If you’re looking to get ahead in your professional life; get promoted, get that raise / bonus or career advancement you desire, then your opportunities will inevitably come due to you performing well in one of the three T.A.P. areas; your technical ability, your administrative prowess or your people skills. One or a combination of these, is almost always – excluding where nepotism enters the equation – the reason for your professional success and the earlier you are in your career the more likely it’ll be due to one of the first two, technical or administrative.
Let’s look at each of these T.A.P. abilities objectively and their merits.
Your ability to perform complex tasks, operate machines and understand, engineer or devise sometimes, intricate methodologies or mechanical processes. Merit for this ability is high since not everyone has this capability and it is critical to some organisations’ success. It can however be substituted or delegated to gain a similar result.
Your ability to understand and utilise systems, processes, procedures, reporting and other such administrative responsibilities and tools. Merit is also high because once again these are not mastered by everyone and are also integral elements for any organisations’ success. However, this activity can also be substituted or delegated to others with similar or at least reasonable results.
Your ability to relate, understand, motivate and communicate with your colleagues, reports, and bosses. Contrary to some misguided belief this is a group of skills, which can be learned and mastered. Merit is very high and my contention in this post is it holds the highest merit and importance to any organisations’ success. Of the three, People Skills cannot be substituted or delegated because they operate on a personal and emotional level compared to the objective, rationale level of the previous two areas. People skills must be developed and evolve (often with the need of outside help and guidance) within an organisation so they possess the integrity and living values of the organisation itself. This is why they are the most important of the three main areas for any organisations’ success and hence the most important for you to develop if you want to contribute and be rewarded for that success.
This post is merely our offering of a piece of advice for you the reader. You may agree with our assumption already or you may not – Let’s put the assertion that People Skills are the most valuable to the test by asking ourselves a few very simple questions and providing your own very honest answers compared to mine …
Has technical knowledge / ability on its own ever made an organisation a success?
M.A. (my answer): Isolating this ability to its own devices, although important, without motivated people to utilise our technical ability and provide action the answer is resoundingly … NO! Not even highly successful highly technical companies; Boeing, Apple, Dupont… have been successful on their technical abilities alone.
Has Administrative prowess in and of itself ever produced success?
M.A.: Again without people to action the administration the answer is NO! The most well organised, well-structured companies with the best systems continue to fail.
Has an organisation ever prospered when led by someone or a team of people with excellent people skills, even without a high degree of technical or administrative resources?
M.A: YES! Because with people skills you can rally, motivate, focus direction and vision and encompass the technical and administrative skill toward success… something the other two cannot.
MSB Max Professional Journey Steps Advice for this Edition:
If you want to make the most of your career / professional life, developing and mastering your people skills is the best bet for you and your organisations’ success. Fair warning however, this ‘soft skill’ development is offered in few or no formal education schools or colleges, most development offerings only provide the concepts and theory and the skills are not naturally or magically endowed so be prepared to take some personal initiative if you want to master these most valuable of skills.
As always, we welcome and thank you for your comments, thoughts, critique…
Enjoy your journey