How A Soft-Skills Boss Can Lead A Technical Workplace

With more and more technical skills required to join the workplace and technology evolving so rapidly, it is common to see executives leading employees with more specific expertise levels. If you lead a team of “knowledge workers,” there are six things to keep in mind. The tips below will aid you in providing the resources that your team needs while promoting a productive team with high morale.

  1. Listen more. This rule can apply to nearly any relationship, business or personal. You can’t learn and talk at the same time. Ask more questions, find out what your employees’ favorite industry publications are and keep a general pulse on technology updates and important announcements.

  2. Ignore your ego. Trade in any desires for hierarchy dominance and ego-boosters for achievement. Your job is to make sure that your team has the resources it needs to knock out their objectives.

  3. Be transparent. Be as clear and detailed as you possibly can about objectives and goals for your team, department and company. Create casual and convenient feedback loops to make sure that everyone can see the “big picture.” [Related: Use HipChat as a simple communication pathway]

  4. Define success. Work with team leaders to define key performance indicators that make sense. Find out how conversion rates are being determined. Ask, “What does success look like to you?” By all means, ask for regular reporting, but be open to testing in order to establish healthy benchmark numbers. Go back through steps #1-3 to learn what the most valuable output is to help shape metrics.

  5. Provide autonomy. Do your best not to micro-manage. Focus on providing resources, measuring performance and the big picture. Admit that you don’t have all of the answers and ask away! Your team will feel more confident and trusted. You will very likely see a much better performance.

  6. Keep up with technology. Even if you are not the product expert or event planner, you should still make every effort to keep up with changes in technology. While there may be technical expertise barriers, keeping up with desktop and smartphone applications can break down communication barriers.

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