If you have a technical career of any form, be it Information Technology, Engineering, R+D…doing, teaching, managing or supporting…here are 5 tools you should be using as much as possible!

Phone:
So what is THE most efficient form of point-to-point communication today? The phone, of course!
In an age where you can email, text, LinkedIn, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and more, how could the best option be the phone!?
Our nuanced ability to read and respond to what a person on the phone is saying and how they are saying it, is a miracle of human communication. More information can be exchanged in a 5-10 minute conversation than a long email chain that can take hours or days to complete.

E-media, for all but the most gifted writers, often takes more time and leads to more misunderstandings than actual human dialogue via the phone.

Got a delicate message to deliver? You can spend an hour or more crafting an email or you can pick up the phone and talk it through.

Here’s a suggested subject line for your next email: …’Please give me a call when you have a moment!’

Planner:
So what are you doing today? How are you going to do it?
Not crystal clear about how to answer that? Well, you need a planner!

The truth lies in the paradox of freedom. Want to be at your best as much as possible? Well, you need to be as free as possible to be fully present in each moment. How? Make a conscious decision about what you are supposed to be doing at that moment and write it down. In other words, plan!

It is hard to be free and clear thinking in the present moment when you have a long list of ‘to-do’ items swimming in your head.

Even worse, you may run out of ideas about what you should be doing.

Instead, plan the day with a full slate of action items, then get them out of your head and into a planner, where they belong!

Ingenuity:
Where does progress come from? Mostly from people who have taken the time to think differently about something the rest of us take for granted. The major improvements in society: Flight, TV, Telecommunications, the Computer are obvious examples. Disruptive advances like these come every ten years or so. However, minor improvements can happen with much greater frequency…almost daily, weekly or monthly…if we want it!

How?

Question assumptions…every day. Tweak them. See if it doesn’t change your outcomes. Accept minor setbacks as the cost of progress. Keep at it. Things get better when we do something better….sometimes by inspiration, often through trial and error.

Network:
The circle of technology is: People – Technology – People.

Ideas or initiatives start with a need (perceived or real). The need is then filled with a solution (for the purposes of this discussion, a technology solution). That technology is then utilized to improve lives (hopefully).
If this is true and technology begins and ends with people…perhaps our activities should too! How? By talking with people! Put yourself out there; make friends and acquaintances, give something back. Ask questions. Ask for introductions. Network. Even if this is difficult at first, keep at it…it will get easier. Do your best to make it fun!

Happy Hour:
…speaking of fun!

Don’t get me wrong…not promoting the consumption of adult beverages…rather the opportunity to network, meet-greet, develop friendships and acquaintances outside of the confines of the office….

Far from a waste of time, it offers opportunity to build relationships that will assist you in your current role and may be a life-line in an unexpected transition or a proactive stepping stone to your next opportunity!

Are you surprised the list isn’t more technical? Well you shouldn’t. If you go far enough upstream, every new technology or technology driven initiative has at its’ headwaters a desire to make people’s lives more efficient and convenient, at work or at home. In the end it is all about people!

Technology begins and ends with people… the ‘technical stuff of technology’ is simply the delivery mechanism in the journey…