Hard skills and soft skills

TASVideos is a world wide community consisting of people with different cultural backgrounds, skill sets, abilities, goals, interests. The TASing hobby covers a wide variety of spheres, and it's expanding, while our publicity is also increasing. To keep this community together and help it grow in size and productivity, staff members require certain skills of both technical and humanitarian nature, often called hard skills and soft skills respectively.
Hard skills consist of technical tasks one is capable of performing when dealing with actual content of the site: wiki editing, movie making, judging, publishing, programming, reverse engineering, etc. Soft skills deal with human interaction and define its quality. The Collins English Dictionary defines the term "soft skills" as "desirable qualities for certain forms of employment that do not depend on acquired knowledge: they include common sense, the ability to deal with people, and a positive flexible attitude."
Hard skills required to handle our content are described in all the details in our Articles. Soft skill guidelines concerning staff attitude and behavior are provided below. In the most generalized form, we require our staff to act professionally and patiently.

Be aware

Technology

Understand the technology that you need to use daily, keep curious mind regarding what can currently be achieved with it, follow the development of this technology, and look for possible alternatives and improvements. Such an attitude greatly increases your competence, productivity, and creativity, and helps to suggest workflow improvements.

Other types of contribution

You interact with lots of other contributors, so it's important to have an idea what other jobs are about, what other people's goals and priorities are, how to help them achieve their goals better by simply doing your job well, and how to get help from them. Sharing ideas and providing relevant insight improves the content and the atmosphere of the site.

Be serious

Take your job seriously, apply due dedication, because you participate in content management and a lot of other people depend on the quality of your job. One's dedication always inspires others to apply more dedication and to care more about the overall quality.
Don't be lazy. If something needs to be redone or improved, take your time and do it right, asking for help if needed.

Be balanced

With lots of different people involved in lots of different tasks, there are always different views and often contradicting opinions. People view things from different angles depending on a lot of aspects, so don't be afraid or upset when you see those contradicting opinions being expressed. Moreover, most of the time when there seems to be an agreement, there is some aspect people are missing that can pop up later. Apply your curiosity and help to find missing aspects, or show known aspects from new sides. Similarly, appreciate people doing so.
Don't mind when someone seemingly fails to contribute to a discussion. Stay calm and point out problems in a comprehensive manner. Remember that losing your temper may result in people failing to see your actual point, since they get distracted by emotions.
Don't take sides and don't get carried away by others' arguments. No one can know all the truth or all the facts, each party only sees their fraction of reality. What they see as a contradiction may not be a fundamental problem, quite often it's just misunderstanding, lack of information, and overreaction. The balance can be restored by seeing the broader picture and accounting for everyone's priorities that compose that picture.

Appreciate and support other contributors

The site keeps going because lots of people dedicate their time and energy to contributing. Even though no one is perfect, it is very important to appreciate other people's help. After all, the quality of our work often depends on this help. Provide possible help to others as well, there's always something we can share or do aside from our direct duties.

Criticism

Reasonable criticism helps to improve the quality of the work, and unreasonable criticism can be taken productively. Try to understand criticism and don't be afraid to criticize others' work, but always make sure you criticize the work, not the author. Point out flaws and suggest improvements in a helpful manner, and don't get annoyed if someone doesn't understand your reasoning right away. Taking criticism productively requires patience from all participants.
Don't be overly strict in your requirements however. Criticism implies that more work has to be done, so try to help with understanding why it's needed. Better understanding inspires more work naturally.

Be fair and respectful

Treat all users equally well, appreciate contributions. Keep in mind that staff attitudes define the image of the site and the community in the eyes of the visitors. Sustain friendly and helpful atmosphere. Pay attention to your language and actions. If there is a confrontation, analyze the problem and suggest solutions.
Don't contribute to controversies. Avoid overreaction and anger. Keep in mind that anger is often caused by lack of information, so collect more of it, expand your outlook, increase your awareness when dealing with some problem, and maybe a graceful solution comes naturally.

Argue constructively

When participating in arguments, don't try to win at any cost. Don't rely on questionable things, always try to provide factual evidence. At the same time, keep in mind others might have different experience and different evidence. Be interested in knowing what the opponent have experienced. The goal of an argument is improved knowledge and workflow, and research is the best contribution to it.
Don't assume bad faith and don't try to prove it. Don't focus on a person, focus on their facts and views. Deconstruct their point if necessary, but remember that deconstruction doesn't mean destruction, it means examining what the opponent is saying. Always try to understand your opponent's point of view: it helps to notice mistakes they aren't noticing.
Try not to be biased and don't consider your opinion perfect. If others have doubts about its validity, use this as a chance to revisit it, to prove its validity or fix its flaws.

Be helpful

It's common to want to help other people, and it is also common to intuitively try helping them in what you think they need help with. But this rarely works, because people's point of view is usually different from yours, so their priorities are also different. What you see as the problem they're facing may not match what they feel.
So to be able to help people effectively, first of all one should figure out what kind of help the other person actually wants, and to rely on that. Helping people get what they want makes them happier, whereas forcing them to change something in them is mostly just annoying. Telling them what to do is especially unhelpful, at least until they ask directly.

More reading

There are also pages that touch on more delicate subjects:
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Staff/SoftSkills last edited by feos on 12/30/2023 2:21 PM
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