Thursday, November 13, 2014

RHT: It’s Getting Tougher to Be a Lone Wolf in IT

by John Reed  Robert Half Technology
November 13, 2014

While you can’t change your personality, you can do some things to ensure you’re a valuable member of the team.
IT is becoming more and more collaborative. Teamwork and effective communication are critical to the success of any department, but IT departments are being asked to partner more than we have seen in years.
Why? Evidence of the positive impact that technology can deliver for the business is very compelling. This means IT initiatives are being approved more frequently, and that requires teams to communicate and collaborate across business groups, relying on teamwork to deliver the best solutions.

So what do you do if you’re not a natural team player? How can you still find success and work effectively with others if you prefer solitude and a non-disruptive environment? In fact, I know a lot of IT professionals who actually chose a career in IT because it allowed them to work independently. While you can’t totally change your personality, you can do some things to ensure you are contributing as an effective team member:
  1. Be engaged and interested: It can be easy to simply focus on your own work if you’re a lone wolf. But it’s important to understand the needs of both your department and the larger organization to make sure you’re making continued progress toward meeting the firm’s critical needs.
  2. Be a problem solver: Show initiative and enthusiasm by offering up potential solutions to problems. Anyone can sit back and point out issues with a project, but true team players recognize challenges and bring solutions to the table. Share willingly for the greater good of the team vs. holding onto your best ideas and recommendations.
  3. Be aware of your strengths: A team achieves its objectives when it pulls from the strengths of the individuals on the team. Examine your individual strengths and look for opportunities to use them to increase the impact and results of the team.
  4. Be consistent and reliable: Strive to be someone the team can bank on as they work to deliver on commitments. Knowing that you’ll be a constant throughout critical initiatives can do wonders for team morale and confidence.
  5. Be supportive of others: Recognize and support the members of your team by taking interest in their perspective and challenges. Provide words of encouragement to your colleagues, recognize their achievements and be willing to provide insight that may be helpful to others.
It’s getting tougher to be the lone wolf in IT as interdivisional collaboration is critical to the success of the organization. These five tips can be beneficial to help you bridge the gap to be a stronger team member. Do you have other tips? I welcome your comments below.

Thank you.

— John Reed

John Reed is the senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. He can usually be found racking up frequent flyer miles each week traveling to RHT offices across North America and speaking to industry groups about technology hiring trends. When he’s not on the go, he serves as an armchair quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. Follow him on Twitter @JReedRHT.

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