People Skills in Technical Professions, Why?

I found two people-skills articles online that popped in stark contrast — People-Skills Are the New Black discussing people-skills in healthcare and 10 Stupid User Stories, The Madness Persists  which overlooks the importance of people-skills in technical support.

As one technical professionhealthcare — is embracing the critical importance and value of people-skills, (aka soft or interpersonal skills) others may be holding on to decades old thinking that technical prowess alone is enough.

People Skills in Technical Professions? Impact on End Result?

Nonetheless, many people in technical professions — healthcare, engineering, science, technology, finance, and even law — want to know:


What do people-skills contribute to the end result?


  • #1 Comprehension. How you interact with people impacts understanding. Attitude, tone of voice, body language, are just a few of the people-skills’ components that affect how people interpret what you say. People-skills create context and context impacts comprehension as much as your words.
  • #2 Influence for cooperation. Going a bit deeper, people-skills are critical if you are going to influence others. Empathy, listening, adapting to personality types, and sharing insight on tough challenges, all empower your words to do more than speak. They can transcend fear, habit, status, and stereotypes. Thus they influence cooperation and buy-in with your patients, business co-workers, customers, and clients.
  • #3 Trust. The big surprise for many technical professionals is that trust is not primarily built on their technical qualifications, capability, and rational data. Recent research with 14,000 takers of the Trust Quotient self-assessment test, indicates that more expertise does not equal more trust: Why Hard Trust is Gained from Soft Skills. People trust based on what seems to agree with their existing inner construct — what makes gut sense long before rational analysis begins. It results, first, from some interaction or reaction between two people not from one person’s (your) individual qualifications.

  • People-skills are the pathway for end results. They are the catalytic force for understanding, influence, trust, decisions, and actions.

    Without them, you are left to reach success without this energy and with the drag that poor people-skills create.

    Combine people-skills with your exceptional expertise and soar in your technical career. The double focus does takes effort, learning, and commitment yet the return is great.

    From my experience to your success,
    Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach

    “I teach technical professionals how to interact with non-technical co-workers and customers for collaborative success.”

    ©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please email Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

    Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, is a former techie (BS Mathematics) turned people-skills guru with a natural intuition about people. Her consultations, workshops, and coaching transform your occupational focus into business success with service and teamwork. From inspiration to action, Kate will help you fill the gaps of diversity with business wins. See this site for workshop info and customer results.

    One Response to “People Skills in Technical Professions, Why?”

    1. Skip Bieber says:

      another dead-on thoughtful post, Kate! especially liked #3 – trust!!

      keep up the great posts “techie” Kate!! 🙂


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