4 Tips For How IT Managers Can Talk With Their Managers

by drjim on August 28, 2014

IT managers need to know how to communicate with their management

IT managers need to know how to communicate with their management
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So here’s an interesting question for you, what is the most important conversation that you’ll have as an IT manager? It turns out that the answer to this question is the conversation(s) that you’ll have with your management. If we can all agree that these are important, the next question is just exactly what you can do in order to make sure that these conversations turn out successfully for you?

4 Ways To Have A Good Conversation With Your Manager

The first thing that you have to realize about talking with your manager is that it’s just one step in a much longer process. What this means is that this conversation is just one part of a whole series of conversations that will shape how your management views you. That means that you need to make sure that every time you have a chance to talk with your boss, you use your IT manager skills and you make the most of the opportunity.

The first thing that you are going to want to do is to make sure that the next conversation that you have with your manager is a step in the direction of building a better relationship with this person. Sorry, far too few of us have had any IT manager training on how to do this correctly.

One of the best ways to make this happen is to make it your priority to always keep them informed about what you are currently working on. Nobody likes surprises and your manager is no exception to this. It is your job to make sure that they are always aware of the actions, plans, and projects that you are currently working on. Make sure that they know about this before you sit down to talk with them so that you don’t surprise them during the conversation.

The one thing that is the most valuable to all of us is our time. None of us seem to have enough of it and your manager will be no exception to this rule. What this means for you is that you need to always be considerate of their time. You can show that you respect their time by taking the time to schedule your appointments with them so that they work with your manager’s schedule and not just yours.

Anyone can have a conversation; it takes a skilled IT manager to have a good conversation. In order for you to have a good conversation with your boss you are going to have to prepare for the meeting. By doing this you’ll be able to present your arguments and ideas in a logical and objective manner. Since you’ve taken the time to prepare, you’ll be able to back up what you are talking about with facts and examples.

Finally, you need to realize that you don’t know everything. There are a lot of experiences that you’ve not yet had. There may also be company information that your boss knows about that has not been shared with you yet. What this means for you is that during a conversation with your boss, you need to be willing to listen to what they say. Their point-of-view is valuable to you. By taking the time to both listen to what they are saying and then considering it, you may have your mind changed and you may end up reaching a new conclusion about what is being discussed.

What All Of This Means For You

Being an IT manager is a great first step in your career. However, with a little luck it won’t be the last step. What this means is that you’ve got to be working on developing a relationship with your management that will allow them to see you as a good candidate for future promotions. Think of this as IT team building that involves just two people. This means that you’ve got to know how to talk to your boss.

The good news is that it’s not that hard to do this correctly. You need to remember that nobody wants any surprises – you always need to keep your boss informed about what you are working on. Time is everyone’s most valuable asset so carefully plan your meetings with your management and organize them so that you’ll make the most of the time that you have together. Finally, keep an open mind – listen to what your boss has to say and see if you can understand where he or she is coming from.

If you think about it, the next step in your IT manager career is to take over your boss’ job. By taking the time to communicate well with them, you’ll be putting yourself in a good position to understand what they need from you and what they have to do in order to be successful. Make these conversations work and you’ll be able to reap the benefits!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: How many times per week do you think that you need to talk with your boss?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

In a perfect world, we’d all work for the best boss ever. They would provide us with the support and resources that we needed to do our job and they’d always have time to talk with us about whatever happened to be on our minds. The reality of the world is that all too often we find ourselves working for a bad boss who may have no IT manager skills. Is it “career over” or is there something that we can do about this?

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