In the 21st Century, all business seems to be done globally. However, in order for the person with the CIO job to be effective, you are going to have to be able to communicate in the old fashion way – face to face. What this means is that you will need to master the art of office communications as yet another way to capture the importance of information technology. It’s not impossible, but you do need to know what you are doing.
5 Tips For Communicating Well In The Office
There is no one way for you to improve your CIO communication skills in the office. Rather, what you need to do is to try out a number of different approaches and see what works best for you, your company, and your people. Here is a list of five things that you can do that just might help you to build some bridges between what you want people to be doing and what they actually are doing:
- Boost The Fun Factor: What, you were expecting something to do with PowerPoint? Nope, it turns out that a big part of being an effective communicator in an office has to do with your ability to get everyone’s attention. Finding ways to get everyone to take a break, even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day or so, is a great way to get everyone to relax and to provide some face time that will allow important discussions to occur.
- Spend More Time Listening: We all do a great job of looking like we are listening to what people are telling us, but are we really hearing them? In order to become an effective communicator in your office you need to be spending half of your time (or more) listening to what people are telling you. Listening is hard work. One tip is to pretend like there will be a quiz at the end of the conversation and you need to listen well enough that you’d be able to pass the quiz.
- Get Rid Of The Emotions: It’s all too easy that a conversation with someone that works of you can start to turn into an attack either on you or on someone else on the team. You need to rise above this. Take the time to step back and see if you can identify where the resentment is coming from. When you are responding to the person that you’re talking with, don’t make it personal. Make sure that what you say as part of the conversation doesn’t get taken the wrong way.
- Make Everyone A Business Owner: If you want to have involved employees, then you’ve got to get them to feel like it’s “their” company. The best way to make this happen is to create an atmosphere that lets everyone feel as though they are a business owner. There are a lot of different ways to go about doing this but being open and not keeping secrets is a good start. Allowing everyone to feel as though they have input on important decisions will go a long way in helping to boost this feeling of ownership.
- Trust Everyone: This may be the hardest thing for CIOs to do. The last thing that you want to do is to be accused of micromanagement. The best way to avoid this is to start to trust the people who work for you. If you allow your people to feel that they have control over their job, then you will be allowing innovation to enter into the office. This will boost job satisfaction and will help with the overall office communication.
What All Of This Means For You
In the end, being a CIO is all about information. However, just having a piece of information will do you no good. You need to be able to communicate it to the other people who work at your company. This is going to require you to have good office communication skills.
How you communicate with the people who work for you will differ based on each person’s individual needs. Some people will want to have fun in the office, some will want you to hear them. Others will be looking for you to make them feel like owners and still others will be looking for your trust. There are many different ways that you can use to reach out and connect with everyone in your IT department.
As human beings, communication is at the core of who we are. Knowing how best to communicate information to other people who work for you is a key skill for the person in the CIO position. Take the time to review this list of 5 different ways that you can get your information across to them. You just may find that the job of being CIO just got a lot easier!
Question For You: Do you think that it would be worth it to get your department to grade your communication skills?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
As the person with the CIO job, one of your most important jobs is to hire the right team to help you run the IT department. The importance of information technology is understood by CIOs, but the importance of the hiring process all too often is not. CIOs will often try to perform this job based on their “gut feel”. What we all need to understand is that hiring the right people is a process. If we follow the right process, then we’ll get the right people – every time.