Tips For Getting Your Ideas Heard When Working With LeadershipDecember 4, 2017 No Comments
Featured article by Calvin Paige, Independent Technology Author
Being an IT professional has its challenges in the field. While you’re smart, talented and have a lot of knowledge, not everyone at your company is going to recognize this right away. IT is like speaking another language for a lot of people, including staff and leadership in your office.
To make a difference and change happen, you have to come to the table prepared and ready to speak up. You’re the expert, but if someone doesn’t understand where you’re coming from they may brush you off for a simpler model. See tips for getting your ideas heard when working with leadership.
Come with Facts & Data
Always have the hard facts and data handy. Never go to a meeting with guesses and rough estimates. Important enhancements to the business require presenting the numbers and details for what you’re proposing. Bring visuals and results they can clearly see. Know who your audience is and what they’re looking for before you throw a bunch of ideas at them. Executives want to know how what you’re suggesting is going to affect the bottom line and the customers. Be prepared to tell them.
Know what the Competitors are Doing
Do your homework and investigate what kind of technology your competitors are implementing and using currently and what direction they might be headed. This will show initiative and that there’s good reason behind your concepts. It doesn’t mean you can’t throw out suggestions that are outside of the box, but do have a good benchmark for where your company falls on the spectrum related to your competition. Get involved with your IT industry and the industry of your business to see what solutions will be the best fit.
Show Demonstrations & Stay Focused on the Highlights
Come to meetings prepared to show a demonstration of your recommendation. If you think it’d be a good idea to add a blog to your website then research how to start a blog and build a prototype for all to see. Show leadership what it would look like, how it would function and the benefits of including one on your website. Point out the main highlights, so you don’t overwhelm them right off the bat. A live demo will help work out a lot of the hesitations and kinks right away.
Put Together A Solid & Reliable Team
As leader of the IT team, it’s your job to put together a group who you know will deliver results. Pick and choose who you hire wisely, and make it clear to your staff what you expect out of them. The better they are, the better you’ll look and less cleanup you’ll have to do. This leaves you more time to innovate and work with the leadership team to implement new technology solutions and products. Your team is a reflection of you and the more motivated they are to do a great job, the less stress and headaches you’ll have to worry about. Work together to present the best possible solutions to leadership.
Speak Slowly & Clearly
It sounds elementary, but it’s true. Many people speak way too fast and fail to get their message across because their thoughts are disorganized. Speaking slowly and clearly is important in a business meeting, and it’s especially significant when you’re talking IT lingo. Although you may understand all terminologies, many other people may not have a clue. If you want to grab the attention of your leadership team, then speak their language and make it clear why you felt it was important to take time out of their day to have a conversation. If you confuse them, then you’re likely to lose them.
Security is always a hot topic in the IT and business world. Whatever you’re discussing, be sure to hit on the subject matter of security and if what you’re proposing is safe and secure for the business. Touch on areas they love like user privacy, cybersecurity and new technologies to embrace. Know that they’re going to ask you about this topic each time you present changes or adjustments to them. Come prepared to answer their questions and make them feel comfortable with whatever option you go with.
Always Know what’s up & coming
Be the IT person who’s always up to speed with what’s trending in your industry. You can never have too much knowledge in your area or for your position. Always be learning and challenging yourself to advance your skills. Attend conferences, take courses and read informative blogs that cover the best in tech. You’ll be more easily heard and asked for your opinion when you can demonstrate that you’re one of the best in your field. Get yourself to that point and then use it to your advantage to implement new and exciting solutions for your company.
Tie your Ideas Back to Profits & Efficiency
Leadership wants to know how your ideas can make the business money and how it’s going to make everyone more efficient. It’s a good idea to tie your ideas back to these topics and clearly explain how what you’re proposing will benefit the company. Have this figured out ahead of time before you go into an important meeting; plan, prepare and come ready to show a connection that’s going to get their ears to perk up. Having a cool idea is nice, but your colleagues won’t bat an eye if it doesn’t help the business progress and grow.
As an IT professional, you’re going to have to work with people who know nothing about what you do. Don’t let this stop you from innovating and bringing your proposals to their attention. Leadership will always be a tough crowd, but that’s all you have to do is prepare and show up ready to impress them. You should now feel more confident as you gear up to spearhead additional projects at your company. These are tips for getting your ideas heard when working with leadership.DATA and ANALYTICS , Featured Articles, SECURITY, SOCIAL BUSINESS