The Softer Side of Training


As IT departments grow more and more aligned with the business, it’s critical for IT employees and leaders to be able to communicate with their peers across departments. Technical trainers must effectively teach the skills necessary to be successful in this type of environment.

“Almost all projects that support business these days are supported by an IT component, and as such, IT needs to mesh with business needs [and] objectives,” said Julie Zinn, executive director of project management and business skills programs at ESI International. “With that as an underlying premise, it’s important that IT professionals, especially leaders, can speak the language of the business and interact in a business environment. You have IT at the executive table in business meetings all day long as projects are being planned, implemented and rolled out.”

With IT at the executive table, IT leaders need to be attuned to what is happening in the business. Too often, Zinn said, these employees become engrossed in the day-to-day operations of their jobs and don’t take notice of what’s happening around them.

“Think of the individuals [who stare] at their laptops in the proverbial cubes; they don’t lift their head up to look at what’s going on within the organization [or] think about how [their] work is contributing to the larger goal,” she said.

Zinn said technology professionals need to learn about critical thinking, decision making and communication skills. Luckily, organizations have been providing this type of training more and more in…



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