Authors and Consultants | GP Strategies Corporation

Top Performer Perspective: Human Interaction Skills—Finding Balance

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As we think about human interaction skills, it’s worthwhile to put the idea into balance. In our last post, we talked about Geoff Colvin’s assertion that human interaction skills are significant contributors to performance success. Let’s add Harvey Coleman’s perspective that excellent technical performance is only the price of admission and that the game is won through human interaction skills. Taken together, we could easily focus too heavily on human interaction skills to the exclusion of technical excellence.

We like to think about the interaction of technical skills and human interaction skills in respect to their importance to top performers in producing outcomes of value. This comparison is set up in the following quadrants:

Note that focusing too much on technical excellence only results in compliant execution. But ignoring technical excellence results in nothing more than hopeful frustration. Only through balancing both are top performers able to produce the game-changing outcomes that drive success.


Question to ponder:

  • How well do you balance technical excellence with skillful human interaction?
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