Human Engineering

Human Engineering.

I’m a (lapsed) engineer from a family of engineers. My father and brother are both engineers. My grandfather was an engineer. Perhaps that explains my fascination with things stereotypically non-engineering — Communication, Art, Psychology, Leadership, Customer Experience, Rhetoric, Storytelling, Visual Literacy, Language.*

In researching these subjects, I came across a gem of a book, written in 1944, by an engineer, for engineers, explaining an age-old problem for engineeringkind — how to interact with people. Human engineering if you will.


Other principles that didn’t make it to the slideshare deck

  • In carrying out a project, do not wait passively for anyone — suppliers, sales people, colleagues, supervisors — to make good on their delivery promises; go after them and keep relentlessly after them.
  • Avoid the very appearance of vacillating.
  • Be as particular as you can in the selection of your supervisor.
  • Cultivate the habit of “boiling matters down” to their simplest terms.
  • Show an interest in what your employees are doing.

Many of these communication principles are still relevant today. To all my fellow engineers out there, practicing and non-practicing, enjoy.

*For an engineer, the problem with these and a host of other human endeavors is there are too many shades of grey. They can’t easily be broken down to basic principles and fundamentals.

Gavin_Animated-GifGavin is a founding partner at fassforward consulting group. He blogs about PowerPoint, Presenting, Communication and Message Discipline at You can follow him on twitter @powerfulpoint.

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