Can I Become a Good Business Analyst Without People Skills?


I actually wished I could say “yes” or that the question excluded the “Good” and just asked about if one could become a Business Analysts, so my reply can be more appeasing.

But if the question is about becoming a GOOD Business Analyst, I think it is very important to have good people skills. These are my reasons.

The very premise for Business Analysis is understanding business with a view to implement change. While it is a bonus for a Business Analyst to have some technical knowledge, it is not essential in most cases. One thing to bear in mind is that the Business Analyst acts as a “go-between” for both the stakeholder (who often speaks plain English) and the technical person (who speaks technical jargons).

The functions that are core to the Business Analyst’s role would therefore be:

•    Strategizing
•    Stakeholder Management
•    Problem Solving
•    Team Building
•    Negotiation
•    Conflict Resolution
•    Presenting
•    Vendor Management
•    Requirements Analysis
•    And so forth

These functions require communication and liaison with people in different ways and at various levels. People skill in the BA role is about the most essential skill in the skill-set. Most of what a BA will do would be focused on gathering information or collaboration with others.

In the event that one is an introvert or not very comfortable dealing with people, and is interested in learning how to better relate with people, there are a few activities that can help people develop you develop better people skills. 

Some of these would be:

1.    First of all, be honest with yourself and others about where you are at, and your goal. The key element for any of the suggestions that would follow would be to start small; really, really small.
2.    Have as many conversations as possible, at work, at home, with friends, and so on.

(You can use the example below to understand what I mean by small steps)

  • Have a conversation with someone you know.

  • Join a conversation with someone you know, including people you do not know.

  • Start up a conversation with someone you know to an extent.

3.    Join an organization based on a topic of interest.
4.    Volunteer in an organization of interest, or volunteer for a committee at work.
5.    Offer to assist with preparing for an event.
6.    Join a group with a focus on public speaking, like Toastmasters.
7.    Volunteer to take lead on projects at work, outside you regular responsibilities.
8.    Consult someone you do not know well on their expertise.

There’s always room for growth and you can always perform at a higher level. All that is required is the will, commitment and faith in self.

I hope this helps.