Technology advocates often have terrific ideas that will enhance the productivity of the organization, but their delivery often leaves something to be desired. Here’s our advice for getting your voice heard in an effective way.
Once upon a time, anyone involved with technology development and rollout was siloed off into a remote area of the organization known simply as IT. There, it didn’t matter if employees didn’t know how to talk to other people because, except for tech support, they never interacted with those outside the silo.
Today’s business world is much different. Technology has infiltrated all operations within the organization, and technology experts who want to successfully gain buy-in and collaboration must think twice about how to get their most critical messages across. Here are 6 places to start.
#1: Lead with a discussion of business goals
Implementing new technology for technology’s sake may be exciting to you, but it likely won’t fly with executives who always have their eyes on the bottom line. Lead every discussion of pure tech with several reasons why your solution will solve a company problem or address a critical priority.
#2: Don’t disparage the tried and true
Companies are often protective of policies and procedures that have been around a while. Instead of putting people on the defensive by suggesting immediate banishment, give credence to the value of existing techniques and demonstrate how tech could make them even more efficient.
#3: Know how to ask questions
As a tech aficionado, you may be accustomed to answering rather than asking questions. But the art of asking is important both in discovering the unmet needs of your business customers, understanding why a particular solution isn’t working for your users, and learning whether your training is resonating enough to result in new tech adoption.
#4: Clean up your writing – in English
Many techies haven’t paid much attention to their English-language writing since college. It’s all about the code, right? Wrong. Coherent, succinct English-language writing is essential for everything from internal sales pitches and project plans to documentation and quality assurance. If yours isn’t up to par, take a course.
#5: Step away from the desk
Understandably, many tech experts joined the field because they are introverts and prefer to work on their own for long periods of time. But technology implementations now involve a lot of moving parts in the form of other human beings who need to be persuaded, consulted, and reassured. Your collaboration efforts will be more successful if you sit down with people in person when possible.
#6: Practice the art of diplomacy
It’s common to believe that new technology can sell itself – just look at the ROI we’ll receive right out of the box! In the era of digital transformation, though, your work is only becoming more political. Don’t underestimate the need to get all of your stakeholders – which may include project managers and executives from areas like sales and marketing – on board prior to a new implementation. In these conversations, be prepared to express your viewpoints while respecting those of others, listen without judgment, and compromise when necessary.
Posted in Team & Project Management, Team Productivity | Tagged Collaboration, emotional intelligence, goal-setting, productivity, technology