Real techies have genuine pride in their technical expertise and accomplishments. This is to be expected. In the Information Technology industry, growth is driven by the combination of competence and ambition. But Jidaw warns that limiting competence to technical ability can be costly.
Technical-ability-is-all-you-need is a fallacy that any serious IT professional must smash to smithereens. It is a dangerous myth. Jidaw insists: People come first. What is technical wizardry in the absence of people – your colleagues, managers and clients? The fundamental principle you should imbibe is that people are more important than money, your certificates, property, etc. You cannot build people skills if people are not your priority.
Do your people come first to you, or are you more interested in your position, title, benefits, or your technical “toys”? Get serious by recognizing the principal role of people in career development and all that we do. Great Java skills but people don’t come first if intimidation and condescension are your signature tunes. Jidaw suggest that you develop a deep understanding of the long term value of people. Keep your deep desire to achieve impressive technical heights but learn to look beyond the obvious and the immediate.
Get past the “NOW!!” immediate gratification syndrome. Jidaw wants your answers to these questions – What is the long term value of your position or your certification? What is the value of good will and your reputation in comparison with the money in your pocket? It’s amazing how people sacrifice relationships because of immediate tangibles. Avoid getting carried away by technology and its opportunities to the extent that you lose perspective. How much time do you give to people? As you invest in technology and expertise are you investing in people? On the job, outside the job?
People are not perfect but we all have some value – now and in future. You are today’s programming champion, “do you live on programming alone?” And what happens tomorrow? Today’s laid-back office assistant may be tomorrow’s key to an uncommon opportunity. Today’s techie will become the future tech entrepreneur. What is the essence or purpose? Understand the limits of money, property and benefits. Your IT career isn’t just about networking, web design, Microsoft, Cisco or Oracle expertise. Jidaw emphasizes that is people that open doors not qualifications.
Putting people first puts creative resources in your hands. Jidaw challenges you to Wake up! That A+ badge isn’t more important than your personal relationship with your colleagues and your manager. Getting ahead is not all about you or your immediate needs.
Developing people skills requires people orientation. This goes beyond attending customer service classes, or performing soft skills rituals. Change comes from within. Window dressing will not work. At Jidaw we caution that it is not about show or noise; it is an inside job. Put people first in your internal mental models. Only then can your behaviour and attitude be truly people oriented.
HAVE YOUR SAY: How important are people skills? What experiences do you have in developing soft skills? Please share your comments, thoughts and opinions.
Innovation and Development Advisor, ICT at Jidaw
ICT Development Advisory Support and Consulting