How IT Pros Can Improve Their Interpersonal Skills
- 21 December, 2012 14:40
Looking to help your IT team members improve their interpersonal skills? Technology professionals can refine their ability to communicate with business colleagues by participating in interdepartmental meetings, moving into business units and joining Toastmasters.
Here are three ways IT pros can improve interpersonal skills:
1. Keep in mind that business and technology are so intertwined these days that it's critical for IT professionals to be able to work and communicate across departments. IT workers can develop their interpersonal skills by being involved in more interdepartmental meetings and in customer interactions where they must explain technical issues in a way anyone can understand. The more they interact with those outside their expertise, the better their communication skills will become and the better they will understand the needs of others in the organization.
2. Remember that the "suits" and "techies" are going to mix about as well as oil and water. That's OK. They don't have to best friends and get together every weekend for a barbecue or Star Trek marathon. But those differing cultures can't be used as an excuse to avoid working together. Consider having IT employees shadow department managers at work to become more comfortable interacting with them. Or place IT workers within other departments so they aren't physically isolated.
3. Don't stereotype IT professionals as people destined to be socially awkward and who will never be comfortable developing interpersonal skills. Many IT workers welcome career development opportunities, so put aside preconceived notions and allow them to attend seminars where they'll be exposed to professionals from HR or marketing. Enroll them in classes such as those from Toastmaster's International to help them improve their public speaking and presentation skills.
Anita Bruzzese writes a column on workplace issues for USAToday.com and is the author of 45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy.
Read more about careers in CIO's Careers Drilldown.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.
How to Switch From iPhone 5S to BlackBerry Z30 (and Why)
CIOs to Become In-House Brokers -- and That's a Good Thing
The future of computing
10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
The future of computing
The CIO Paradox
As there are timeless leadership principles underlying IT value, there are unfortunately also timeless challenges that thwart the IT organisations efforts and make for a rocky path to CIO success. These are the inherent contradictions we call the CIO Paradox.
The Future of IT: From Chaos to Service Automation
Technology has become the heart and soul of every business, but IT workload and system complexity become more challenging. This whitepaper details the future of IT, the major challenges facing CIOs, and the three ways to transform IT so CIOs can lead the way.
Empowering Modern Finance - The CFO as Technology Evangelist
The CFO as Technology Evangelist is a research report commissioned by Oracle and Accenture, in collaboration with Longitude Research, that explores how modern CFOs and finance executives are adopting emerging technologies within their finance functions to enable the development of new capabilities and to transform the role of finance.