I've previously recommended proper "framing" when working with those around you - either up or down the org chart. Effective communication means framing your discussion in terms that the other person can easily understand. My challenge for myself is to do better with this - I sometimes catch myself using technical terms when discussing technology. That works well when having a conversation with other IT folks, but fails when describing an IT project to faculty and administrators.
"What CEOs Want from CIOs" by Thomas Wailgum contains lots of insight not only about what a CEO might expect from a CIO but just as valid for what CIOs might expect from their Directors, what Directors might expect from their Managers, etc. I think you'll find the ten issues summarized there to be very insightful. They are:
- Everything works all the time.
- They think, talk and behave like they're running a Profit and Loss center.
- I know they'll tell it to me straight, always.
- They're proactive about ways to apply IT.
- They don't whine about reporting relationships.
- Their objectives seem to be in synch with the needs of the business.
- They manage my expectations.
- They've built a strong team that's competent, customer-friendly and seems energized.
- I can depend on them to be honest about necessary investments and timelines.
- They give me confidence about business continuation.