Show as: Mobile
a woman and a man discuss programming in front of computers

IT Managers Must be Communication Highways

This is a guest post by Eric Bloom, Executive Director of IT Management and Leadership Institute.

By design, an IT Manager’s job is to manage people. This requires telling your staff what to work on and then providing them feedback on their job performance. It also requires that you provide upper management with the status of projects, accomplishments and issues.

At a department level, it’s also your role to facilitate the coordination with other department such as HR, finance and your peer departments. The bottom line is that the better you communicate, the easier it will be for you to become an effective IT Manager. 

Why IT Managers May Need Communication Skills Training

Depending on your professional area and your personal strengths and weaknesses, good communication can be a difficult thing to achieve. From an educational perspective, I went to college for accounting and computer information systems. Of the fifty classes I took over four years as an undergraduate student, only one optional elective dealt with personal communication and this was a class on public speaking.

For many of us, particularly those of us in technical roles, we were told that we did such a good job as an individual contributor in our professional area, that we should take a new job (as manager) where we had no formal training, no on-the-job experience, and no formal education on proper business communication. Thus, a new IT Manager was born.

IT Managers' Communication Tasks

As an IT Manager, communication takes many forms, as outlined below.

  • Justifying your budget requirements
  • Writing status reports
  • Making presentation to justify hiring needs
  • Giving work direction to your team
  • Writing and giving performance reviews
  • Facilitating staff meetings
  • Participating in cross-department activities

When looking at the list above, you will see that this manager-based communication comes in three primary forms: written text, formal presentations, and personal interaction. Take comfort in knowing that most people are not great in all three.

Communication Tips for IT Managers

The trick for you, as an IT Manager, is twofold. First, lead with your strengths. Second, work to improve your weaknesses to an acceptable level by practice, instruction, and ongoing mentoring/support.

I’ll use myself as an example, I think I write well (I hope you think so too), but I proofread very poorly. I’m somewhat dyslexic and words like “from” and “form” or missing pronouns in sentences are totally missed by my proofreading eye. Also, I skim received emails, rather than read them deeply.

I compensate for these personal challenges by, if appropriate:

  • Returning what could be lengthy written emails with phone calls
  • Have my presentations and written documents (including the column) proofread by someone else
  • Tell my staff to include the word “important” in the subject line if they want to make sure I read it

The moral of the story here is not to learn what I do, but to understand none of us are perfect. We all have communication-based strengths and weaknesses. Some people hate public speaking. Some people consider themselves to be poor writers. Others are less comfortable with one-on-one personal interaction.

The trick is that if you just feel uncomfortable communicating, regardless of the communication medium, step outside your comfort zone and try it. You may find that over time your skills improve, or you develop procedures to compensate for areas of personal challenge. Who knows, in some cases you may grow to like a previously dreaded activity and move a personal weakness to a professional strength.

Until next time, lead well, innovate, and continue to grow.

Author Bio

Eric Bloom

Eric Bloom is the Executive Director of the IT Management and Leadership Institute, Founder of, author of the book “Office Influence: Get What You Want from The Mailroom to the Boardroom”, an Amazon bestselling author, speaker, trainer and executive coach.

Eric is also a former nationally syndicated columnist, TEDx speaker, and recognized thought leader on the use of influence in the workplace. 

He is also a Past President of National Speakers Association New England, a Certified Professional Speaker (CSP), and the author of various other books, including “Productivity Driven Success” and “The CIO’s Guide to Staff Needs, Growth, and Productivity”. Prior to his current role, Eric was a senior IT executive at various firms including Fidelity Investments, and Independence Investments.

Contact him at, follow him on Twitter at @EricPBloom, or visit and

Interested in developing your business communication skills? Browse training courses by ITML Institute today!

Browse courses

Last updated: 01 Feb 2021

You might also be interested in:

Last updated: 11/13/2020

Cyber Security Lesson: How To Keep IP Addresses Safe

Today, many of us are almost constantly connected to the internet for work, entertainment, or information. But the internet isn't as safe as we tend to think. This article offers some tips to make your online activities safer.

Read more
Last updated: 12/1/2020

How to Get Into Cyber Security With No Experience | The Essential Guide

Learn why you should want to get into cyber security. And get's top tips on how to get into cyber security with no experience.

Read more
Last updated: 10/20/2020

Top 6 Benefits of On-Site Training

On-site training is becoming more and more of a necessity for organizations around the world, specialized training in accordance with the organization's needs helps teams become more productive and innovative.  Read about six benefits of in-company training.

Read more
Last updated: 2/24/2021

How Training Boosts Morale

If one considers that most people spend more of their waking hours with colleagues than they do with their loved ones, it goes to reason that their wellbeing and comfort in the office should be of paramount importance. 

Keeping your employees happy is important and there are a number of things that can be done to engender a high level of morale. 

Read more
Last updated: 11/9/2020

Professional Development: Everything You Need To Know

If you or your staff are in need of new work-related skills, it might be time to consider pursuing professional development training. It’s a great way to add qualifications to your resume or simply refresh yourself on some of the skills you learned previously. Whether you take classes online or at a seminar, there are many flexible alternatives for busy schedules.
Read more
Our newsletter
Leave your email and stay updated on professional training