How IT Professionals Can Build Influence in the Workplace
There’s never been a better time for IT professionals to learn how to influence others, with demand for skilled IT workers predicted to increase over the coming years. In the FY19/20 Hays Salary Report, 53% of surveyed employers revealed plans to grow their permanent IT staff levels. Developing more influence in the workplace will help you capitalise on this period of growth, providing you with a pathway towards more senior roles.
But like learning a new skill, harnessing the power of influence in the workplace can take time. Whether you’re a veteran of the IT industry or you’re just starting to look for advancement opportunities, influence can be translated into a form of leadership.
Earn an Internationally Recognised Qualification
Completing an internationally recognised qualification like an MBA is one of the most effective ways to build influence in the workplace. As important as experience is, education is key to establishing your status as an expert in your field. Such a prestigious qualification will reaffirm your industry knowledge, offering formal acknowledgment of the hands-on experience you’ve gained over the years.
As one of the most widely recognised degrees in the world, the MBA offers instant credibility. Studying a specialised MBA designed for your industry can further enhance your influence in the workplace, affording you the opportunity to become an expert in your field. With targeted management experience, you’ll be able to demonstrate your influence as a leader more easily.
Take a Holistic Approach
Taking a holistic approach to business involves treating all processes and policies as interconnected, as opposed to separate components. A relatively new concept, this type of approach allows businesses to reach their full potential by bringing different departments together.
An example of the holistic approach being implemented successfully can be seen in Heineken’s marketing strategy. The beer brand’s commercial marketing department was spread across 18 divisions, making it impossible to manage efficiently. Using a marketing collaboration program, Heineken was able to streamline their marketing processes so that their marketing budgets could be tracked more closely.
As the holistic approach involves fostering collaboration among people from different areas of a company, adopting this method presents the perfect opportunity for you to position yourself as someone who can help people work together towards a common goal.
Advance Your Communication Skills
Active listening and empathy are the most important aspects of business communication skills, especially for aspiring IT managers as you regularly have to work across many teams and groups.
IT professionals often have to provide tech solutions to the wider business and are often called upon to present ideas and reports. Advancing your leadership communication skills will help you build a rapport with the wider business and break down any barriers that may exist between departments, so you can build influence through collaboration.
Not sure where to start? Running IT workshops or training sessions with your team members will give you a chance to share your expertise while demonstrating your willingness to listen to them. For example, you could give your co-workers a tutorial on cybersecurity basics to ensure they’re aware of the latest threats. This will give you a chance to empower them with IT knowledge and create opportunities for collaboration.
Just remember that good professional communication is a two-way street, so make sure you give your co-workers a chance to contribute. Nobody likes to be talked at for hours on end.
Upskilling offers a solution to remaining at the forefront of the latest advancements in IT, so you can walk the walk in addition to talking the talk.
If your IT skills aren’t quite up to scratch, enrolling in an online postgraduate university program can help you navigate the learning curve and ensure you are up to date with the latest innovations in data science. For example, you will learn to evaluate and use the principles of applied data science in real-world scenarios, including how to use specialised algorithms, systems, and processes to review and present information in a format that is more in-depth and purposeful for organisations.
In addition to improving your own IT skills, you’ll be able to share your newfound knowledge with your co-workers. Unlike short courses that only scratch the surface of IT, postgraduate qualifications offer an in-depth learning experience so you can graduate with advanced skills and knowledge.
Designed especially for IT professionals poised to move into leadership roles, The University of Adelaide’s MBA (Information Technology) can help you discover the power of influence in the workplace. This online program will prepare you for the kinds of challenges IT professionals face in the modern business landscape, giving you the skills and knowledge to become an influential leader.
To learn more about our MBA (Information Technology) and entry requirements, make an appointment to speak with an advisor today.