If you’d like to develop a better relationship with your CIO, you might want to check out this list of things your boss doesn’t want to hear.


Mary K. Pratt wrote a good article for Computerworld after she asked a group of 2008 Premier 100 IT Leaders to talk about the kinds of messages they never want to hear from their staffers.

Here’s the list she compiled from the conversations:

Don’t talk only about the technology and not about the business. These CIOs say that technology-for-technology’s-sake won’t get you far. You should couch any technology discussions in terms of what it would mean to the business.
Don’t be too enamored with one solution. Most IT people have a technology preference (just witness some of the fights we’ve had in TechRepublic’s forum over the years about Linux vs. Windows). Be open to all solutions.
Don’t operate from the stance that something is impossible. No CIO wants to hear this word. A task may be insurmountable, but the best way to get that across is to present the challenges in a logical way. Let the CIO come to the conclusion about whether it’s still worth pursuing.
CIOs don’t want to hear you express bad opinions about your colleagues. CIOs want their employees to work out problems on their own.
No surprises. This seems a little contradictory to point number 4 to me. Pratt quotes Ian S. Patterson, CIO at Scottrade Inc., a St. Louis-based online brokerage firm, as saying he “always prefers to hear news — good and bad — directly from his workers.” How would one address the fact that a colleague may be causing delays in a project without expressing a bad opinion? I guess it’s all in the way you say it.