Using Psychological Insight to Enhance Technical Skills and Increase Organisational Influence among Australian IT Professionals

Australian IT professionals who desire leadership roles often face a “technical ceiling” within their organizations, but there are strategies they can employ to develop strong people leadership skills, according to Duncan Fish, head coach and founder of Australian executive coaching business The Engaging Executive. Fish explains that many IT professionals excel in technical skills but struggle with the necessary people skills for advancement. By implementing insights from psychology and intentionally practicing these skills in the workplace, IT professionals can become trusted, empathetic, and influential leaders. The “technical ceiling” issue is becoming more prominent, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic, as interpersonal skills are increasingly in demand. The Engaging Executive offers a model that focuses on connecting with teams and stakeholders, understanding people better through empathy, and influencing outcomes by involving others. The effectiveness of this approach is proven, with significant improvements observed in participants’ behaviors, as measured by an independent internal assessment. To breach the technical ceiling, IT professionals should have the motivation to learn, seek guidance from experts, follow a structured learning process, and engage in deliberate practice within their work environment.

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