Leadership Solutions for IT Professionals

Working in Information Technology presents several unique challenges.

First, there is often a large technical knowledge gap between IT workers and customers that, if not bridged, frequently results in confusion and frustration. Second, many IT professionals are trapped in an unfortunate quandary where they don’t get the credit during the 95% of the time when things go right, but they get a disproportionate amount of the blame during the 5% of the time when things go wrong. Third, many IT professionals spend all their time working only on the 5% of things that are going wrong and, consequently, they lose the crucial perspective that things are mostly right, most of the time. This can result in profoundly discontent employees because they perceive that no matter how hard they work, things are always messed up.

In light of the particular challenges that IT professionals face, it’s no surprise that IT staffs often have enormous turnover rates, and that many IT professionals prefer to have as little face-to-face contact with customers as possible. But exiting the profession or avoiding users is hardly a sustainable answer. There’s a better way.

On-Demand Leadership (ODL) offers four solutions designed to help IT professionals be more successful, more productive, and more content at work.  Click here for pricing.

  • Comprehensive leadership development packages for IT companies, departments, and staffs. ODL provides your IT professionals with long-term strategies for coping with the unique challenges of an IT career, as well as short-term techniques to improve every interaction with customers. ODL’s leadership development packages will help you implement a permanent leadership development program for your present and future use to improve the core leadership competencies of your employees and harness their performance potential.
  • Training specifically designed for the challenges that IT professionals face. Users not taking your IT advice? We have a class for that. Some customers getting upset with your IT employees? We have a class for that too. Your tech workers have to talk to people who barely know how to turn the computer on? We’ve got you covered. A description of these classes, and many others, can be found below.
  • Developmental coaching for IT professionals. Developmental coaching is a package of phone or on-site coaching sessions focused on improving an individual’s work performance. This type of coaching is helpful for an employee who is good at the technical part of his or her job, but is having recurring problems with customers or colleagues.
  • Problem-based coaching for IT professionals. Problem-based coaching helps an IT worker or manager arrive at a solution to a specific—and usually an acute—problem. You would want problem-based coaching if an IT employee was having a problem with one specific client or company (not a number of customers like in the case above). Problem-based coaching is also helpful for solutions like devising a strategy for communicating that a major, disruptive IT change is imminent, or determining the best way to handle an immediate work conflict.

IT Training Topics

IT is different. We get that at On-Demand Leadership. Here is a list of courses we offer to make your difficult job a little bit easier.

Dealing with Tough IT Customers
Difficult customers are frustrating customers. Learning strategies for handling tough, impatient customers and the interactions with them can be less painful (never blissful, but not as bad as before). On-Demand Leadership’s tough customer class will give you plenty of tools to smooth out your interactions with difficult people and give you the best chance of success, even when the situation is seriously challenging.

Communicating with Non-Technical People
Are people daydreaming when you are talking? Do you get the impression that they aren’t understanding a single word that you are saying? Guess what—many people don’t understand technology, computers, and software anywhere near as well as you do. Your job is to help them understand (and fix their IT problems, naturally). It’s not enough for you to know what’s going on—you’re the expert so that’s already baked into the cake. The next step is to help other people—customers, colleagues, and other key stakeholders—understand important technical information. They don’t have to know as much as you (who could?), but they do need to know the essential information. Help them understand and you help them learn.

Persuading Customers to Take Your IT Advice
Too many of the IT problems you fix are messed up in the first place because users are doing something wrong. You know what they should be doing (or not doing), but it’s no cakewalk to convince them to do it. On-Demand Leadership’s Persuading Customers class can help. Learn strategies for encouraging customers to take your IT advice, stop high-risk network behaviors, and start helping you help them. Picture a world where all IT problems vanish. That would be great, but is probably impossible. So picture instead a world where you could reduce a large share of damaging user errors. That world is within your reach. ODL’s Persuading Customers class will help you grab a piece of it.

Talking to Diverse People
People are different. Duh. But are you making more communication errors when you talk to female customers as opposed to male customers? Perhaps you find it easier to talk to younger people? Or maybe there is more confusion in your conversations with Mike from New Jersey than there is when you talk to Jim from Alabama? Learn techniques to drive down your conversational error rate and reduce confusion no matter who you are talking to in On-Demand Leadership’s Talking to Diverse People class. Plug the holes in your communication competence by understanding how people differ and how to more effectively talk to people of all backgrounds. ODL’s Diverse People class can help you talk to anyone.

Reining in Emotions
Going crazy doesn’t make things better. Restraining emotions protects relationships from damage. We can’t do much to change how we feel about an emotional trigger, but we can exercise a great deal of discretion over our emotional reactions. ODL’s Reining in Emotions class will help you identify some common emotional triggers, work on ways to moderate your responses, and arm you with techniques to reduce some of the intensity when you experience negative emotions. And that’s a skill that everyone can benefit from.

On-Demand Leadership’s Teamwork class is a combination of science and practice that is designed to increase your work group’s effectiveness. The class is grounded in research on high-performance teams, and will help you uncover and avoid common pitfalls that derail teams and provide strategies for working together more effectively. Steer clear of the ditch and keep your team on track with ODL’s Teamwork class.

Conflict Resolution
Keep conflict from tarnishing important work relationships. Most conflict at work doesn’t end well. The best conflict resolution strategies emphasize prevention and provide multiple mechanisms to reduce tension. Conflict is most damaging when it escalates, so On-Demand Leadership’s Conflict Resolution class equips participants with versatile strategies to de-escalate conflict and diffuse a tense situation. Priming people with tools to manage escalating interactions can significantly reduce the damaging consequences of organizational conflict.