IT Leaders Know The Importance Of Emotional Intelligence

You don't just have to be intelligent, you have to be emotionally intelligent
You don’t just have to be intelligent, you have to be emotionally intelligent

Image Credit: Abhijit Bhaduri

Every once in awhile we ask the most important question: just exactly what does it take to be a good IT manager. I think that we can all agree that there is a certain level of intelligence that is required in order to perform the job. However, in the last few years, people have slowly started to realize that it takes more than just being smart in order to be a good IT manage. You need to be able to connect with the people that you are managing. This means that you need to have emotional intelligence.

Four Ways That IT Managers Can Become More Emotionally Intelligent

If we want to do a better job of understanding what our emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people then we need to do a better job of getting in touch with our emotions. We then have to learn how to apply that same perception and understanding to those around us.

The first thing that we need to become better at doing is becoming what is called “emotionally aware”. What this means is that we have to become more aware of ourselves. We need to pay attention to our emotions and the behaviors that they trigger. We also have to understand how these lead to specific actions and reactions on our part. The key to being emotionally aware is to have an understanding of the effect that our emotions are going to have both on us and on those around us.

Being aware is the first step, however holding your self accountable for your emotions is where you need to get to. Personal responsibility is all about being in control of both your emotions and the moods that they cause. We need to work at being able to regulate our emotions. If we can do this, then we increase the possibility that we’ll be able to avoid making bad decisions in the heat of the moment. Get good at doing this and you’ll be able to regulate your state of mind.

You’ve probably heard this one before, but IT manager success is all about confidence. You need to be confident in both yourself and in your team. What you really have to believe is that both you and the members of your team have both the skills and the ability to master any situation that you might find yourself in. This confidence will provide you with the ability to react in the correct way to whatever shows up. Additionally, by doing this you’ll be able to set an example for everyone on your team.

If you really want to connect with the members of your team then you are going to have to learn how to become them. This is all about empathy. Empathy means that you have the ability to see the world through the eyes of the members of your team. You have the ability to hear what is going on through the ears of the members of your team. Finally, you are able to feel what your team is feeling at any moment in time. If you can get good at doing this, then you will be able to open new levels of understanding and communication with your team.

What All Of This Means For You

Our careers as IT managers depends on the team that we are managing. We need them to be performing at a high level in order to maximize the output of our team. However, this is never an easy thing to do. Every team is made up a mix of people with different wants, needs, and outlooks on life. As an IT manager you are going to have to develop the emotional intelligence needed in order to connect with your team.

Developing emotional intelligence starts with you getting in touch with your emotions and starting to understand how your emotions affect people around you. Next you have to start to hold yourself accountable for your moods and emotions. Use your mastery of your emotions to create confidence and share your confidence with your team. Use all of these skills to develop your sense of empathy so that you can truly connect with your team.

Developing your emotional intelligence is hard work. However, the benefits are well worth the effort. By taking the time to develop the ability to connect with the members of your team, you can start to be able to truly lead your team in the direction that you want them to go. You will no longer have to tell them where you want them to go, they will want to follow you there.

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

Question For You: Do you think that developing emotional intelligence is a form of team manipulation?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

One of the most important parts of your job is communicating with the people who are looking to you for guidance. Just exactly how to go about doing this in an effective way is a big challenge that every IT manager faces every day. The great thing about living and working in the 21st Century is that we have a number of different ways to accomplish this task: email, phone calls, text messages, and making presentations. Of all of these different techniques, making a presentation is the technique that has been shown to be the most effective.