You Suck At Email – And Other Communication Challenges for the IT Professional

Speaker: Jim Rispin

Level: Foundational, Lecture

Excerpt: “Dammit Jim! I’m an IT professional, not a communication expert!” – Well, who says you can’t be both?

Description: Let’s face it, you’ve invested years cultivating a knack for IT excellence. You can spin up a secure wireless network with a soda can, a chopstick, and the wire from your old retainer. You can deploy 300 iPads to a pack of unruly middle-schoolers using nothing but a first generation iPod Touch. And legend has it you once configured a Munki server in less than 12 parsecs. Unfortunately, this hasn’t left a lot of time for cultivating other skills. Namely, the fine art of communicating well with other bipeds.

In this session we’ll take a hard look at what it means to communicate well as an IT professional. We’ll explore strategies for managing your flow of communication. We’ll poke fun at samples of poor communication (just to help us feel better about ourselves). Then, we’ll dive deep into improving your communication skills in everything from email to public speaking. By the time we’re done you’ll have the tools to effectively transform yourself into the love child of Linus Torvalds and Oprah Winfrey.

About the speaker

Jim Rispin – Fuller Theological Seminary (Twitter: jimrispin)

I was steeped in technology from the womb, but I’ve been at IT professional since the early 90s. I’ve been an Apple Sales Rep, a webmaster, a network admin, a tech support grunt, a tech savvy radio disc jockey, and even the lead singer of an all a cappella Twisted Sister cover band made up of tone deaf Canadian system administrators (we were almost on Star Search). My current role as Assistant Director of ITS and Senior Sys Admin at Fuller Theological Seminary affords me a unique balance of fighting from the IT trenches while still exploring out of the box management philosophies to help improve the spirit, camaraderie and effectiveness of my team.

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