Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Do People Skills Drive Business Results?

Meet Will.  Every Tuesday morning, I attend his spinning class at Tyson's Sport & Health.  His class starts at 6 am sharp and for me to get a spot, I frequently have to get there by around 5:30 cause people start to show up early. 

Recently Will had to take a 3 month break from teaching spinning.  Result?  People can now show up, even after 6, and there are plenty of bikes to choose from.  It's not that the substitute spinning instructors are not competent.  They are highly trained and very good for at Sport & Health, pretty much all the instructors are highly qualified. But these subs in spinning, while good technically, they are not Will.

Will pushes us hard, kicks our butts, makes us sweat 'till we can't take it any longer, and then he pushes yet harder.  And he does it all with a smile and a great attitude.  It's a pleasure to be in his presence.  I miss Will and I can hardly wait for him to return.  Sure the subs also give me a good work out, but it's just not the same. 

I have been a member of Sport & Health for many years and over the years I have noticed that classes which regularly fill up, those that develop a very loyal following, those classes tend to be lead by instructors who have great people skills.  Those who don't, even though they are equally, if not more technically qualified, just don't seem to develop any type of following and their classes always have plenty of spaces in them.  In fact, I have observed this not just in sports, but in numerous other settings too.

Therefore my strong belief is that given nearly equal technical competency, and perhaps even a bit on the lesser side, people choose to work with those who possess people skills over those who don't.  And they are more patient, more accommodating and more forgiving to those who have good people skills.  Therefore, with perhaps some rare exceptions such as highly qualified surgeon, I am a firm believer that there is a strong correlation between strong people skills and strong business results.

What are your experiences and thoughts on this?  Do people skills drive business results?


Joelsef said...

Definitely. I'm sure there are plenty cases of the extreme--where people skills far outweigh any value provided by the work or product.

More in the middle, as your example above illustrates, I think there is a lot of truth to that. I would prefer to get the best price for something, but if one place has better service than another I may choose that place. We do it when shopping for groceries. Not only is the Harris Teeter closer, but the people there are very nice and helpful. So we don't bother going to the Giant or Bloom which may have lower prices.

Vinay Kumar said...

Hi Joel,

Thank you so much for your sharing. It's nice to hear from you again.