IT Managers Need To Learn To Pick Their Workplace Battles

Pick your workplace battles carefully!
Pick your workplace battles carefully!
Image Credit: amanda tipton

It does not always make sense to retreat from confrontation while at work. Even IT managers can find themselves in situations where it almost seems to be a better idea to fight instead of give in. However, as you can well imagine, if you are not careful, you may end up putting your career on the line if you take this path. What this means is that all of us need to use our IT manager skills in order to learn the best way to fight at work.

How To Win A Fight At Work

If in your opinion a fight is necessary in order to resolve an issue that has popped up with a coworker, then so be it. However, you don’t want to get into a fight with someone unless you’ve done everything that you can in order to ensure that you’ll be a winner. If there was any IT manager training for fighting, they would tell us that one of the first things that you’ll want to do is some planning. This means taking the time to come up with a plan for how you are going to describe the problem that you’ll be fighting about so that everyone knows what the issue is.

Next you are going to want to take the time before the fight starts to test the waters in the workplace. You will be taking one side of this argument, will there be anyone who will be willing to support you. Remember, the person who can get the most public support is probably the person who will win the argument.

Make sure that you’ve picked the right person to argue with. Look, if you end up winning this argument then you are going to want some sort of change to occur. This means that you need to pick your fight with someone who can make something happen – it would be sad to win the argument and then have nothing come of it.

When Should You Not Fight At Work?

If you want to have a chance to win an argument at work, you are going to have to be very careful in picking your battles. What this means is that you are going to have to steer away from getting into arguments that center on someone’s style or personality. You’ll also want to avoid fights that have to do with issues that don’t mean much to the company. Even if win these battles, you’ll still be a loser.

If you are going to be willing to get into a battle with someone over an issue, you had better make sure that you have a solution to the issue. Just complaining about how they are planning on solving something is not going to be good enough, you are going to have to be able to offer up your own solution. You might want to run your solution by others before you engage in a battle just to make sure that they think that your solution is a good idea.

Finally, pick your battles carefully. The one thing that you don’t want to do is to get into a conflict with someone who has more power than you do. There is no way that you can win a battle like this and you are just going to end up hurting your career. Instead, find someone who is on their level and provide them with all of the information that you have so that if they decide to get into a fight they’ll have the best chance of being successful.

What Does All Of This Mean For You?

If you pick up any business management book, more often than not they will tell you that you always need to be looking for ways to avoid confrontation at work. I think that they are missing a key point – sometimes we need to fight in order work an issue out, accomplish IT team building, and move beyond it. However, when you fight at work you need to be careful.

Any time that you are going to be willing to engage in a fight while at work, you are going to have to prepare for it. You are going to have to map out how you want the fight to go, test the waters to see if you’ll get support for your position, and involve someone who has the power to do something about the situation that caused the fight. What you don’t want to do is to get into fights over someone’s personality or style. You also want to avoid getting into fights with people who have more power than you do.

The reason that we IT managers go in to work every day is because we want to make progress. Sometimes we can get into conflict with a coworker that will prevent this progress from happening. There will be cases where having a fight with this coworker will be the quickest way to resolve the issue and start to move forward again. Just make sure that you pick your fights carefully!

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

Question For You: How can you avoid being seen as the “person who picks fights”?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

If you want to be managing the best team in the company, then your team is going to have to be motivated to do great things. What this means for you as an IT manager is that you are going to have use your IT manager skills to find ways to both motivate them and then keep them motivated. The challenging part of all of this is that one of the easiest ways to motivate your team, money, is generally not available to you. You are going to have to use your IT manager training and get creative