Anyone will tell you that sometimes, as a general statement, other people are hard to deal with. From negotiating disagreements, communicating clearly, working together when the two of you aren’t entirely on the same page, we know that dealing with others is not only hard but nuanced, too. Countless skills, from conflict resolution to appropriate emotional expression, are crucial to not only get by in modern society but also to succeed in it, especially in the workplace. For example, working in student transportation services requires a strong grasp of so-called “people skills” in order to both perform well and feel fulfilled in one’s work.
Wait, you might be thinking, how does a job in group transportation services require any more skill than it takes to drive a bus? You perhaps believe that, aside from getting your class B CDL and learning how to become a bus driver, there isn’t much else to the career path. What else do bus drivers do besides drive the same route day in and day out?
While technical skills are indeed a part of the job, Northstar Bus Lines, as a Maple Grove school bus contractor, is here to say that people skills are, too. While these skills might not come naturally to everyone—in other words, not everyone is born with perfect socialization skills— cultivating them and focusing on their growth is the only way one can succeed as a bus driver. Below, we explain why knowing how to smoothly interact with others is so important to the field, as well as what to do to help foster your people skills if you feel it could stop you from being a bus driver. Growing in this sense is loads less complicated than many people let on.
Technical Skills are Only Half the Battle
As we stated above, knowing the ins and outs of bus driving in the technical sense of the term is, of course, integral to success in a job in group transportation services. After all, how can you get your passengers from point A to point B without knowing how to safely and efficiently drive a bus? There’s a reason why we, as a school bus contractor, provide paid training opportunities for potential drivers. We want to ensure that anyone who has the drive to become a bus driver with us has the financial support and resources they need to focus on their education and master the hands-on skills the job requires.
In that paid training time, though, we also focus on helping you cultivate the people skills every bus driver needs to succeed in their line of work. In our training, we feel it’s our duty to address every area of the job. This approach allows us to turn out quality drivers who not only provide quality bussing services, but do so calmly, collectedly, and with a smile—that’s a part of what quality is in this industry, after all.
Indeed, people skills are important in providing quality student transportation services because:
● They enable bus drivers to manage rowdy passengers | Young children can get excitable—it’s just in their nature. However, their excess energy, while adorable, can pose great safety hazards to the passengers and driver alike when they ride a school bus. For example, sticking one’s hands out the window on a dare can lead to severe passenger injury and pose quite a distraction to the driver. When that driver has good people skills, though, and understands their role as a calm and fair provider of discipline, they can keep better control of their passengers and get them to their destinations safely and on time.
● They enable drivers to make personal connections with their passengers | In this day and age, a kind word and a steady presence can do wonders for anyone’s stress levels—especially a child’s. A bus driver without people skills might just focus on getting their passengers where they need to be, but one with these skills knows that their job has the potential to change a person’s day for the better. A kind word as children board and leave the bus and reliable transportation are actions the skilled bus driver will take to reduce student stress. They’re the mark of quality service.
● They enable drivers to feel fulfilled in their careers | Whether we like it or not, social connections, in all their many forms, play a big part in living a happy life. Therefore, mastering social skills enables a bus driver to foster meaningful bonds with their coworkers and surround themselves with a network of caring individuals who lift one another up and work together toward career success.
Come Work for Northstar Bus Lines and Discover How Fulfilling a Career in School Bus Services Can Be
We’ve worked hard to foster a warm, tight-knit community of drivers who have the financial and social means to feel happy and proud of the work that they do. If you’re looking into how to become a bus driver, give us a call now at 763-425-2542. We promise you won’t regret it.