong communication skills and the ability to be adaptive.
Interviewer: Great stuff. Thank you very much for your time today, Michelle.
Michelle: Oh, my pleasure. Thank you very much.