Why does an architect need this skill?
The role of the architect demands a high level of interaction with a wide range of people. People differ in the manner in which they respond to their environment and circumstances, and the architect needs to understand this fact in order to maintain his relationships and get his work done.
In the current age, no single person can have all the abilities (to the desired level of perfection) to deliver a project single-handedly. The architect has the option of resorting to the internet for all her/his needs, but this can be more difficult than it looks due to too much information, lack of structure, redundance, and possibly inaccurate data.
The best source of information is the architect’s peers. Peers can be from:
- The project team
- Equivalent members of other teams performing the same role
- Experts within the organization
- Fora and WorkGroups
Productive peer interactions result involve social interactions, problem solving sessions (formal or informal), reviews, feedback, and mentoring. The overall approach is to solve problems, and arrive at suitable solutions.
However, peer interactions can be negative as well, when:
- Peers take positions
- Incompatible communication styles
- Emotional Intelligence is not applied
- Organizational politics is dominant in the workplace
. Given that the architect’s relationships and interactions with his peers directly affects the project, it is only natural that (s)he should hone her/his interaction skills.
For example, an architect might receive direct and blunt feedback from the development team about the number of issues faced during implementation of certain architectural design. The architect would then have to apply emotional intelligence, understand that the problem is not about the person, but more technical and impersonal in nature, and continue a problem-solving session with the peers.
Positive peer relationships must be developed at the workplace and encouraged by the organization. This is important because positive peer relationships :
- provide a built-in support network. Challenges are best met with support from peers.
- provide a sense of loyalty to the peers, and increase job satisfaction.
- provide motivation.
When the peer relationships are healthy, the quality of the interactions becomes good and productivity will go to a high. It is part of the organization’s responsibility to ensure healthy and positive relationships between the architects and their peers.