Whether you like it or not “embrace technology” has become a common mantra in the business world. For the purposes of this book (Who Took My Pen … Again?), we state unequivocally, forget about embracing technology; you’ve got to dance the technology tango!
Anyone who has watched the hit television show, Dancing with the Stars, knows two things about a successful tango: you must exhibit great passion and stay in step with your partner. Technology is that smoldering, mysterious, dark-eyed partner who draws you close to his chest in a passionate embrace, and the next moment, flings you across the floor. The technology tango is simultaneously maddening and thrilling, enjoyable and frustrating, eye-opening and hair-pulling.
Technology was brought up by half of our teams at the 18th Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence. They felt it was important that an assistant know technology in order to add value every day. They understand you need to be able to tango with this seemingly untamable partner. Technology is not going anywhere; in fact, it is becoming more and more a part of our lives at work and at home. As I write this blog I personally have four (4) devices I use on a daily basis. Four different ways I stay connected, enhance my viewing experience when watching a favorite show, get the best deals on things I want to do in my city, stay on top of what’s next in this great world of technology. It can be overwhelming, too.
Instead of looking at particular devices or sites, let’s focus on what we can control in technology:
- Harvest reputable online blog sites and tech support sites for information and user tips and tools. They are often better than the manufacturer’s. Bookmark them for easy reference.
- Join a networking technology forum, or better, yet, form one.
- Pool your knowledge with other administrators.
- Don’t resign yourself to technology; celebrate it! And move with the ocean’s current. Accept that you will be in learning mode from now on. The wave will crest and dip, but it will be a wave of learning over and over.
- Create a running log of troubleshooting issues and resolutions, as well as new user questions. Publish it on a collaborative website in your department.
- Offer users solutions; don’t just present the problem.
- Understand that some users will want a printed booklet to learn from rather than taking an experiential approach. Let users learn the way they are comfortable in order to help them adapt smoothly.
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What are you doing to brand your digital self?
Jasmine Freeman, Contributing Author, Who Took My Pen … Again? Secrets from Dynamic Executive Assistants