You Know You Can Do It So What Is Stopping You? The Confidence Factor!

by Stuart Crawford - Date: 2006-12-30 - Word Count: 671 Share This!

It is not unusual for clients to ask me a question about information technology that I know I do not have the answer for immediately. My personality is such, however, that I respond by saying that I can find it. This means digging in and supporting an application or setup when I have no idea what to do - that doesn't stop me, I get the information I need and get the work done.

Too many times, I have run into service technicians in the computer service industry that are afraid or lack the confidence to jump into a project where they have no idea on what to do. They are intimidated by the idea that they are unsure of a product or a configuration or setup-and it stops them. They would much rather stay in their comfort zone. When this happens, your service personnel stop growing, stop developing and they get into a complacency mind set.

When your service technicians enter in to the complacency mind set, it is imperative that as the business owner or manager that you challenge them. Take them out of the day-to-day service rat race. Put them into a new project that they can assist on (it is important that they are in an assisting role and not a leadership role). Or just let them play with new hardware and software in the office. Break the cycle of the familiar so that they begin to reactivate their creativity and problem-solving skills. And you just may discover that they are actually much more talented in a different role within the company.

But if your service technicians do not adapt to the new challenges or simply brush them off-the time has come to set them free. Service personnel that do not accept new challenges or want to adapt to new ways of doing things must be let go. They will no longer promote the growth of your company and, indeed, may actually cause its decline by building a reputation of not being able to solve the client's technology challenges or recommending the latest solutions that resolve their pain. When you free up this position in your company and fill it with a new person or a hungry service technician looking at moving up the corporate ladder, your company will be far better off to move into sustained growth. Hungry service personal will increase your revenues and service your clients better. They have the ability to see opportunities at the client's locations that were overlooked or just simply ignored by the guy just punching the clock.

But what do you do with the guy who is talented, and wants to progress however lacks the confidence to take care of new challenges? I have seen it happen where the business development people have a client ready to go for the company and the deal was close to being complete. The only part of the deal left to be done was to have the service personnel supply their input into the sought after application. The technician is one of the company's best-he has all the parts to dive into almost anything- the only thing this person lacks is self confidence and because of this, the ability to realize that he actually has the talent to get the job done. Yet when the service person is asked about the expectations of work, instead of accepting the challenge of something new, he actually says to the client that he is not comfortable with the work being requested. The deal is lost forever and the business development team gets the reputation of promising what can't be delivered by your company.

This person may be the most talented technical person in your company. The sharpest tack in the box and the "go to guy" for everyone - so what do you do about the severe lack of confidence? And how do you address the fact that your service personnel just lost a deal (and possibly others you don't know about) that brings revenue into the company? So what do you do?

Related Tags: leadership, service, confidence, complacency, reputation

Stuart Crawford is a business leader in the Calgary, Alberta small business computer consulting business. He has taken his best practices of success in this market and is sharing this with other IT consultants throughout the world. He can be reached at For small business IT answers turn to

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