IT Leadership is Conveyed in How You Speak

Dateline: December 7, 2013

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

Recently, speaking coach and presentation guru Dr. Nick Morgan gave an online interview to Boston Society for Information Management (SIM) President Tom Catalini about how the way we speak can support, or undermine, our ability to lead IT.  The 20 min podcast is full of extremely valuable tips and research findings of Nick’s work on successful public speaking, subconscious signals our brains pick up, and ways to combat the internal dialogue that can undermine your image as a leader.

One idea that was particularly relevant to IT leaders is about telling stories rather than sharing facts.  Nick suggests,

Our ability to handle data is limited especially when delivered in oral form.  People can remember about 5 things +/- 2, so our mental hopper gets full very quickly.

Instead, Nick suggests, we should tell stories.  Stories are richer, infusing facts with emotion (something particularly difficult for IT leaders).  They are much easier to remember than the facts alone, and therefore allows an IT leader who has mastered this approach to impart much more memorable information.

What stories should IT leaders tell?  Nick noted that IT leaders have to translate between two worlds, IT and business.  For an IT leader to be successful, he/she needs to understand and use the metaphores and stories of the business.

What stories can you use to communicate better with your team? your board? your business partners?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a nice weekend.

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