Strategies to improve your social intelligence

Use these tips to develop productive relationships, influence others, and meet the growing demands of your role.

Social intelligence refers to the ability to effectively understand, navigate, and manage social behaviour and relationships to drive personal and professional success. Improving your social intelligence can help you influence stakeholders, attract and motivate talent, boost performance, and enhance your leadership. It forms an important skillset in any leader’s arsenal. Here’s how you can become a socially intelligent CIO.

Form alliances with other business leaders
The IT team doesn’t work in isolation, and it is important CIOs remember that when building relationships within their organisation. Stakeholder and executive support is crucial to success, and a CIO needs to cultivate these relationships. Look for and foster strategic partnership that will help further the IT department’s goals. Develop strong advocates for IT that you can call on to back your cause when needed.

Understand the political nature of your role
Pay more attention to the strategic priorities within your organisation. Understand where your role fits in the larger political landscape. This will help you understand the political implications of your role (and therefore actions) so that you can use this to your advantage. Take the time to understand the performance goals, agendas, and priorities of other business leaders. It will give you a peek into their operational mindset. Then see how you can leverage IT to help them achieve success and increase your influence.

Help build the company’s brand and culture
As leaders CIOs have an important role to play in nurturing the company’s culture. It goes beyond just stating the company’s goals and common beliefs. It’s about putting these into action and motivating the people around you to follow through. Brand values matter to customers. It’s what sets you apart from the rest of the competition. Its often said people don’t buy products they buy brands. So it’s crucial you reinforce your company’s brand positioning at every available opportunity. Does you company make certain brand promises? If yes, then put the might of the IT department behind it. Help deliver on those promises and display these behaviours in your interactions with customers, shareholders, etc. Train your team to exhibit them as well. This will build on the brand promise and reinforces it in customers’ minds.

Align your priorities with those of business stakeholders
A CIO’s vision dictates strategies his/her team follows. It is therefore crucial CIOs understand business requirements and goals. And then develop and articulate a strong technology vision that strategizes how to meet those goals. Your vision will give your team direction and a clear understand of their role in helping the organisation achieve its business goals. You need to use your communication skills to craft the IT narrative and impress your vision upon a variety of stakeholders, including business leaders.

Photograph: Katemangostar – 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz


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