How Can IT Managers Make Their IT Team Believe?

by drjim on April 23, 2015

Everyone just wants to believe

Everyone just wants to believe
Image Credit: Chris

As a leader of IT professionals it is your responsibility to use your IT manager skills to get them to pay attention to you. Good luck doing that! In today’s hyper-connected, always-on world, getting the members of our team to lift their heads up from their monitors or to glance away from their smartphones is, to say the least, a real challenge. However, if you are going to be successful at this manager thing, then you have to not only get them to pay attention to you, but also get them to believe in you…

How Personal Can You Get?

All too often, we IT managers view ourselves as being quite important. Because we are important, we really don’t have a lot of time to spend talking with the people who make up our team. This means that on those all too rare occasions that we do spend time talking with our team, we keep the conversation factual and make sure that it starts and ends quickly. “Just the facts, ma’am.”

The problem with this approach to communicating with your team is that you really don’t leave them with any reason to believe in you. You come across as a cold and distant person despite all of your IT manager training. Sure, you may be in charge and I’ll do what you tell me to do, but that’s it – I’m not going to be willing to follow you. If you can overcome this and get your team to believe in you, then they will be willing to follow you.

The way that you can make this happen is by opening up. Share more of yourself with your team and you’ll become more believable. This is going to require you to get good at telling personal stories, displaying emotions, and really connecting with the members of your team..

Show Them That They Can Believe In You

I’m sure that by now you’ve heard that we all learn in different ways. A great number of us are visual learners and when it comes to believing in someone, how they come across visually is very, very important. The fancy term for what you are going to want to do is called “visual storytelling”. Your goal is to make whatever you are talking about with your team feel both immediate and real to them.

Make Saying “Yes” Easy To Do

Whenever you are interacting with your team, you are trying to get them to do something or at least to agree to do something. This may be a tough sell depending on what you are talking with them about. However, what you need to do is to take the time to not present it to them as a “big thing”. Instead, take a look at what you are trying to accomplish (the big thing), and then determine what each individual person is going to have to do. Once you know this, make sure that this is what you actually ask for – it will be much easier for the members of your team to say “yes”.

What Does All Of This Mean For You?

I hate to say it, but how successful an IT manager you are going to be may just turn out to rest on how believable you are. You have a team of IT professionals who are looking at you to lead them. They are only going to be willing to follow you if they can believe in you and so it’s going to be your job to do some IT team building and make them believe.

In order to convince your team that you are believable, you are going to have to open up and get personal. Next you are going to have make your team feel what you are trying to get them to believe in and pictures and videos will help. Finally, you want them to agree to follow you and so you are going to have to make it easy for them to say “yes”.

In this modern age we spend precious too little time thinking about what it actually means to be believable. However, it turns out that if you want your smart team of IT professionals to rally behind you and what you are trying to accomplish, then you are going to have to take the time to make yourself believable.

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

Question For You: Do you think that it’s possible to be too personal when you are trying to get your team to believe you?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Just leading a team of IT professionals is not enough. The company is expecting your team to accomplish very specific things. What this means for you is that you are going to have to convince your team to do things that will allow you to get those goals done. In other words, you’ll need to find a way to motivate them. Just exactly how to motivate a team is something that many of us have never learned in out IT manager training; however, the good news is that the military has faced the same challenge and we may be able to learn a thing or two from them.

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