Like most managers, IT managers are pressed for time and sometimes (if not often) stressed or overwhelmed with deadlines and projects. For IT contractors, communicating with a manager at their IT jobs can be intimidating, especially when they don’t know them well. Below are a few tips for IT consultants to improve their communication with managers.
- Say what you have to say with confidence. This is for a few reasons, especially for time management. Managers don’t often have time to hear you puzzle out the best response. Probably the most important reason, though, is because managers want to believe they can trust you to deliver answer and information that they can rely on. IT recruiters presented you as the best candidate and your manager went through stacks of resumes to find yours. This alone should be enough reason to feel a bit more confident when you are relaying information to a manager.
- Keep your communication organized and to the point. Relaying info in the form that makes it easiest to digest and use will make you a superstar to your manager. They don’t want to waste time wading through a long email or presentation.
- Use the most concise and professional language possible. In information technology especially, it’s important to demonstrate that you know what you’re doing and what you’re talking about. Using the best and most up-to-date terms will give off a great impression when speaking with managers.
IT professionals are often pressed for time, as the information technology industry tends to run on a 24-7 schedule. When IT managers hand their IT contractors one project too many, what is the best way to gracefully say “no thank you!” Read on to see some tips for the best ways IT consultants can say no without damaging their reputations with their bosses or IT recruiters.
- Don’t say the word “no.” The key is to phrase your response so it feels like something that agrees with, or at least doesn’t overtly clash with, what the manager has asked for.
- Try giving some context. If you can’t do a project because you’re already overloaded, try giving that context. Note that this shouldn’t be done in a whiny way. Simply ask for some help prioritizing, then list all the projects you have on your plate. This may be enough to make a manager rethink the assignment.
- Offer a different solution and attempt to make it seem perfectly in line with your boss’s original idea. People tend to want to say yes to things when you make them feel like it’s their own idea. Your best case scenario is to make your boss feel like they actually wanted to assign the project to somebody else in the first place. If you can’t do that, ask humbly, “Can I make a suggestion?” and find another way the project can get done (without you staying in the office til midnight).