Competence in Context

Bob Lee & Keith Ray both commented on my post comments on my post Unskilled and Unaware of It.

Bob says: The other interesting point in the article is that competent people *assume* that others are as competent. “It’s easy (for me) so it must be easy for them…”

The results suggests that the best teachers are those who have to struggle a little with the subject matter, not those for whom it is easy.

Yes. And the same can be said for managers. When technical “stars” are promoted into management they can lack empathy for people who aren’t as brilliant. And they may not have the patience (or even know how) to work with people who, while solid, aren’t quite as gifted.

It can be an ugly situation. And a costly one: The group is deprived of a strong technical performer, and now has a manager who doesn’t understand how to help other people succeed.

(Plus we all know that the skills and characteristics that make a star technical performer are not necessarily the ones that make a great manager.)