« Thanksgiving 2.0 | Main | Getting Control Of Your Email - Break The Addiction »

Are We Too Smart For Our Own Good? Mon 26 Nov 07

Thinking_i_think_stenbough_2 There are a lot of smart people in IT.  In fact the stereotype of IT folks are the smart guys and gals that are good a computers, math and science but are horrible at social skills.  There is some truth, I believe, in this stereotype although the stereotype is greatly over exaggerated.  It isn't that IT people don't have social skill it is just that they often choose not to use them since after all the power of their logic and the strength of their reasoning and knowledge is more than sufficient isn't it?

A recent post by Penelope Trunk at the Brazen Careerist blog entitled "Stop thinking you'll get by on your high I.Q." would suggest otherwise.  She laments that we seem to value high IQ over social skills as if high IQ was all that mattered.  In reality it is a balance between the two.  But because we in IT are so comfortable with the technical side we tend to forget the people side.  We have to remember that success is just as dependent on the social aspects at it is the technical on ones - the old people, process and technology cliche.

As Trunk points out based on an article from the College Journal, recruiters of B-school graduates look for 5 traits:

  1. Communication and interpersonal skills

  2. Original and visionary thinking

  3. Leadership potential

  4. Ability to work well within a team

  5. Analytical and problem-solving skills

Interestingly enough these traits or competencies are very similar to ones that I wrote about in regard to a Russell Reynolds (a large international executive recruiter) analysis of the competencies required for a CIO.

So why are these so important?

I believe it is because the higher we progress in management ranks the more important these social skills become.  This is because being a CIO is less  about technology and more about sales, building teams and working with other groups.  All of these are highly dependent on good social skills. 

This aspect is a key factor to remember when hiring new employees.  Although they may have excellent technical skill and be very smart which are important in the near term, do they have the social skill needed to become a long term employee?

What do you think is more important - intelligence or social skills?

<Thinking, I Think> photo by stenbough

If this topic was of interest, you might also like these:

            Tell A Friend Tell a Friend    View blog reactions   Bookmark    rss RSS Feed

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c5de753ef00e54f8d50428833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Are We Too Smart For Our Own Good?:

Comments

michael_schaffner


tell_a_friend Tell a Friend About Mike's Blog







Creative Commons License 
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 License.

My photos on
www.flickr.com
Mike Schaffner's items Go to Mike Schaffner's photostream

Free Subscriptions
  Free RSS Subscription

Free RSS Subscription


For An Email Of New Articles
Enter your email address:


Read On Your Mobile Device

mofuse


Join the Conversation
Subscribe to Comments
  Free RSS Subscription

For New Comments Email
Enter your email address:






This is the personal blog of Michael W. Schaffner. The opinions expressed in this blog are soley mine and those of commenters. You should not infer that these opinions are the opinion of or have been endorsed by any current or former employer.

Please review the Privacy Policy.   I do love comments and trackbacks but I do reserve the right to remove any that don't comply with the Comments and Trackback Policy.  Rather than clutter up the front page with badges and statistics that are of little interest to anyone other than me I thought it would be best to establish a separate page for statistics and rankings.


Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Michael W. Schaffner       You may copy or quote sections of this blog if you provide an attribution consisting of a reference to the Michael Schaffner and ''Beyond Blinking Lights and Acronyms" along with a hyperlink (if a web reference) to the blog posting.     

Creative Commons License 
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 License.