I read “The Unspoken Truth About Managing Geeks” by Jeff Ello an article in CIO Magazine on managing IT Professionals. The article states that managing IT professionals is different than other groups because IT Pros are very logical and have little to no tolerance for non-logic. It is all about respect. The IT Pro needs to have respect for you and must show respect to them or the communication breaks down. The key to getting the respect is being logical and getting things done. You must not implement rules, process or decisions that do not make sense.
Mr. Ello states “While everyone would like to work for a nice person who is always right, IT pros will prefer a jerk who is always right over a nice person who is always wrong. Wrong creates unnecessary work, impossible situations and major failures. Wrong is evil, and it must be defeated. Capacity for technical reasoning trumps all other professional factors, period.”
In my experience I have seen the traits Mr. Ello describes in IT Pros. The challenge is that at the end of the day everyone is an individual and so any kind of stereotyping can be shot down. Does this mean we should not try to identify behavior that is typical for IT Pros? No – We can and this article does help identify some behaviors. I think adapting your approach to each individual will still be required. That is what you signed up for when you became a manger. Create an engaging relationship with each member of your team and have a passion for technology.
Article: “The Unspoken Truth About Managing Geeks” by Jeff Ello