What’s currently holding you back in the workplace? Is it fear of failure? Fear of the lack of knowledge you imagine you have? Or is it a lack of technical ability you aren’t sure you can make up for?
Believe it or not, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your technical skills in the workplace. We’ve talked about a few of these things before – like reading technical books, taking online tutorial classes, and even befriending the IT guys. But what else can you do?
College classes aren’t just for those aiming to earn a degree. Are you having problem learning the ins and outs of a particular program. Check the schedule at your local college and find out if there is a class available. Some colleges offer classes for their degree students while others offer workshops and tutorial programs for people with specific interests.
Let’s assume you need a software program that will perform xyz function. Chances are there are about a dozen or more programs on the market that claim to do just that. The problem is that some are easier to use than others. Don’t feel bad about using more than one program to get the job done. Eventually you’ll find the one that works best for you, automatically eliminating some of your technical disability.
This sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it? The truth, though, is that the best way to gain technical experience is by doing things that require technical skill. I’m not asking you to build the next great money-making website. Start small by creating something your team can use to stay in touch. As you learn about web design and programming you’ll slowly but surely lose your fear of technology.
Practice makes perfect. The better you are with technology the more valuable you’ll be to your organisation.
Do you go to work fearing something will go wrong – not because you don’t know how to do your job but because you still have trouble using the programs and systems put in place to make your life easier? If this is the case, it’s time to work on enhancing your technical skills. Doing so will not only help to secure your future but will allow you to go to work with a sense of calm instead of fear.
For those of us who aren’t techies, reading a technologically oriented book may seem like a nightmare. In truth, picking up a couple of simple books and familiarizing yourself with a few technological concepts really can’t hurt. For example, if you’re not good with Microsoft Excel you might pick up a book about the program itself. You may learn how to simply a function that you were having trouble with and, at worst, you might learn the correct verbage to use when asking your IT department for help.
There is no excuse for not knowing the names of the guys who work in your organisation’s IT department. You should not only know who they are, but you should have a good working relationship with them as well. Make friends with these people, and you’ll not only learn a little bit about your computer but they’ll be more likely to help you out when you have problems or training issues – even if they’re having a bad or busy day.
I know they’re time consuming, but online tutorials were designed for a reason – to make your life easier. It may seem like a waste of time to spend 30 minutes listening to an online training program, but imagine how much faster you could have solved that last tech problem had you only taken the time to watch the online training video that a) probably answered your question and b) probably ran shorter than it took you to find your own solution.
Enhancing your technical skills will give you the tools you need to effectively communicate as well. Make sure technical skill training sessions are included in your management courses and you’ll be surprised at how much more effective your and your fellow managers can really be.
As a manager, one of the most dreaded tasks you’re going to have to complete is an employee performance appraisal. They happen at least annually, and are more often if you have a new employee or if you have had to place one on probation. No one, manager or employee, enjoys the appraisal process.
We’ve spoken quite a bit lately about management skills. One such set of skills focused on technical ability, otherwise known as your ability to understand and accomplish tasks based on your ability to use the various systems established within your workplace. Learn More