10 Steps to Help IT Employees Communicate With Their Manager

 

If you’re an IT department employee and you’re having a hard time getting your manager to listen to what you have to say, it’s important to understand the dynamics of your department and your boss’s mindset.

The Nature of IT Departments

IT departments are an integral part of every business. Without them, many companies wouldn’t be able to function properly; yet, in most cases, they make up only a fraction of a company’s overall workforce. It’s typical for a company with several thousand employees to employ only a handful of people to ensure that their technology is sound.

With so much at stake and so few hands on deck, an IT department can be a stressful place to work. IT managers have it the hardest. Indeed, if anything goes wrong, the blame will ultimately fall back on them.

Getting Through to Your Boss

If you feel that you’re having a hard time getting through to your boss, you’ll have to work to earn his trust. The following ten tips will help you build your relationship with your manager and gain his respect:

 

  1. Make Sure You’re Communicating Properly

George Bernard Shaw once said: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”. The first step to building a rapport with others is to communicate properly. One of the main components of successful communication is making sure that both sides understand each other and walk away knowing what’s on the other person’s mind. If you have a conversation with your manager, and either party isn’t sure what the other was trying to say, then, in the words of Shaw, the conversation never happened.

  1. Develop a Relationship

Try to get as personal as you can with your boss without being annoying. When you ask someone how they’re doing, it will humanize them, and they will start to appreciate you as a person.

  1. Know Your Manager’s Goals

Always be on top of what your manager is working on and understand what he’s trying to accomplish. Compliment him when you like a project that he’s working on or when he implements a new policy. If you provide positive feedback about something that’s going on at the department, it will make him feel like you’re a member of the team.

  1. Be Careful With Negative Feedback

While it’s okay to disagree when you think something is wrong, tread lightly before you say something that may sound critical. You don’t want him to get the impression that you’re a disagreeable person in general; furthermore, if he proceeds without listening to your advice, be sure to work with a positive attitude, so he can see that you’re a team player who was only looking out for him.

  1. Be Upfront When Something Bad Happens

If you’ve made a mistake that he should know about, bring it to his attention in a polite, apologetic, and straightforward manner. Don’t explain that you were trying to be innovative and had you succeeded you would have been a hero, because that’s totally irrelevant. Take ownership of the problem by apologizing, and try to move on.

  1. Always Be Well Prepared, and Understand That Time Is a Rare Commodity

If you need to present something to your manager or members of your team, make sure you are very familiar with the subject matter. Be concise, and focus on the main points that you’re trying to convey. Try to avoid going off on a tangent, unless someone asks you a question that takes you off-topic. People value their time, and they appreciate a person who is clear and direct with their words. Work on your oral and written communications until you feel you can communicate them clearly in a minimal amount of time or words.

  1. Be a Game-Changer

Network with your manager and colleagues to find out what they’re working on and where they’re having difficulties. Try to bring positive, helpful ideas to the table that will help them deal with issues they’re having. Make sure not to be condescending; people don’t like pompousness, and if they feel that you think you’re better than them or that you’re undermining them, it will only work against you.

  1. Honor the Chain of Command

If you’re having an issue with your manager, deal with him directly. Going to his higher-ups could permanently damage any relationship you may have had with him. If for any reason you feel you have no choice but to speak to his boss, don’t do it behind his back. Let him know, in a very polite way, that you’re going over his head, and explain your reason for doing so. In many cases, approaching your manager in such a manner will compel him to be more attentive to what you’re trying to get across to him.

  1. If the Meeting Is Important, Arrive Early

Coming late to a meeting is a show of disrespect to the other attendees. At best, people will think that you’re irresponsible. Most likely, they’ll feel that you don’t take the issues at hand seriously, and you will lose their respect. If you come on time and look organized, you’ll blend in as another member of the team.

  1. Try to Take a Seat Next to the Team Leader

A good leader will give everyone in the room an equal amount of attention, but many people are more mindful to the people sitting in their immediate vicinity. If you can figure out how to get to sit next to the people in charge, they will notice you more and will take more heed of your input than other people’s suggestions.

Stick With It Until You Succeed

It’s not easy to build a relationship, and it’s hard to get people to respect you. Forging a bond takes a lot of time, effort, and patience. If you work diligently to improve how you conduct yourself in public and how you interact with others, people will see that you’re a good person and that you bring value to your company and peers.

Zeriva can help you bring more great ideas to the table by providing technical resources and money-saving ideas to your IT Department.  We have helped a lot of IT leaders just like you.  Contact and tell us about your next IT project so we can help you as well.

Zeriva welcomes the opportunity to work with your organization to map out a customized plan to properly dispose of your IT assets. Our team of responsive, certified engineers is accustomed to disposing of IT assets for Fortune 500 companies and offer a comprehensive array of IT solutions for growing companies. Helping you enjoy a high ROI on your assets while complying with industry regulations is our top priority, and we offer an impressive track record of success in the remarketing arena. We look forward to the opportunity to serve as your trusted ITAD partner!

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    5 Steps to Improving Emotional Intelligence in IT Department’s

    Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ for Emotional Quotient) is defined as the ability possessed by an individual to be cognizant, in control of, and expressive of their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. In the workplace, high emotional intelligence plays an important role in regard to both personal and professional success. Further, it is a key trait of a competent and efficient team member and leader.

    Countless studies have explored the benefits of high emotional intelligence in the workplace, particularly in the growing realm of technology professions, such as IT. IT (Information Technology) professionals possess distinctive personality traits that make them effective at what they do, and at the moment, high EQ isn’t topping the list. Fortunately, that’s beginning to change. CEO’s, managers, and other leaders are putting more effort into hiring and embedding in existing employees the importance and benefits of incorporating emotional intelligence into their daily interactions at work.

    For company leaders looking to improve the emotional intelligence of your IT department, here are 5 proven steps for enhancing their EQ.

    5 Steps to Improving EI 

    Self-Awareness

    Self-awareness is emotional intelligence. It manifests itself in many ways. Specifically, when speaking about the workplace, it entails taking into account that an organization is an accumulation of many individuals with many different personalities, cultures, and lived experiences. Whether you are the head of your department or simply a member of the team, understanding how to interact with your coworkers efficiently, means understanding them on an emotional level.

    Self-awareness in regards to EQ entails:

    • Understanding how you come off to people (verbally and nonverbally) can play an important role in how the recipient of your attention conducts themselves from that point forward. Taking their feeling into account before you speak will work in your favor to not only establish a stronger working relationship but increase productivity.
    • Being emotionally observant of each member of your department works to deescalate situations and build a more unified team. Specifically, being emotionally observant involves a high level of empathy and understanding, as an individual may be dealing with something outside of the office that may require a much more sensitive approach in regards to communication.
    • Understanding your own abilities and limitations work to create a higher level of productivity within your department. We all want to be superheroes and take on the world alone, but every now and again, even superheroes need a bit of help. Delegating tasks or asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of self-awareness.
    • False confidence can be costly, and by costly, I mean it can pose a significantly higher risk of wasting valuable company time, energy, and money. Accurately assessing your own confidence and capabilities requires self-awareness and a subdued ego, which can be tough, but the benefits for the organization could be monumental.

    Self-Regulation

    The ability to control one’s emotions and impulses is a big indicator of one’s level of emotional intelligence.

    Self-regulation in regards to EQ entails:

    • Being conscious that in moments of high stress, frustration, and anger, lashing out or making a permanent decision on temporary feelings isn’t in yours, or the company’s best interest. During moments like this, it is important to step away from the situation to gather your thoughts, so you can assess the problem and make a decision that best serves your interest.
    • Being a person with integrity is a fundamental quality that assists in establishing strong bonds. Integrity encompasses trustworthiness and honesty, which are traits that make it easier to progress past a mistake.
    • Being accountable for your performance, good or bad, shows a level a maturity that promotes openness and higher self-awareness in the workplace.
    • Change in the workplace, whether it be in regards to technology or staff is inevitable. Having the ability to adapt to change is required if you hope to succeed.
    • Seeking and taking the advice of others on innovative ways to boost the efficiency of a particular process, can help make your life easier by saving you time and energy.
    • Thinking before you react to a situation is the most advised form of self-regulation. Sometimes we tend to say things without fully processing what’s being said, which often leads to misunderstandings.
    • For most people, criticism is often hard to hear and frequently ignored, as it goes against the way in which we view ourselves (abilities and performance). Realizing that the constructive criticism you are receiving from your team or higher ups in your department, is meant as a means to help you improve, can be the difference between helping you elevate to your highest potential or remaining stagnate.

    Self-Motivation

    Aristotle stated, “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”. Being aware of the area’s in which you need improvement and striving to do just that, improve, will help you reach your goals (professional and personal).

    Self-motivation in regard to EQ entails:

    • Putting yourself in position to take advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself means ensuring that you are equipped with the skill set needed to thrive when your chance arises.
    • Being optimistic is an important component to thriving as it can help you focus on your goals while remaining consistent even when faced with obstacles.
    • Keeping your commitments aligns with consistency, which helps you remain on track to achieving what you set out to accomplish. Keeping your commitments is a reminder to yourself and others that you care about what you are doing, you value the time of the people you are working with, and you are reliable.

    Social Environment Awareness

    A high level of awareness of the world around you, and an ability to interact with people in a manner appropriate to the variables at play (i.e., interest and concerns), shows the people you are engaging with and your observers that you are in touch with your environment.

    Social environment awareness in regards to EQ entails:

    • Being socially conscious of your environment means that you have a heightened awareness of the wants, needs, and emotions of those around you (co-workers, and customers).
    • Developing this skill allows you to assess from afar or up close the talents of those around you, enabling you to help your team members fine-tune or expand their skills to become more successful in the workplace.
    • Understanding the different skillsets and personalities of those around you can enable you to create a more diverse team of competent individuals that can attack projects from different angles, further increasing your probability of success.
    • Being aware of your social environment allows you to observe how the office functions regarding politics and relationships. Once you’ve adequately assessed the ins and outs of the workplace you can utilize the information to your advantage to help your ascension within your department.
    • Being aware of a high performing co-worker, and acknowledging their achievements shows them that their hard work isn’t going unnoticed and encourages them to continue to strive to be the best they can be.
    • Offering feedback and constructive criticism to those you feel need it, serves to better the person you are interacting with and the workplace as a whole.
    • When you make a mistake and you can see or you are aware that it has negatively affected someone, simply saying sorry can help remedy the situation and prevent a larger problem from building and erupting in the future.

    Learning to Develop Your Social Skills

    Learning tactics such as persuasion to help not only advance your career but the success of your team is important to the evolution of your department.

    Social skills in regards to EQ entails:

    • Becoming a clearer communicator is one of the most essential social skills a person can possess. Being able to get your message across clearly and concisely creates efficiency and less friction within a conversion, enabling those you are conversing with to better follow your instructions.
    • Becoming a leader that inspires your team, will encourage them to work at a level that exceeds your expectations.
    • Incorporating change adds value to not just yourself, but your team will help boost the level of success within your department.
    • Developing the skill of mediation will help you efficiently deescalate disputes and develop company resolutions that work for all parties involved.
    • Developing strong bonds with your team is important because it opens lines of communication that wouldn’t be possible in traditional leader/employer relationships.
    • Understanding the overall mission of your company will help you create a game plan that assists your department in doing what it can to achieve company objectives.
    • Being considerate of others emotions, and not employing tactics to manipulate them with your own emotions is a good way to build healthier relationships within the team. It’s also important to not let others manipulate you with their emotions, as it is a sign that they lack respect for you and your role within the department.

    Selecting a trusted ITAD partner is one of the most important decisions you will make as an IT Director. As outlined above, it is critical to carefully evaluate prospective partners to ensure that they have the experience, resources, and efficiency required to properly dispose of your IT assets. Additionally, the ITAD partner you choose should be sharply focused on helping you improve your ROI on your IT assets while generating disposal solutions that are environmentally-friendly.

    Learn More About What to Look for in an ITAD Partner when Disposing of Surplus IT Equipment

    Zeriva welcomes the opportunity to work with your organization to map out a customized plan to properly dispose of your IT assets. Our team of responsive, certified engineers is accustomed to disposing of IT assets for Fortune 500 companies and offer a comprehensive array of IT solutions for growing companies. Helping you enjoy a high ROI on your assets while complying with industry regulations is our top priority, and we offer an impressive track record of success in the remarketing arena. We look forward to the opportunity to serve as your trusted ITAD partner!

    Request Assistance on Your
    Next Project

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