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I sincerely apologize if this question isn't appropriate for the site. I'm hoping to get some insight here.

I've been working in software technical support for several years and would like to continue to improve my own soft-skills (e.g. troubleshooting, logic, conflict resolution, habits, etiquette, efficiency, productivity, time management, communication skills, etc).

I realize of course that a lot of this comes from learning in the field and to that end, I've done pretty well. But I'd still like a more formal/structured approach to grasping the higher concepts.

Most of the material I've come across is intended for managers building call-centers (which is not my intention). I'm more interested in improving my own personal skills.

So question: can someone provide recommendations for books that provide soft-skill training? If that's too broad of a topic than perhaps someone could provide recommendations for just one soft-skill? Doesn't have to be an all-in-one type resource. I like books because I can learn them on my own time and have them around as a resource.

Thanks in advance.

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Thanks for the suggestions guys. I really appreciate your feedback. –  Mike B Dec 26 '09 at 22:00

3 Answers 3

I strongly recommend: "Time Management for System Administrators" by Thomas A. Limoncelli http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596007836

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Limoncelli also wrote "The Practice of System and Network Administration:

http://www.amazon.ca/Practice-System-Network-Administration/dp/0201702711

For a training course I highly recommend Analytic Troubleshooting (ATS) from Kepner Tregoe:

http://www.kepner-tregoe.com/TheKTWay/WorkingWithKT-TeachYou-ATS.cfm

The courses are very good value for money when you consider how long the skills last. I did a Visual Basic 3 course in 1996 and KT Analytic Troubleshooting in 1997. Guess which one I still use nearly every day at work.

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Thanks! Quick question: are there any books on the kepner-tregoe strategy? As I'm doing this on my own, I don't think I could afford a workshop/training program... –  Mike B Dec 23 '09 at 16:15
    
I did find the following on Amazon: amazon.com/Problem-Analysis-Decision-Making-Charles/dp/… Occam's Razor is also a useful maxim: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occams_razor Another book I'd recommend is "Most Secret War" by Professor R.V. Jones: amazon.com/Most-Secret-Penguin-World-Collection/dp/0141042826/… –  davey Dec 23 '09 at 18:23
    
@davey - wow: y'all're still using VB3? ;) –  warren Aug 29 '11 at 13:05
    
Only for government work ;) –  davey Aug 30 '11 at 15:21

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