EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP - What does it look like?

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The characteristics of an effective leader according to Lominger's Success Factors include:

  • Communication  
  • Organization
  • Confidence
  • Fair
  • Integrity
  • Influential
  • Delegation
  • Facilitator
  • Negotiation

How are these characteristics displayed in effective IT leaders?  Over the next few weeks I will share my perspective and encourage your feedback as well.

Let's start today with Communication. 

Effective IT team leaders communicate clearly recognizing where the audience is coming from. Effective communication is active listening as well as talking.  For example, communicating with the business community leadership will be quite different from communicating to a technical team member or even you’re up line management.  Absolutely avoid a condescending tone and jargon when talking with the business leader.  It is best to start with a high level statement and then flesh in as to how it affects their business and why they need to care. If it doesn't affect them and they don't need to care - then why have the conversation at all?  Listen for their feedback both in words and body language.  If they glaze over or start fiddling with their smart phone - you have lost them.  Finish the conversation with next steps to assure expectations are clear.  

Technical team members are a bit easier as you can assume they will know the jargon as well as their role in the conversation.  Don't assume they understand your expectations.  Describe the outcome you are expecting in the form of WHAT, WHY, WHEN, and WHO statements.  Always try to allow as much creativity in the HOW as possible.  If the HOW is important, don't leave it to chance - state the expectation and ask for the feedback.  One technique is to simply ask them to reiterate their understanding. Listen for their understanding by their engagement in the conversation and comfort level through their body language. Finish the discussion by jointly reviewing the agreements and follow up action steps. 

Your thoughts on communications? 

Conversations sponsored by ITeffectivity.com – an IT management consulting practice targeting CIO’s challenge of leading and delivering business solutions with a focus on effective people, process, and technology management.