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Gartner: CIOs now judged on emotional intelligence over technical skill

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(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Pressmaster)

As the pandemic rolls on, technical skills are no longer the most important qualities for prospective CIOs . Instead, emotional intelligence and soft skills have taken precedence.

This is according to a new report from analyst house Gartner, which claims that organizations now understand that their CIOs need to be able to make timely decisions, regardless how tough they are, while also showing empathy and support for fellow co-workers.

Polling 93 members of the Gartner CIO Research, the company found that 70 percent of hiring processes of new CIOs rank individual determination and sensitivity as two critical personal characteristics in 2021. CIOs with developed emotional dexterity are more likely to demonstrate self-awareness and build strong relationships with co-workers during times of crisis, says the firm.

“CEOs are looking for executives who are capable of weathering crises,” said Daniel Sanchez-Reina, Senior Research Director at Gartner. “They are still unsettled about the future and want determined CIOs who make and implement timely decisions, while displaying emotional dexterity to be tactful and supportive.”

According to Gartner, above average CIOs are 30 percent more likely to practice gratitude as a self-development approach, putting them in a better position to deal with the fear and doubt that complex change brings.

“Interestingly, all surveyed CIOs spend an average of 30 minutes daily in learning and development, indicating it is not the quantity, but the quality of time spent on focusing on the right behaviours that is important,” said Rob O'Donohue, Senior Research Director at Gartner.