Tom Cooper has learned through the years that connecting with people is key to building the trust that makes a good working relationship. For years, Tom focused on improving his technical skills but not necessarily his interpersonal skills. When he diverted some energy to connecting better with people, he saw huge improvements in his productivity. This influenced to create the “4 Levels of Thinking as a Geek Leader”, a rubric to help techy-types improve their interpersonal skills and influence over others:
- Individual: What can I do with my own two hands?
- Team member: How can I work better within my team?
- Team leader: How do I develop teams?
- Team builder: How do I develop leaders who create teams who work well as teams?
Tom encourages tech geeks to ask themselves, “Where are you on the four levels? And what can you do to expand your definition of success?” SolutionsIQ’s Setarra DeVeaux hosts at Southern Fried Agile 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.