Charm and More: How to be a Leader of Tech Team
An engineer who has chosen a manager way to grow is a student again. A programmer who chooses a management branch for further development must improve creativity, leadership, and public speaking, along with other soft skills.
Managers with humanities past will have to strengthen their position in technical issues, immerse themselves in the basics of programming. As a result, we get the truth: a good manager has hybrid skills. Let’s find out more about them in ChallengeSoft Blog new article.
What Do You Need Except Charm
Be Ready to Teach
You can help your team to avoid a lot of mistakes by simply paying attention to each member personally, and professionally. Try to build a connection with your teammates with one-to-one sessions. It will help people to trust you and easier to request help from you. At the same time, you will get to know about their weak sides and ways to help them effectively.
You do not need to follow the standard model of individual sessions, which involves sitting opposite each other in a conference room or your salon. Instead, try experimenting. Take a person for a walk, play a game together, drink tea or coffee together, and so on.
Learn from your Mistakes
In Steven Kovi’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” the author said that first what you need to do is to strive to understand, so then you can be understood. By meaning, we want you to let yourself make mistakes and learn from them. Because the importance of something learned from personal experience grows when shared. So you need to share what you learned from your mistakes with your subordinates.
Life is about doing, failing, getting up, realizing what went wrong, fixing it, and then doing it again until you succeed. This mantra applies to all walks of life, it can be your personal life or professional life as a technology manager.
Think as a System
Developing this skill is easy enough. You can use standard methods applicable in exact disciplines, programming. In general, consistency is easier for people who are prone to mathematical thinking but do not let experience limit you. It is important to understand your strengths and weaknesses and pump the latter. To develop systems thinking, participate in hackathons, technology challenges. By the way, reading is also useful. Start, for example, with books that teach you how to think systems:
Tip: Upgrade Yourself as a Manager
For people with humanitarian experience who are now entering the profession, moving from classical project management towards Agile and coaching helps to show their strengths. At the same time, it is important to understand the weaknesses, not to be ashamed of them, and constantly work on pumping technical knowledge. Over time, such leaders have every chance of gaining the authority of the team.
Moreover, delivery managers have appeared. These specialists combine strong technical experience with good soft skills. Part of the coordination remains in their work, but now they need to filter and organize information in a quality manner before passing it on to a client or team. For comparison: a 2010 project manager transferred 90 percent of the information and filtered 10. The delivery manager in 2020 needs to transfer 10 percent and filter out 90. This inverse proportion saves time for each of the parties but requires professionalism, wisdom, responsibility.
Another aspect and probably a buzzword is mindfulness. In this case, I’m talking about the awareness of the experience. Bill Gates once pointed out that the hardest clients are our best teachers. To paraphrase, the most difficult situations are our best teachers, and difficult people are the sources of growth.
What are Your 5 Big “No” as a Tech Leader
No, you don’t judge
There’s a mistake among Tech Leaders to think that it’s their role to decide how teammates do their job: good or not enough. But the deal is that your role should be to show how a good work looks like and what does it mean.
Tech Leads should talk about goals, expectations, possible ways of development. And let the team members self-assess. And of course, you have to have your point of view and your comments. But first – listen.
No, you can’t know everything
Managing a technical team doesn’t mean you know everything about the technology you and your team use. Too often, that means you know enough to move forward. The more versatile your team is, the more often you will work with experts who know much more than you do. The team can be testers, designers … What, not every technical leader can or should be an expert.
And it’s okay to admit that you are a leader who doesn’t know everything. A product is delivered by your team but not by individuals of it.
No, you aren’t a full-time coder
You can leave the code in your work routine as a technician. But when you lead a team, a new hierarchy of priorities emerges. The first is your team. If there are obstacles that slow down delivery or open questions that need to be answered – it’s all up to you.
And when the team can move forward, individuals appear. Are all team members satisfied? Do they know what to do? And what does it mean to do a great job? Great, what about long-term planning? And only after all the points regarding the command execution, you can make the code.
No, there’s no supreme in your team
There is no such person. Everyone is equally important. You face problems by providing functions, solving problems, and communicating with teams. People’s power is very important, but real strength comes from a set of unique skills and experiences. “But a team cannot act efficiently without a good leader,” we can say. Well if your team can’t do their job without your involvement, maybe you’re doing something wrong? In addition, a leader cannot exist without a team – who is important then?
No, you aren’t a boss
Suggest ways to solve certain problems, like everyone can do it in a team, and it can be rejected, like anything that comes from anyone. When giving orders, we often forget to describe their context. If we are respected, they are responsible for the vision of team members or their personal development.
But there are pointless tasks. As something that needs to be done quickly, as a starting point or as a lightweight version of a solution that cannot be developed on the scale of your team or company. And your task in priority is to explain it all to your team.