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

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
– 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.