Seven Essential Ingredients for Leadership

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Page 8
Page 8 of 14

"At the end of the day, I strongly believe diplomacy is all about people. It's really about learning and gaining their trust, putting yourself in their shoes and understanding their perspective," Lehman says.

It's important, though, to try out those newly acquired skills, says Dale W. Meyerrose, associate director of national intelligence and CIO at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in Washington.

Meyerrose says IT workers can look for opportunities that will challenge their developing diplomacy skills. Corporate public relations people often run courses on related topics, such as how to run a press conference, that can sharpen skills in a safe environment. Business schools and online courses also offer role-playing opportunities and online simulations.

"A lot of people ignore the idea of practice," Meyerrose says, "but practice is another way to sharpen skills."

Diplomacy: Why It's Crucial The nature of technology work today means diplomacy matters more now than it ever did, top IT leaders say. IT workers are expected to understand business, collaborate with colleagues from other departments, and negotiate budgets and delivery schedules with a wide array of business partners.

Moreover, they're often working with people from various countries, as they either serve global organizations or outsource some work overseas.

"All executives need diplomacy, but there is a certain characteristic about IT that demands it more than the other areas," says Rick King, former CTO of Thomson Legal & Regulatory and now chief operating officer at Thomson North American Legal.

This fact isn't lost on corporate executives and hiring managers, says Melissa Maffettone, branch manager and consultant at Robert Half Technology, a unit of staffing firm Robert Half International Inc. in Menlo Park, Calif. Although companies don't specifically list "diplomacy" in job advertisements, Maffettone says they do use other language that clearly indicates they're looking for diplomatic skills in candidates at all levels in IT.

For example, companies are asking job candidates how they've navigated difficult predicaments and handled sensitive situations.

"What they're really looking for is diplomacy skills," Maffettone says. "We've been seeing it for a number of years, and it's becoming more and more critical every year."

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Page 8
Page 8 of 14
7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon