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With so many different technologies being used in business, it can sometimes be too much for the people out there who aren’t as tech-savvy as others. In fact, some of the people you will work alongside will not be able to grasp some of the simplest technology concepts. Unfortunately, these people don’t know a fraction of what they need to know about the technology they use, and it could put your organization at a disadvantage. This month, we thought we’d give you a few pointers on how to talk to your coworkers who aren’t as knowledgeable as you are in technology or any other field.
The first thing you should know is that you can’t assume the person has any knowledge about the subject at hand at all. You should conduct a short survey to see exactly what his/her knowledge base is. You’d be surprised to find out how many people don’t know anything about your area of expertise. If you go ahead and get into a concept before you know that the party you are speaking to lacks the fundamental knowledge, you could just be speaking gibberish to them.
It stands to reason that if someone doesn't know much about a subject, discussing the comprehensive workings of that subject will lead to confusion and frustration. That’s why it is important to spread the information out over multiple sessions rather than try to cram it into one. What you lose in efficiency you will gain in understanding.
Chances are that the person that is receiving this information doesn't need to know the entire history and inner workings of your area of expertise. They only need to know enough to get by—in our case, to properly use the technology in front of them. By breaking it down into situations they can relate with, and using perspective as a tool, the information will be passed on more completely. Also, don’t just spew data at people to try to get them to relate. People without the knowledge and experience to understand it are just going to get confused.
When someone with technical knowledge starts explaining a concept to someone that doesn’t, often the recipient will feel like they are being spoken down to. It may just be an ego defense, but one way to help smooth this over is by letting them know that while you may have knowledge about this particular topic, they know things that you don’t know. Everyone has their own area of expertise, and no one should feel attacked for not knowing something.
There are a lot more non-technical people in the world than there are technical people, so if you'd like some tips on how to talk to people about technology without getting them agitated, call the IT professionals at Preferred. Our technicians are used to speaking about technology and can help you form a strategy to help you get your non-technical employees and prospects to understand technology better. Call us today at 708-781-7110.