Friday, August 3, 2018

For IT Professionals - Five Things You Can Do To Be Less Of A Jackass

 
Attention Information Technology Professionals:
 
First things first, you’re probably acting like a jackass without even realizing it.
 
Don’t believe me?  IT is generally considered the least favorite department in an organization. You don’t wind up on that list because you’re NOT acting like a jackass.

So, now that we know you’re actions are, less than favorable…how can you be better? Here are 5 tips:

1. Technobabble.

 
Using a bunch of technobabble will land you on the jackass-list every time. No one cares how smart you are. You talking over someone’s head to prove how smart you are? Jackass! The last time you went to the doctor, did she launch a bunch of medical terminology at you or did she put it in easy-to-understand English? Chances are, she laid it out simply for you. 
 
 
 
 

If you can’t explain something simply? You don’t understand it well enough. So, if you are trying to talk over someone’s head it means you’re either not as smart as you think you are…or you’re a jackass.

2. Be Nice!

I don’t know why this one is so hard for the IT team. But be nice! I get it, users aren’t as smart as you. And they whine when stuff doesn’t work (and they probably broke it in the first place) and you were up way too late rolling out new patches…but does that give you permission to be a jackass? No! Be nice!

3. Put The Laptop Down.

Maybe this is just a pet peeve, but when I’m having a conversation with someone, the last thing I want them doing? Banging away on their laptop. I don’t care if you’re “taking notes” (PS-I call Bull$&!, you aren’t taking notes).

Bring a pen and notepad if you must, but if I’m talking to you? Have the courtesy to look me in the eye.

4. Mr. (or Ms.) Automatic.

Has there ever been a meeting involving something new where an IT person hasn’t automatically said “no?” Ever? IT is like the Department of NO!

User: “Can we do this?”
IT: “NO!”
User: …but you don’t even know what it is!
IT: “NO!”

Instead of the automatic “no,” find ways to say yes. Find ways to help users move their ideas to something that is both feasible (from a tech perspective) and still accomplishes their goals. Automatically saying no? Makes you a jackass.

5. Bloody Respond To Me!

Yes. You’re busy. But guess what? We’re all bloody busy! If I send you an email, I don’t expect an immediate response…but I do expect a response; and not a month later! If I leave a voicemail? Same rules apply! Ignoring a message doesn’t make something go away. I’ll either work around you or escalate to your boss. Does that make me a jackass? No. You left me no choice.

We’ve gotten a bad reputation in IT…and much of it is well-earned. We need to find ways to reduce our contribution time to tactical firefighting and focus more on strategy. We need to pull ourselves out of the weeds and spend more time with our customers (users!) and enabling them to succeed. 

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