From the design and prototyping of electronic components to production for companies and start-ups, we at Hemargroup are used to talk to teams of engineers and product experts every day. In our more than 40 years in the business, we have learned to recognize the difference between a great engineer and an untalented one.
To be a very successful engineer you need to have a specific set of soft skills and qualities that we will discuss in this article.
Many aspire to become engineers, but not everyone has the right qualities to pursue this career and achieve success. But what does it take to become one of the best engineers and how can you achieve these qualities to use to your advantage?
Here are 12 qualities that we at Hemargroup have learned to recognize.
12 Qualities of Exceptional Engineers
This is one of the qualities that you build over time with company members, including your boss and team members. If the company is built on trust, then projects are likely to have a positive outcome, because employees work better together. Distrust is also one of the most common causes of disputes in a team, which often leads to resignation or betrayal.
As an engineer, you should be honest even in unfavourable situations. This is one of the most important qualities of a good engineer. Projects tend to fail quickly, when the problems that arise cannot be dealt with properly.
3. Excellent Communication Skills
Engineers deal with many people, including those who are part of the company and customers. It's important to have good communication skills because you need to explain instructions and present solutions and problems to both customers and team members. Without clear communication, the chance of project failure is very high. It is also important to provide information in a detailed, clear and concise language that everyone can understand. This is one of the easiest traits to improve and it brings immediately visible benefits.
No one can complete a project on their own. Team members need to work together to make it a success. By becoming a project leader, you need to be able to encourage, empower and improve team members. It also means becoming a role model for everyone. Taking on the role of leader means using the company's resources effectively and spending budgets wisely, sharing information with all stakeholders, getting involved in budget reviews and milestones, supporting employees and communicating and presenting projects to stakeholders and customers. This is the most important skill to move from engineer to manager.
5. Open Mind
One of the main characteristics of a true leader is his vision of life. It is important to see the overall picture, such as the impact of the project on the organization in terms of production, facilities, use of components, budget, use of currently available products and resources, and the gains that will come from it. As a result, project plans and production time estimates need to be presented.
6. Ability to Anticipate the Future
This is one of the rarest traits. It is important for an engineer to think in advance and identify possible problems that may arise, so that when this happens it is easier to deal with them. You also need to be able to see and take advantage of the opportunities that arise. This means thinking about the long term and what benefits there can be for the company.
7. Effective Risk Management
Project planning is not always perfect and problems can arise at any time. One of the rarest qualities of a successful engineer is to effectively manage these risks and prevent them from recurring. Building a team of experts with complementary skills will be very useful.
8. Setting Challenging but Realistic Goals
It is normal for a person to set challenging goals, especially if they are planning to gain a higher position, but developing plans that are too ambitious to achieve does not always bring benefits. Often, over-ambitious projects end up with poor or incomplete results. Project goals must be specific, achievable, measurable and detailed, yet challenging enough to encourage and motivate team members to pursue them.
It takes time to familiarize someone with the complexity of a project as it is different from each other. You need to understand the plans, deadlines and budgets that will be part of the project, as well as the risks involved. A great engineer will be able to explain a task, a project or a set of objectives in simple terms so that it can be understood without problems. This is one of the personality traits that is difficult to have, as the work we do becomes more complicated.
10. Taking Responsibility
The assumptions are always part of any project, an example is the number of new products that will be sold, profitability, the response of competition, the availability of products. In addition, there are times where you are alone, short of time, you have to make a decision, and you need to take control of the situation and take steps to prevent a disaster from happening. Taking responsibility for a decision and reacting immediately to unforeseen events is certainly an appreciable asset in an engineer.
11. Team Building
This is one of the most important traits if you want to continue your career in a leadership or management position. Each part of the team plays an important role in each project and most members require guidance and direction. It is essential that the team leader knows the strengths and weaknesses of each member to maximize their role in a project and improve those weaknesses over time, thus building a stronger team.
12. Use of Knowledge
Knowledge is power, but the way you use it matters a lot. Although most engineers in the same field share the same knowledge, not everyone uses it in the same way. This is mainly because knowing how to organize one's thoughts, and put them into practice correctly, is a skill apart. This makes it a huge advantage during the planning and execution process of each project, as you can share information that can be vital to its success.
These are some of the qualities that we at Hemargroup have observed over the years. Sometimes these qualities can also be observed in business partners.
If you need advice or are looking for a team of excellent engineers to whom entrust the design and production of your project, you are in the right place!