Intensely Human

2 min readJanuary 26, 2021

Early in my marriage to my ex-wife it became clear that something had to change.

Well, it was clear to her.  That something was me.

I had good potential as a husband. It was the human side of me that needed work.

That was my awakening to the reality that every role we play in our lives is actually composed of two distinct, yet inseparable, parts. The human. And then the role that’s defined in our job description. Partner. Spouse. Salesperson. Analyst. Engineer. Supervisor. Manager. VP. CEO.

We roll through life on the assumption that everyone knows how to be a good human. After all, that’s who we are, right? There’s nothing in life that we practice more than being human. 24/7/365. Or, so we like to believe.

Yet, our failures to meet expectations in any of the different roles we inhabit in our lives almost always arise from the human part of it.

Inevitably we fail to diagnose the true root cause of our problems. We default to blaming the job and external circumstances. Instead of looking at how we can address the challenge by becoming a better version of ourselves as humans.

As Geoff Colvin wrote in his book about humans and the future of work, “Humans Are Underrated,” success in the increasingly automated future will depend on your ability to become “more intensely human.” It’s how you will differentiate yourself and create value for those you work with.

To be more “intensely human” means to be:

  • More curious.
  • More empathetic.
  • More understanding.
  • More honest.
  • More responsive.
  • More cooperative.
  • More kind.
  • More respectful.
  • More creative.
  • More vulnerable.
  • More humble.
  • More courageous.
  • More intuitive.
  • More tolerant.
  • More collaborative.

And, nowhere is this need to become more “intensely human” more urgent than in complex B2B Sales. I know it sounds like a cliche but Sales is a people business. All the AI, machine learning and technology in the world is not going to change that any time soon.

In fact, I believe the primary impact of increasingly pervasive technology in Sales will be to make the impact and value of the human to human interaction even more important. In a world of machine-driven sales, humans become the key differentiator.

So, if the foundation for being good at your work, especially in sales, is to first be a good human, shouldn’t that be the focus of how companies develop their employees?

Here’s the paradox. Vast sums are spent by corporations every year to train employees for their jobs. And yet most companies invest little or nothing to train them how to be a good human first.

Isn’t it time to change that?

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About the Author

Andy PaulringDNA

Bestselling author of Amp Up your Sales and Zero Time Selling, Andy Paul is #8 on LinkedIn’s list of the Top 50 Global Sales Experts to follow. With more than 170,000 followers, Andy is a highly sought-after speaker and sales sage who interviews the world’s foremost sales minds and extraordinarily interesting people to bring you strategies and insights that you can use to generate epic wins and massive value.