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Overcoming technophobia

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There is no escaping the fact that technology is an integral part of performing work. Whether it’s a cash register, a telephone, a computer, price scanner, palm pilot or a GPS (Global Positioning System) that tells you how to get from one destination to another, avoiding computers is impossible.

As more companies use computers to help expedite business, some employees are anxious and stressed because they are not familiar with the devices and the fear of appearing ignorant can sometimes be too much to bear.{{more}}

Regardless of your age or experience you must become familiar with technology if you have been avoiding it.

Create a safe space in which to learn:

Ask a co-worker or friend who is familiar with the computer to teach you how to use the machine. You may also want to consider formal computer classes.

Read the manuals:

If you are truly motivated, read through the computer manual to get familiar with some of the terminology. The manuals tend to be large and can appear intimidating, but remember your goal and you do not have to read every page.

Experiment on your own:

Once you become familiar with a few tasks, take the initiative to master your new skills by spending time practicing and exploring on your own. This will help you become more confident.

Ask for help:

Remember that computers are not perfect; things will go wrong and most times it can be fixed with a few keystrokes.

Practice:

The only way to gain confidence in your computer skills is to practice and to do so as often as you can. Consider investing in a computer of your own especially if there are children in your household.

Get to know the programmes:

There is a computer programme for almost everything, finances, architecture, decorating, so don’t limit yourself to word processing.

Use a voice programme:

For individuals who are slow typists or have problems with their joints, there is a program that will transcribe your voice into words on the computer so there are no excuses.

Computers are here to stay and they are becoming more sophisticated daily. Take the first step to overcoming your fear and take advantage of what computers offer.

• Karen Hinds works with companies and professionals to develop their competitive edge through effective communications, image management and customer service. Send comments and suggestions to Karen@KarenSpeaks.com

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