Recent Blog Posts
When we’re talking with an end-user or a customer, we want to ensure our conversations are effective, that they make good use of our time and that of our customer or end-user. One way to ensure that conversations are effective is to ensure they are cooperative, a process of give-and-take. Paul Grice was a professor at the University of California at Berkeley and a philosopher of language who identified four maxims of conversation that describe the elements of successful conversation.
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that living a life filled with positive emotions can have a positive physiological effect on our bodies. Like most people, I enjoy hearing stories that reinforce my pre-conceived notions about how the world is. I also recognize that anecdotes are great stories, but they’re lousy science and can often lead to poor decision-making.
Today’s IT professional must master two skill families in order to be successful. The first is technical skills and knowledge. That part of IT education is obvious. Without a solid technical understanding, you simply can’t do the job. The second is gaining skills for customer service in IT: An ability to understand, get along with, and influence people. Even though our jobs are indeed technical in nature, the human component is always present and it’s often the most challenging part of our jobs. We may have the technical knowledge to help an end-user, but if they’re angry, frustrated, or otherwise upset, it’s our people skills that allow us first to manage the situation successfully. Then we use our technical skills to solve the technical problem.
For more than 40 years, Don Crawley has worked with technology, from broadcasting to automation systems to data networks. A former IT trainer and consultant, he is the author of eight books for IT professionals including The Compassionate Geek. He’s especially good at helping IT teams work together so they can get things done.