Roberta Chinsky Matuson, President of Human Resource Solutions, says, “Here are three of the most essential skills IT and technical people must possess or develop”:
Dr. Deb Brown is “a business coach and licensed psychologist with a Ph.D., an MBA, DDI certification as a facilitator, award-winning leadership skills, and years of experience partnering with leaders at all organizational levels.” She says:
This is a good bit of advice to mull over. But if you take in some or most of it, you will see new opportunities open up for you sooner or later.]]>
So what are the “people skills” required to advance our careers?
Listening. On the surface this seems really trivial, but it’s a critical skill. Not just hearing and understanding what people are saying, but confirming the understanding. One way I try to do this is to repeat back what I heard. “Bob, I think I heard you ask for three things. First, Next, Finally. Did I miss anything?”
Don’t Interrupt. If I’m interrupting I’m not listening. And I’m likely not applying the next skill either.
Be a force for calm. Learn to help reduce tension in a conversation by not escalating a disagreement. Even when I think someone else is wrong, I’ve learned to first ask for more information, then invite the other person to work with me in checking out the facts. There is a lot less stress when we remain focused on the issues at hand rather than the people discussing them.
Present ideas in a concise, organized way. This doesn’t have to be done alone. Groups like Toastmasters can help develop this through practice and feedback.
Roberta Matuson, president of Human Resource Solutions, has some advice we’ve heard before, but need to hear again. She says, “Explaining IT terms in a way that any non-IT person can understand” is particularly important, and adds:
Dan Nainan, a comedian, actor, and computer expert, says, “Tech people need a sense of humor!” He continues:
Since then, I have performed at the Democratic National Convention, at a TED Conference, at three presidential inaugural events, for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and many similar luminaries. I just recently performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Also, I appeared in an Apple commercial last year. I perform all over the States as well as in many foreign countries. My life is like that of George Clooney in “Up in the Air”, just without the sex LOL.
And, hopefully, without firing a lot of people.
But whimsically, folks, the point isn’t whether or not you get out of IT work to become a comedian, but that you should be as approachable as possible as an IT person.
That way, if someone hears you trying to be funny, and says, “Don’t drop your day job,” you have a pretty good chance of keeping that day job — or even of finding a better one!]]>