"No one can whistle a symphony alone. It takes a whole orchestra to play it."
This is the third post of a three-part series about ways to strengthen communication between technology staff team members within your school district. Be sure to check out our first and second posts for more great ideas for facilitating communication between teachers and techs.
Effectively communicating with co-workers can sometimes be a challenge. Despite our best efforts, sometimes we say one thing, but others hear something different based on our tone, facial expression, or body language. When you are a technician, face-to-face communication may not always be possible, so it is even more important that you say what you mean, clearly and concisely so there are not any misunderstandings. Reminding ourselves of these things will help keep everyone on the same page and facilitate successful communication among team members.
What can techs do to help each other?
- Respect other techs. Each tech person brings their own set of unique skills to the table. Showing respect to team members will help reduce negativity and increase productivity in the workplace. If you come across a situation where you might have completed a task differently, use it as an opportunity to learn from that person as opposed to dismissing them as "wrong."
- Draw from one another’s strengths and learn one another’s weaknesses. Not good at troubleshooting printer errors? Pass that one along to a colleague who excels in that area. If you want to learn more about a particular topic, use your coworkers' knowledge to improve. It may take a little humility, but you might be surprised by how helpful members of your team can be. "Your strengths cancel out your partner's weaknesses, and vice versa. You accomplish together what could not be done separately."*
- Have a regular plan. When there is more than one of you in your department, decide ahead of time who will tackle what. That way you aren't doubling up on issues, which saves time and increases productivity.
- Keep your coworkers in the loop. Be sure to document what you've tried and/or successfully completed. This is especially important when it comes to bigger issues that take a while to resolve. If questions come up in your absence, work doesn't have to stop; your coworkers will have detailed notes of where you are in the resolution process.
Most importantly, we all need to assume the best in people and try to approach each situation, especially difficult ones, with optimism. Remember, even the best plans sometimes fail. We all must take responsibility for our words and actions because mistakes happen. The best thing you can do is turn your mistakes into opportunities to learn, grow, and improve.
*Wagner, Rodd, and Gale Muller. "Why Partners Need Complementary Strengths." Gallup.com. N.p., 13 Aug. 2009. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.
5 FREE Tools for Managing Your Network
Download our list!