Professionalism – CompTIA A+ 220-902 – 5.4

| February 21, 2016

While we work on troubleshooting our computers, we also have to maintain an appropriate level of professionalism. In this video, you’ll learn some important tips to keep your workplace professional.

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You've been assigned a support ticket that very urgently requests a laptop repair, but there are already many open support tickets ahead of this request. You also don't recognize the name associated with the ticket. Which of these choices would be the best path to take?
Place the ticket into the queue as first-come, first-served
Contact the end-user and determine the urgency of the repair
Triage the queue and prioritize the tickets in order of repair complexity. The easiest problems should be addressed first.
Prioritize the support tickets by device type. Desktops have priority, followed by laptops and then mobile devices.

Correct!

Wrong!

A client stops by your office with a broken laptop, and he’s clearly upset over the problems that he’s having. The volume of his voice is becoming increasingly loud, his hands are in constant motion, and he’s speaking very quickly. What would be a good next step?
Increase the volume and pitch of your voice to match the client
Clarify from the beginning that the problems are not your fault
Listen quietly while taking notes and ask more detailed questions
Quickly contradict any technical errors made by the client

Correct!

Wrong!

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One way to maintain professionalism is to always have a good attitude about what you’re doing. This comes across in the tone of voice that you use when you’re communicating with people. You want to partner with a customer to be able to solve a particular problem or you want to be able to project an air of confidence about the things that you are doing. As technical professionals, we know there’s some problems that can’t be fixed. There’s no going back. In those cases you want to be able to do the best that you can and make sure you provide helpful options for the people that need to resolve this issue.

Remember that the attitude that you have has a direct impact on how people feel about a particular situation. Very often it’s not that a problem has occurred but how you handle the problem the makes all the difference. In today’s workplace, we want to be sure to maintain the correct level of cultural sensitivity. For example we want to use the appropriate professional titles when communicating with other people.

You want to remember that you’re the person who’s teaching someone else about the problem that’s occurring and how you’re going to solve these particular issues. You’re not there to insult anyone or make fun of what somebody may think about a particular problem. Your job is to make people smarter about what they’re doing so that they can make better decisions about the technology that they’re using.

You also don’t want to be too judgmental because you also are going to be making some very big mistakes. Everyone does. And it’s important that you remember that and you remember how to resolve these problems when they occur. When you’re working with someone on a problem, there should be no interruptions between you and the other person. Don’t let any phone calls come in. Don’t check your phone for any Twitter updates. Don’t talk to other people who might be around you. Instead focus on the problem at hand and the person that you’re working with.

If there are any delays for you arriving or there are any distractions, make sure you apologize to the other person to let them know that you’re really focused on solving their issue. I like to create an environment where people want to be able to talk. I like to keep candy on my desk so people will stop by, tell me about the situation they’re running into. Or if they’re there to discuss something they feel comfortable sitting there and having a little bite to eat. If you’re talking on the phone, make sure there’s no noises in the background that might disrupt the conversation. You want everybody to be focused on solving the problem at hand.

Whenever a big technical problem occurs, everybody’s stress level goes up. So you want to be sure to keep everything professional. Don’t be argumentative. Don’t be defensive. Collect as much information as possible. Don’t ever dismiss or contradict what someone may be saying at the time. If you’re able to listen and ask a lot of questions it can often defuse a very tense situation. This helps to build relationships and ultimately help solve the problem faster.

When big problems like this occur, it’s common for everybody to check in at certain intervals. That way everybody knows that everyone else is on the same page and you know what the next steps are going to be and what the frames might be to complete them. One thing you should never do is take these difficult situations to social media. You may think it would feel better to vent out to Facebook, or to Twitter, but in reality that’s one of the worst things that you can do.

When someone has a technical problem, it could be very traumatic to them. There might be a tight deadline. There might be money on the line. Or there might be some other type of issue that can cost somebody their job. Even the smallest little problems can seem enormous when those situations occur. And it’s up to you to resolve these problems as professionally as possible.

It turns out you’re not only someone who can solve a technical problem, but you’re also someone who can listen to someone’s issues and be able to resolve them at a personal level as well. As IT professionals, we work in a lot of different environments. We’re working with people’s desktops and on their printers and it’s very common to come across sensitive information, not only at a professional level, but also at a personal level.

In fact, it’s remarkable how much sensitive data we have access to as part of our normal job responsibilities. So it’s up to us to maintain a level of professionalism and be able to keep that sensitive information safe. Ultimately we want to treat people in the same way that we would want to be treated. And that is going to create a level of professionalism in the workplace and at a personal level.

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Category: CompTIA A+ 220-902

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