Reacts to article

To the editor:

The abundance of New Year’s resolution suggestions reminded me – I intended to submit a letter to the editor in late November.

I was totally pleased, gratified, even thankful reading the Nov. 25 article regarding Fort Dodge Senior High science instructor, Kris Lien, participating in the Real World Externships program.

This program entailed six weeks employment at Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. The intent being: discovery of which skills and knowledge are in great demand by employers today, which he could then teach to his students.

Mr. Lien gleaned a plethora of eye-opener realities from his experience, all valid. However, as a longtime member of Toastmasters, the two skills he specifically described as absolutely mandatory, “work in groups and good communication skills” naturally caught my eye. I was most pleased Mr. Lien not only recognized, but also realized, these skills are essential, or in his words, “mandatory.” Gold Star for Mr. Lien.”

Mr. Lien can now teach his students with total authenticity that “words are tools,” and tools are necessary for any construction. Consider, company employees must construct, and then present logical, rational ideas, plans and thoughts when instructing, conferring, debating, discussing, consulting “to solve problems together,” as is common in the “real world.”

Also consider the importance of communication skills for interviewing, motivating, selling, making presentations, conducting meetings, team building, leadership roles, appraisals, conflict resolution, negotiations and managing a diverse work force in today’s business world.

The same is true of “able to work with others” the other mandatory skill. Cooperation, trust, reliance and friendship are both learned – and earned – from clear, explicit communicating as well as interaction within the work force.

My pleasure of the article is – these skills, plus several others Mr. Lien listed in the article are in the lessons, practices and exercises of our weekly Toastmasters’ meetings. His revelation served to confirm the advantage, or perhaps the necessity of honing these skills for premium employment opportunities. Possessing such skills naturally is recognized, as well as provides greater working ease and professional growth in the “real world.”

Joan Johanson

Fort Dodge