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How to deal with Technophobes ?

By Shellbot ·
i just had a gruelling 4 hour meeting with "government type" people. Basically, our org has a newly implemented web based database application. . it is replacing our old "paper" filing system if you will. some data is sensitive, but most is day to day stuff. the only thing that kept me out of hot water was reciting " if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".
I'm used to "techies", and people who embrace technology.
I guess my question is :
How do you deal with people that just do not want to hear about the technology ? I was smiling as big as i could, while trying to explain the smallest detail (user permissions ect) in laymans terms, all the while wanting to take the keyboard and put it somewhere impolite ? This person went on and on and on about the most ridiculous things. Fair enough if someone does not know..but..how does one deal with it ? After a while I was thinking "oh for smurfs sake, if YOU know nothing about IT, then WHY are you in a dept responsible for checking into IT stuff"
I think i held my own well enough, but i think my blood pressure went through the roof..and no time for lunch yet again..
Anyone with this type of experience ????
Any tips ? Handy hints ?

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Quote from the Matrix

by TheVirtualOne In reply to I hate IT and I'm an insi ...

Neo ... "I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid. You're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here, to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world, without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world, where anything is possible. Where we go from there, is a choice I leave to you."

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um...dealing with techophobes, i.e.- ignorant people

by jck In reply to How to deal with Technoph ...

1) If they're business people, ITgirli is right...talk business sense to them...not about active application level security or user authentication or whatever. They don't want tech details if they're business people...they want business details.

2) if they're an administration *over* an IT department, that means they run it...not that they are knowledgable in the skills of those who function under them. Just talk broad tech details with them. If they ask you for more, then get more detailed.

that's all I can suggest.

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just tell them...

by guggs In reply to How to deal with Technoph ...

...they don't need to understand it...that's your job.

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From A Consultant's Point Of View

by FirstPeter In reply to How to deal with Technoph ...

I would approach it in terms of "here's how this impacts you" (where "you" is whomever they're checking on behalf of). It's all about the benefits, not the features, of what you're doing. Most of my clients could care less what I'm doing from a technical standpoint - they just want to know that their server is less likely to crash and halt their business because of it. On rare occasions they like to hear a little technical stuff about something they read about in PC World, but those conversations are generally short and still end up on the benefits side, a la: "it's a good technology, but it's not right for your business".

Same thing applies in a traditional company environment (unless you have a micromanager for a boss) - you don't need to know every single query and field I'm running in my SQL pull; just know that I'm competent and I will get you the data you need. The latter is the benefit - I get you what you need.

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It sounds to me like you're. . . . . .

by maxwell edison In reply to How to deal with Technoph ...

It sounds to me like you're being a Technophobephobe.

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Don't talk tech

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to How to deal with Technoph ...

ever, you'll put them off.
Answer their questions, not ones you would have asked in their position based on your skillset and knowledge.
As a developer I'd be interested in permissions, the guy who signs the cheques to buy what I recomend though is only interested in that I'm recomending it. Their decision is based on that, not the super duper permissions system.

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Good tips..

by Shellbot In reply to How to deal with Technoph ...

Thanks for all the tips guys !

Well, in this instance, I had the non-tech person grilling me about things such as permissions and who can see what, and what a password is, and who can get them , and why can we not see every detail, and why does this box do that, and why should we have to click this button,etc,etc,etc. And then they were taking that information to thier boss. So it was a case of, they were asking, i had to tell them. I tried to be un-technical, yet professional at the same time..
I tried guys, i really did *sob* but they just kept coming at me..and yes..i now believe i am becoming a
*technophobephobe* !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On a new note, just got delivery of a brand new pc. spent all my day playing and configuring..now to install "the software". should take me another..oh..week ? 18 disks for Visual Studio..whats the deal with that..i'm sure 3 would have done :)

i feel like a small child..i want to run around and cry out " I've got a new com-pu-ter ! nah nah nah nah nah"

life is good.. oh..i threw out my VCR..have DVD player..haven't a clue how to use it. it keeps turing on everything i turn my TV on..dunno..

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