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The Compassionate Geek Blog Recent Posts

How to Keep the Training Evergreen

By Don Crawley | April 8, 2012

One of the biggest challenges in training is moving the new ideas and concepts from sensory memory into short-term memory and, ultimately, into long-term memory. This process is also known as keeping it “evergreen”.

It’s not easy, but it can be done with effective followup techniques. Here are some ideas you can implement to get the most value from your training dollars and reinforce the ideas I’ve shared with your staff. Even if I haven’t been fortunate enough to work directly with your staff, you can still make use of these tools to help develop yourself and your IT staff.

being authentic in customer service

Always be Authentic

By Don Crawley | March 26, 2012

In my customer service workshops and speeches, I often talk about the importance of being authentic, of being real. Here’s a real-life story about Nick Sarillo, a Chicago-area pizza restauranteur who saved his business with a very humble and equally authentic email to his customers. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120315/BLOGS06/120319853/suburban-chicago-restaurateurs-unusual-plea-to-customers-pays-dividends Even if you’re not particularly interested in business, it’s a short read with a simple message about being authentic in our dealings with our fellow humans. It’s refreshing, especially considering that his bank and his PR team discouraged him from doing what, in his gut, he knew was the right thing to do.

Customer Service: Choosing the Right Tool for the Job

By Don Crawley | February 23, 2012

My wife and I recently had a glass of wine with a woman who is a sys admin for a small company here in Seattle. I asked her what systems she supported and her reply was refreshing. She said, “Whatever my users need to do their jobs. For some, it’s a Mac, for others it’s Windows.” Contrast that with my friend Jim who told me last night how his company’s IT department dictates what tools will be used without understanding the business needs of the individual worker. I realize, of course, that in the enterprise, it can be difficult to support multiple platforms and practical considerations sometimes dictate a single platform for all (or most) users. After all, that’s why both Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines standardize on the Boeing 737. Makes it easier to train cockpit crew and mechanics and you only need to stock parts for a single platform. Still, if our jobs in IT are about helping our users work more creatively, productively, and efficiently, doesn’t it make sense to choose the right tool for the job instead of applying a universal solution to everyone?

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.

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