Project Management

5 People Skills for New IT Managers

Not everyone who ends up in management strives to get there. Some people just kind of get put there. They then wonder, “Now what?” as they navigate the hostile alien terrain. For those who would like to rise to the occasion, Mary Shacklett offers five people-oriented pointers in an article for TechRepublic:

  1. Be approachable and accessible.
  2. Always be fair, but don’t strive to be liked.
  3. Carefully consider your decisions.
  4. Accept that you can’t know it all.
  5. Don’t try to do everything yourself.

How to Lead Humans

As a manager, you want to have an open-door policy when it comes to assisting employees in need. You may not have a perfect rapport with a person, but your willingness to help should shine through and establish trust even when personalities clash. Ideally, your whole team and the rest of the planet will love you and your decisions, but being liked should not be an end in itself. There will likely be times where employees are not pulling their weight, or are doing something else that is damaging project progress. In those times, you have to be willing to privately call people out on it, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

When making decisions, do try to be open to feedback from others, even though you hold final authority. If you anticipate resistance to your decision, “over-communicate” through various channels your rationale and the value you see in it. Then people will at least have to respect that you have a well-conceived argument.

About accepting what you do and do not know, Shacklett says this:

…when you are managing in a technical discipline like IT… initially your staff expects that you as a manager know every detail about what they are doing. The best approach is not to pretend that you know it all, because you don’t, and your staff will soon know that you don’t as soon as you try to instruct them in areas that they know and that you don’t. Instead, tell your staff where your expertise is, what you expect of them, and then let them run with the ball. Your job is to manage and facilitate the project so your staff can execute it.

Along those same lines, delegate with confidence. Do so both because it saves you valuable time and also because it can affect employees’ self-esteem if you try to do too much work that they think they could do themselves.

You can view the original article here:

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