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New expectations at work Social Fluency president Rachel Kjack says tech workers are now expected by their employers to have soft communication skills in addition to programming talent.
That trend has been evolving since the first dot-com boom, but the need for workers now is bringing in employees from all over the world.
It's easy to imagine San Francisco's new wave of tech workers as happy-go-lucky 20-somethings, rich beyond their years. They are often new to the city and navigating through work, social, and romantic challenges. A host of life coaches and consultants has sprung up to help them along the way.
Social Fluency is a start-up that professes to teach the art and science of communication. It wasn't really connected to anything they had been talking about.
About a dozen students came to a recent evening class at Social Fluency to practice the basics of rapport—how to start conversations, change topics, and exchange contact information. “To make friends you've got to be able to take risks and put yourself out there a bit,” he says.
In classic Silicon Valley fashion, she's developing an app for that.
Klaphaak describes the workday of many of her clients like this: they wake up early, shuttle to their South Bay campuses, work long hours, and shuttle back to the city.
They are constantly glued to screens and disconnected from the world.
The app will survey workers and provide real-time data to companies on how their employees feel.
It has questions about the food at the cafeteria or relationship with a boss.
Then, like many dating coaches now, Klaphaak helps them tackle the online profile. The goal is to make online dating lead to meaningful, real-life interactions.