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Balancing Technical Expertise and Communication in IT

The 50/50 Rule of IT Success

In IT, technical skills are important, but there’s an equally important skill that’s often overlooked: communication. Contrary to common belief, IT roles are not just about technical know-how; they are split down the middle – 50% technical and 50% communication. This is a reality I’ve come to understand through my own experiences.

A Tale of Transformation

First-Hand Experience

One of my team members, a smart but overly chatty individual, presented a unique challenge. His inability to “read the room” led to extended conversations, causing discomfort among team members and clients. Despite this, his eagerness and friendliness were undeniable.

The Journey to Effective Communication

Over two years, through discussions and professional development courses, we worked on enhancing his communication skills. I’ll share more on the outcomes later in this blog. Our focus was on making every client interaction a positive reflection of our company, moving away from casual chats to professional, objective-focused conversations.

Crafting the Art of Communication

Key Principles of Communication

The communication style we aimed for can be summarized in a few points:

  1. Be Pleasant: Always maintain a friendly demeanor.
  2. Engage Wisely in Small Talk: Keep it brief, but be responsive if initiated by the customer.
  3. Clarity and Focus: Use complete sentences and stay on track with the call’s objective.
  4. Personalize the Interaction: Treat every customer as an individual, not just a support ticket.

These principles are designed to reshape how clients experience interactions with us, making them feel valued and understood.

The Outcome and Reflection

Success Story

The employee’s transformation was remarkable. Through a combination of our discussions, professional training, and positive customer feedback, he learned to balance his conversations, allowing a natural flow and becoming more adept at reading the room.

A Hard Truth

However, not every story ends successfully. In my years as a CEO, I’ve learned that some personality traits are challenging, if not impossible, to change. These traits tend to be “untrainable” and often lead to an inevitable separation.

  1. Anger: A demeanor that makes others uneasy.
  2. Condescension: A tone that undermines the conversation’s professionalism.
  3. Mumbling/Low Talking: Communication that lacks clarity and can be difficult to understand.
  4. Inability to Focus: Conversations that miss the essential points.

Conclusion: The Essential Balance

In conclusion, while technical skills may open doors in the IT industry, it’s the mastery of communication that ensures longevity and success. Effective communication is about creating value in every interaction, making clients feel heard and supported. It’s not just about being competent; it’s about excelling in every aspect of the job.

Oh, and a great update: remember the employee who was once known as our office chatterbox? Well, he’s now thriving in his role as the Service Manager! Our clients absolutely adore him. He’s mastered the art of engaging in meaningful conversations and equally important, he knows exactly when it’s time to listen. This is a remarkable transformation from his early days with us over ten years ago. His journey is a testament to the power of personal and professional growth.


In this webinar, Dustin Puryear, Autotask expert and MSP industry veteran, will show you how to set up Kanban boards in Autotask, integrate them with your workflow rules, and how to get the most out of them.

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