Being “plugged-in” has seemingly become a way of life, penetrating every corner of the globe and inching into every minute of the day. Millions of people are impacted daily by this shift in media culture and have become increasingly tech-savvy as a result. The business world has seen a massive leap forward in terms of tech implementation in the workplace, and computer literacy skills have become almost commonplace. But as IT knowledge rapidly takes precedent in the corporate world, employees struggle to engage other skills, including the most important (and non-tech) of all – social communication. At Computer Systems Institute, the notion that being personable is equally as important as knowing how to work with computers has enabled their students to identify and take advantage of workplace opportunities that are commonly overlooked by others. Here, CSI highlights three key points to help humanize your IT engagement:
1) Get to Know Someone New: Every day, try to introduce yourself to someone you have never met. If that makes you uncomfortable, make eye contact with at least one stranger and smile. Smiling at strangers is good practice for meeting new colleagues and clients on the job.
2) Learn the Art of Small Talk: Being able to fill an awkward silence with nonthreatening small talk will boost your social skills. You may only be fixing someone’s computer, or installing new hardware in an office, but if you sense an uncomfortable silence in the room, ask a few general questions.
3) Recognize That Not All Silence is Awkward: Small talk aside, you still need to maintain professionalism. Learning when to recognize when people are busy, or are uncomfortable with no conversation, is just as much of an art as chit-chat.
CSI also covers tips on social professionalism including what could be considered inappropriate social conduct, as well as how to build strong relationships with coworkers and clients.
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