11 Important IT Manager Soft Skills And How To Improve Them

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

While technical skills are necessary for IT managers to oversee a company's information technology (IT) systems, these professionals can also benefit from various soft skills that allow them to interact effectively with others. Communication, dispute resolution and negotiation are skills that can assist IT managers in leading teams, resolving difficulties and increasing productivity. If you're considering a career as an IT manager, learning about their soft skills can help you succeed.

In this article, we define IT manager soft skills, provide 11 examples of these skills, discuss ways to improve them and offer a few tips for highlighting them during your job search.

What are IT manager soft skills?

IT manager soft skills refer to the interpersonal characteristics, traits, attitudes and behaviours that enable these professionals to collaborate effectively in the workplace. IT managers leverage various soft skills, including leadership, communication and time management, to accomplish tasks, resolve problems, motivate people and boost productivity. By effectively utilising your soft skills, you can engage team members, connect with business partners and collaborate on IT initiatives with other managers or stakeholders.

11 important IT manager soft skills

IT managers can improve their work performance and team leadership by cultivating various soft skills. Here are 13 soft skills that you can benefit from:

1. Communication

Communication skills are helpful for IT managers as they help them clarify duties to staff and provide feedback on their work. IT managers may use communication abilities to explain technical concepts to other managers or company leaders. For instance, they may use their communication abilities to discuss hardware upgrades to increase an organisation's efficiency.

2. Leadership

IT managers require leadership traits to motivate their teams to deliver high-quality work. These professionals employ a variety of leadership abilities, including problem-solving and decisiveness, to assist in making departmental decisions. They demonstrate critical leadership characteristics, such as reliability and integrity, by setting an example for employees. They also provide positive support to encourage employees to perform at their best.

Related: 12 Ways To Build Leadership Strategies At The Workplace

3. Conflict resolution

IT managers may encounter conflicts in the workplace, including disagreements among team members or with a service provider. Thinking rationally can assist an IT manager in resolving these challenges quickly. They utilise this skill to recognise potential sources of conflict and work towards resolving the issue before it escalates. Conflict resolution skills assist IT managers in ensuring that their teams operate productively towards common goals.

4. Delegation

Effective delegation can assist IT managers in prioritising and managing the many tasks and projects simultaneously. They delegate duties to staff and demonstrate confidence in their talents. When appropriate, they provide constructive criticism to assist employees in developing new skills or improving their performance. IT managers hold employees accountable for their job to ensure projects meet the deadline.

5. Time management

IT managers handle various tasks, including upgrading hardware, negotiating with third-party providers and teaching other staff about IT systems. Time management abilities might assist these managers in efficiently organising their work. They may employ various time management techniques, including prioritisation and goal setting, to assist them in determining which tasks to do to meet their department's objectives.

6. Negotiation

IT managers utilise their negotiation abilities to help their organisation to get excellent results in a partnership. Negotiation skills such as planning and persuasion can also assist these professionals in resolving employee conflicts, settling with service providers and developing cost-effective contracts with vendors. They can use these abilities to negotiate solutions that benefit all parties involved.

7. Organisation

IT managers rely on organisational abilities to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. They can use organisational skills to assist them in maintaining and finding critical data, such as employee performance reviews and vendor contracts. Their organisational skills can also help them plan IT initiatives, including tasks and deadlines.

8. Problem-solving

It is important for IT managers to possess problem-solving abilities to assist their employees in succeeding. They employ problem-solving skills, such as critical thinking and research, to identify obstacles, examine alternative alternatives and implement solutions. Quick resolution of issues can assist IT managers in motivating their teams to continue working on tasks and completing projects on time.

Related: Problem Solving Questions For Interview (With Examples And Tips)

9. Adaptability

Technology advances rapidly and IT managers leverage adaptation skills to keep their team updated. Adaptability may include researching and strategic thinking, which can assist IT managers in researching new technological breakthroughs and implementing IT systems or improvements to ensure the success of a business. These skills can also help these professionals further develop their technical knowledge, such as learning how to migrate data to a cloud-based system.

Related: Top 10 Management Challenges And How To Overcome Them

10. Team management

These abilities can assist IT managers in leading their teams towards achieving the company's goals. They promote transparency and communicate directly with staff about performance goals. IT managers can use their team management skills to find training and workshop opportunities for their personnel. They use these skills to boost the job satisfaction of their teams, which results in increased productivity.

Related: 10 Skills You Need For Team Building (And How To Develop Them)

11. Decision-making

IT managers apply these abilities when making key decisions for their department or organisation. They study alternative options and utilise judgement and reasoning to arrive at an informed conclusion. Before starting an IT project or purchase, they also assess available data and weigh potential risks. They take an organised, logical approach when making IT decisions for a business.

Ways to improve IT manager soft skills

Here are some tips IT managers can follow to improve their soft skills:

1. Prioritise soft skills

It is beneficial for IT managers to prioritise the soft skills they wish to develop to concentrate their efforts. Consider the traits you want to improve and create a list. If you are unsure of which skills to work on, consult a friend or coworker. Then rank each skill on your list to assist you in selecting one or two skills to improve. Once you have mastered those, you can focus on other soft skills.

2. Practice

It is crucial to develop soft skills to improve your ability to apply them effectively in the workplace. Schedule time to regularly practise a soft skill. It may be helpful to get the help of others to practise your soft skills. For instance, if you want to enhance your verbal communication skills, you can ask a friend or family member to conduct a performance review with you to experience providing feedback to employees.

3. Monitor progress

When developing a soft skill, it is helpful to track your progress to keep yourself motivated. Establish goals for yourself to help track your progress. For example, if you want to enhance your delegation skills, you can set a goal of assigning three tasks from your to-do list to the team. You can also ask for input from others regarding your progress. For instance, you can invite another manager to an IT meeting to provide feedback on your leadership and communication abilities.

Soft skills in the workplace for an IT manager

Following are some ways you can apply your soft skills as an IT manager in the workplace:

  • Communicate effectively. Sharing recommendations for improving IT procedures and systems with stakeholders effectively shows your communication skills. You can also demonstrate these abilities by speaking with staff and assisting them in explaining the requirements and expectations for IT initiatives.

  • Delegate tasks. By allocating assignments to staff to complete IT projects on time, you demonstrate your leadership, delegation and time management abilities. Communicate clearly so that employees understand their responsibilities and provide constructive criticism to assist them in improving their performance.

  • Encourage collaboration. Encourage IT team members to work on common goals by utilising your team management and dispute resolution skills. As an IT manager, you may train your employees to work in a team by promoting open communication and collaborating with team members to solve challenges.

Highlighting soft skills for an IT manager's job

You can consider the following techniques to emphasise your soft skills on a CV, in a cover letter and during a job interview:

In a resume and cover letter

Demonstrate your soft skills for an IT manager's role on your CV and cover letter by outlining how you have applied them in previous roles. Use bullet points to emphasise your successes with your soft skills in the experience section. Include a section on your resume for skills and check the job description to determine the soft skills the employer is looking for.

It is helpful to include an example of when you employed soft skills in a previous position in your cover letter. For example, you may discuss a period when you successfully negotiated a deal with a third-party vendor to save a certain amount of money.

In a job interview

You can demonstrate your soft skills when you communicate with the employer and respond to their queries during a job interview. Actively listen to the interviewer and ask clarifying questions if necessary. Respond clearly and succinctly to the employer's queries to demonstrate your communication skills. Using the STAR approach, which stands for situation, task, action and result, is beneficial to show instances when you have used your soft skills to solve a problem.

Explore more articles