Managing a team is not an easy thing to do even if you have the required IT manager skills. If you add in the challenges of the modern IT work environment, it gets even harder to do no matter how much IT manager training you have had. All of the members of our team may not be located in one place, we may be called on to do a great deal of traveling, etc. All of a sudden working with the people who are on our team very quickly starts to become a IT team building challenge and a logistical nightmare.
Why Face-To-Face Meetings Are So Important
As we glide into the 21st Century, it can be all too easy to start to rely on the new tools that IT manager now find themselves with No matter if it’s Facebook, Twitter, or even video conferencing, the ways that we have to stay in touch with our team have never been greater. However, we need to remember that not all methods of connecting work the same.
If you listen to the vendors who are trying to sell us the latest and greatest video conferencing system, you’d think that these tools allow us to travel through space and time so that we can spend time with remote team members. Any of you who have made use of these devices know that the reality is much different. Yes, they are very good, but it turns out that there is no substitute for a face-to-face encounter.
Some of the biggest problems associated with not having enough face-to-face contact with your team are that the members of your team are going to be left without enough feedback on their job performance and your management may also start to wonder if you are doing an adequate job of managing your team. The reason for this is that most senior management believe that you have to be there in order to solve problems.
How To Make Face-To-Face Meeting Happen
Given that face-to-face meetings are so critically important, it now becomes the responsibility of IT managers to make them happen. If you are not out there with the members of your team, then it is going to be very hard to manage them.
The reason that you are going to want to hop into the car or onto a plane to go meet with the rest of your team is because there is no substitute for a face-to-face meeting. During that meeting you’ll be able to almost read their mind.
One thing that we all need to keep in mind is that face-to-face time can still be an issue even if we are collated with our team. I speak from experience when I say that it can be all too easy to get caught up in the project that we are working on. When this happens, we hunker down in our office and we don’t come out, we don’t socialize, and we don’t take the time to manage our team. Simply realizing this and making it possible for people to come and talk to us can go a long way in boosting the amount of face-to-face time that we’re getting.
What All Of This Means For You
Despite living in modern times with a host of tools that can be used to simulate our ability to get together with other people, it turns out that meeting with people face-to-face is still the best way to connect with them. As IT managers we need to understand this and find ways to make it happen.
There are lot of new and modern ways for an IT manager to stay in touch with his or her team. Facebook, Twitter, and video conferencing are some of the most popular. However, these are only a simulation of the real thing: face-to-face contact. As IT managers we need to make the time to get in contact with the members of our team so that we can truly understand what they are thinking. This includes stopping what we are doing and leaving our office if we are collocated with our team.
The power of a face-to-face meeting with members of your team cannot be underestimated. What this means for IT managers is that we need to always be on the lookout for ways to tap into this power. Keep in mind the importance of face-to-face and make sure that you seize every opportunity when it presents itself.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: What do you think is the right frequency for face-to-face meetings with members of your team?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
As IT managers who are responsible for managing a team of diverse professions, we have been charged with finding ways to connect with our team. If you attend any IT manager training you will undoubtedly be told that you need to become more sensitive and do a better job of connecting with the members of your team. This is all good advice, but is it possible to be too sensitive?