x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Emotional intellect is in demand for every nationality

Everyone needs "soft skills" and empathy in the workplace, a reader says. Other letter topics: Al Safa Park and Diwali celebrations.

Al Safa Park will be disrupted by the Dubai canal project, to the ire of some readers. Antonie Robertson / The National
Al Safa Park will be disrupted by the Dubai canal project, to the ire of some readers. Antonie Robertson / The National

In reference to Ayesha Almazroui’s comment article It’s high time we all acquired a few more emotional skills (November 4) I would like to note that it is not only Emiratis who need soft skills.

I work with emigrants from this region on their way to Canada – well-educated professionals including engineers, accountants, pharmacists, physicians and professors.

Their work experience and excellent training gives most of them an advanced level of technical knowledge.

But often I see that their lack of soft skills threatens to impede their integration into the Canadian workplace. 

In North America, employers often look for equal parts technical and personal-relations skills.

The higher one climbs on the corporate ladder, the more important soft skills become.

For example, a team manager for an international company based in Toronto applied for a promotion and was sure he was a shoo-in since he had a PhD while the other candidate had only a bachelor’s degree.

But to his shock, his rival got the promotion for having better emotional-intelligence skills.

Teaching or learning soft skills is not easy.

Although school curricula focus on cognitive development, there is still be room to foster soft skills.

Team work, class presentations and peer conflict-resolution training are useful ways to nurture these skills.

Silvija Ulmanis, Abu Dhabi

Al Safa Park more vital than a canal

With regard to your article about the planned Dubai canal (From Business Bay to Jumeirah: Dubai’s ambitious new canal plans to bring a cool future, November 2), it would be interesting to know where the RTA got their figures from regarding visitors and users.

Without knowing the operating details for the canal transport service and how much it will cost, how can they estimate that it will be used by 6 million people? These details must affect this figure.

Also, it is difficult to believe that according to figures I have seen more people will visit (30-36million) this canal each year than visit Venice in Italy.

And why does the one area in central Dubai that offers a green and pleasant land – Al Safa Park – have to be destroyed, even if only partially?

Where are children supposed to exercise? None of the apartment blocks that are shooting up like mushrooms seem to factor in that children will live in these places.

Name withheld by request, Dubai

The canal plan sounds very ambitious to be finished by 2017.

I shall miss the relaxed uncommercial space that is currently Al Safa Park.

Jude Bonner, Dubai

Looking for work in a tough market

In your article Arabian Gulf needs 51 million jobs by 2020 (November 4), you ask those who are out of work in the Gulf how difficult it is to find a job right now?

I have been looking for a job ever since I graduated from university in 2010.

I have spent nearly three years trying to find a suitable placement but could not get anything more than an internship offer that was also unpaid.

In all these years, I have not been able to earn a single penny and instead have been a financial burden on my family.

I have to look up to them for everything I need, including medical treatment if I fall sick.

Many times, they have been compelled to exceed their monthly budget.

Job seekers face many issues.

First, there is clearly lack of sufficient job opportunities in the market.

Second, employers are reluctant to hire fresh talent and instead take qualified and experienced individuals on board.

Also, the salaries offered to newcomers are extremely low and unattractive.

Fatima Suhail, Dubai

A few spoil Diwali for the rest of us

Unfortunately the lack of respect for others has again shown the Indian community in bad light during Diwali (Diwali a festival to look forward to, November 2).

So far two nights of fireworks from 5pm until nearly 3am by families have not endeared me.

Despite the police coming at least twice to disperse them, they just waited until it was clear and back they came.

They even let their young children hold these illegal fireworks in their little hands while they flashed and exploded.

These people are not responsible parents, or responsible neighbours and certainly not responsible guests in this country.

Enjoy yourselves but learn that your bad actions are not welcome.

Name withheld by request