The Human Touch - Personal skills for professional success

Philippa Thomas, Debra Paul and James Cadle

Published by

BCS

ISBN

9781906124915

RRP

£19.99

Reviewed by

Peter Wheatcroft CEng FIET CITP FBCS FCMI

Score

10 out of 10

The Human Touch: Personal Skills for Professional SuccessThere are many textbooks on computing published every year and an equal number of books on management, so it is refreshing to find a new title from an IT publisher that is about professional skills.

I enjoyed reading this one and commend it to anyone who is interested in how to be effective at management level rather than in a technical role. 

Two of the authors are longstanding BCS contributors and for this publication have teamed up with a specialist in personal development in order to provide an authoritative backbone to the text.

The theme is on the softer side of IT management, which is how IT people should think and feel rather than just act and covers a lot of ground - its 237 pages represents very comprehensive coverage.

For example, there are descriptions of every significant management technique, such as the Myers-Briggs working preferences model and mind mapping as ways of showing how these contribute to the overall impact someone in an influential role must have to succeed. 

The text covers everything that an individual could possibly need in its 13 chapters and there is - like all BCS books - a really good index to help readers find a particular element.  It would have been icing on the cake if there had been some IT case studies but this is a minor point as the book can contribute to a much wider field than just IT.

The references are excellent and there are also useful further reading points at the end of each chapter, although the coverage in the text is good enough to adopt without going further unless you want to become an assessor.

There is a timely warning about people using tools like psychometric analysis without being trained and accredited - it is dangerous to just read how to do it and then attempt to do so in an amateur fashion. 

The book is subtitled Personal Skills for Professional Success and the number of techniques, competencies and working styles explored here are only normally available by taking courses at business schools or from many different textbooks.

This book is not only comprehensive but also represents good value and is bursting with practical guidance on such things as how to be a coach and what mentoring involves, how to facilitate workshops and even how to compose good emails.

Worth reading!

Further information: BCS

March 2013