Communication skills are as important to IT professionals as technical skills. Every department needs to have effective communications, but it is even more important for those of us in IT. Our department interacts directly with every other department in an organization. Beyond that we also have touchpoints with our customers, vendors and partners. Here are six communication skills every IT professional should hone.
In oral communication it is important to be clear, concise, and actively listen. Active listening allows you to check yourself against the other person in the conversation. You make sure that they understand you, and that you understand them. This leads to clear operational definitions and helps avoid future conflicts.
The ability to clearly express your thoughts in writing is critical to advancing your career. You must be able to craft your briefs, proposals, emails, etc. in a concise, easy-to-understand fashion that allows little or no room for confusion. Remember these three tricks when writing a message to colleagues or clients. First, get to the point. People are busy and do not want to read fluff. Secondly, use data to back up your points. Finally, break up your message. Use short paragraphs and bullet points to quickly make your point.
Teams today are more diverse than ever. Whether you are collaborating with someone across the hall, or across the globe, you will undoubtedly experience a variety of cultures. Approach your multicultural partners with an open mind and willingness to open up. You’ll both learn a lot and communicate much more clearly with each other.
The world is getting smaller and smaller. Nowhere is that truer than with IT professionals. It is very common for a project team to be distributed across the globe. Polyglots have an enormous leg up on the competition. You already know a few computer languages. Stretch out and learn a couple of human languages to boost your career to new heights.
You may not be directly involved in business development, but you are a salesperson. Throughout your career you are selling. Selling ideas. Motivating others to buy into a new process. Persuading your boss to give you that big promotion. There are countless books, seminars and workshops designed to improve sales skills, which are simply skills of persuasion. Improve your sales skills and sell yourself and your ideas more effectively.
Giving and Receiving Feedback
The process of giving and receiving feedback can be considered the continuous improvement loop of professional communication skills. Aside from allowing you, and your team, to develop and grow, constructive feedback fosters an environment of trust essential for successful teams.
Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.