While writing someone's year-end evaluation in 2008, I highlighted how their style was exemplary and resulted in delighted stakeholders, including sponsors, development partner and other IT teams (Security, Infrastructure, Operations).
We have talented individuals with many hard skills but we often ignore the softer aspect of service delivery, understanding the wins for sponsors and other stakeholders.
Do you have "soft hands" to deal with all the undertakings in your project?
Litmus test to check if you have "soft hands"
- Do you have a win-win mindset and practice it in your interactions/negotiations?
- Do you ask yourself "was I helpful?" after every interaction
- Are you okay with agreeing to disagree?
- Do you have a calming effect on volatile discussions?
- Do your colleagues reach out to you for help/advice in dealing with tough situations?
- Do you lead tough negotiations or take the back seat?
Litmus test to check if you don't have "soft hands"
- Do you often come out of security discussions deflated?
- Do you shut down when its a business or product adoption problem?
- Do you find stakeholders reaching out to you through someone else in your team/portfolio?
Tips for success:
- Listen, be in the moment
- 50% of what we do has nothing to do with technology
- Learn from your colleagues who do it well
- Be passionate but never raise your voice
- What else has worked for you?
Lead by example. Attitude is addictive.