Hopefully by now in your IT manager career you have reached the understanding that in order for your IT team to be successful, they are all going to have to learn how to work together. You know, that teamwork stuff. More often than not your team is not automatically going to know how to do this and that’s when your teamwork IT manager skills are going to have to come into play…
6 Teamwork Skills That Every IT Manager Must Have
Isn’t teamwork just something that sorta naturally happens? The answer is – sometimes. Yes, an IT team can just fall into place and everyone can seamlessly work together. However, all too often it doesn’t happen that way. This is when you as an IT manager need to step in and use your IT manager training to provide teamwork skills that will boost your team’s productivity. Here are the 6 skills that you’re going to need in order to pull this off:
Leading a team: Yes, that’s right – your IT team is not going to be going anywhere if they don’t have a leader. Please note that just because you have the job title “IT manager” does not automatically make you a leader. You are going to have to earn the respect of your team and then you’re going to have to always be showing them what they need to be doing. Note that if you do this well, then you’ll take care of that IT team building thing at the same time.
Group problem solving: If one brain is good, then many brains are even better. No matter if the team is trying to solve a hard technical problem or they are just trying to sort out who within the team should be doing what, your ability to lead them through the problem solving process is what is going to allow them to solve the problem and move on.
Keeping teams on target: Welcome to the 21st Century in which every member of your IT team is online, plugged in, and constantly being distracted by a million different things. As the IT manager, you are going to have to teach your teams how they can keep their focus on what’s really important.
Working with a virtual team: Did I mention that we are all working in the 21st Century these days? More and more often your IT team is not all going to be located in the same place. What this means is that you are going to have to be able to teach your team how to work together using email, conference bridges, Skype, etc. It can be done, it’s just that you’re going to have to show everyone how best to do it.
Assuming team membership roles: Unlike what you may have heard from others, not all members of an IT team are created equal. On a team everyone will play a different, but important, role. You are going to need your leaders, your followers, your note takers, your problem solvers, your researchers, etc. Making sure that everyone knows what role they are playing and how that role supports everyone else on the team is your job to do.
Collaborating: On a team, no one person is going to be solving any given problem. Instead, you’re going to have two or more of your team members working together, collaborating, to solve problems. What this means is that they are going to have to be taught by you how to communicate with each other and how to deal with interpersonal issues when they come up – like they always do!
What All Of This Means For You
The secret to a successful IT team is getting everyone to help each other to accomplish more than they would be able to accomplish by themselves. In other words, get everyone to show some teamwork.
What too many IT managers don’t realize is that many teams don’t know how to make this happen. That’s why we need to develop our teamwork skills so that we can lead our team and teach them about group problem solving, collaborating, working virtually, and help them to understand the role that they’ll play within the team.
You probably already have some of the teamwork skills that you need. Take a close look at our list and determine which ones you still need to work on. Remember that the better your teamwork skills are, the better your team will perform and ultimately the better that you’ll look to the rest of your company.
- Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: What do you think the #1 challenge is in working with virtual teams?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
As IT managers we spend a lot of time thinking about what we need to do in order to manage others. We understand that this requires a special set of skills and so we spend time trying to develop and refine those IT manager skills. However, do you ever spend any time thinking about how you can grow and develop as an IT manager? What skills will you need in order to make this happen?