Teaching technologically challenged leaders

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drepouille
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Teaching technologically challenged leaders

Postby drepouille » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:44 am

I am curious how you folks deal with technologically challenged leaders in your ward and stake. I have found that many such leaders have no interest in the various features available on lds.org, and thus do not encourage members in their units to use those features. That is fine, since the Church managed to run quite well before such features and resources became available. They can run their organizations "old school" if they like. However, there are a few mandatory features that priesthood leaders are required to use.

One of the challenges I have faced as stake clerk is the several features that are only visible and usable by stake presidents and bishops. If the stake presidents and bishops never login to lds.org, LCR, or LUFAS, then their only awareness of tasks awaiting their attention is an e-mail, which is just as easily ignored. At times, I have had to either talk leaders through a process over the phone, or sit next to them at a computer to guide them.

Some examples:
- Confidential Actions in progress (submitted by the bishop to the stake president)
- Recommend temple workers
- Approving audit results in LUFAS

It is frustrating enough trying to get members of my stake to use the directory, calendar, newsletter, and lesson schedules. Although I try to encourage leaders to use them in stake council meetings and bishopric training, that is really all I can do. They must choose for themselves.

Can you folks offer further suggestions?
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

michaelfish
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Re: Teaching technologically challenged leaders

Postby michaelfish » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:45 am

There are many reasons people don't grasp and use new technologies including fear, intimidation, unfamiliar terms, personality or a resistance to change, lack of funds...the list goes on and on.

Here are some of my observations and suggestions:

Fear. For the most part, assure the individual they're not going to break it. Tell them: "You won't break it...you can turn it off and it will reset. I will resolve a problem if you can't get through it. Relax and take your time."

Intimidation and unfamiliar terms: Avoid technical terms and jargon, talk and communicate in their language. When explaining something, put yourself in their place and pretend have no knowledge. It's intimidating to hear an expert’s instructions when you have no idea what the words mean. Talk slow and pause long enough to absorb what was said. Keep instructions simple and straight forward. Volunteer to write out instructions but first demonstrate the process as an overview, then go over it step by step and finally write out instructions based on the individual’s needs. Some people need REALLY simple instructions (Step 1: Turn the power on. The power button is the round button located next to...). Please read what the boxes that pop up say.

Experience, eye-hand coordination, physical limitations: At first, show them only what is necessary to complete the task. They can learn more later. Encourage them to practice and try things when they are alone. Show them how to teach themselves (the right-click mouse buttons allows you to do more things or hover over the item to learn what it is for). Make sure they can read the screen (font size). Show them how to zoom with the mouse or other. Be sensitive to brain-overload…just because they’re asking questions won’t necessarily mean they’ll retain the answers.

russellhltn
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Re: Teaching technologically challenged leaders

Postby russellhltn » Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:49 am

My tip would be to show them, and then have them do it. If you try a teach from the driver's seat, there's a good chance they'll just sit there and nod and you think they're getting it when they're really lost. If they do it, they remember.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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johnshaw
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Re: Teaching technologically challenged leaders

Postby johnshaw » Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:43 am

In my mind, the larger issue is that, sure, I can help them accomplish a task using the online tool rather than MLS, or paperwork. But how does a stake or ward with such neophyte leaders with technology teach others to incorporate it into their lived experiences, and their leadership. How does one like that find value in using the online leadership media library? How do they truly implement the Come Follow Me program or see the benefits from being 'hands on' with tech/social media when it comes to the youth.

These are the <<'I don't need a stinkin mormon message to be a good teacher'>> leaders. I can stand up, and lecture to them just like we've been doing for 100 years and they'll get it the same way as we always did. They DON'T believe, have no faith in, nor do they care to understand that they can impact and influence a great deal more if they were to incorporate technology into their church leadership. (if asked directly this would not be their answer, but their actions speak louder than words)

I can tell you that my previous calling took about 5 years of constant and persistent, graceful course changes/corrections. I'm now starting over in a new stake, that surprisingly for me, is even farther behind than we were 5 years ago in my previous stake. As I look at the work ahead of me, I'm not sure I can do it again, it takes a lot out of a Technology Evangelist, but there are many members of the church being ill-served by not being given the green light by Luddite-ish leaders.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

lajackson
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Re: Teaching technologically challenged leaders

Postby lajackson » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:25 am

My mother knows how to take the last email I wrote to her, delete the content of the message, type in her new message to me, and then hit the reply and send buttons. Every email I receive comes with the subject line of the last email I sent to her. When she gets frustrated, she writes a letter and sticks it in the mailbox. Thank goodness for Forever stamps.

One of our former bishops gave a trusted elder the assignment to be his personal technology representative. This brother checked his Church email for him, printed out the important messages, and delivered them on paper. He sometimes sat next to the bishop and completed confidential online actions, missionary recommendations, ecclesiastical endorsements, and anything else the bishop needed, including responding to his emails. They became fast friends.

We teach them what can be done, we help them do as much as they can do, and we work out the rest based on the experience level of the individual.

In my current calling, I email some, I telephone some, and some I speak to at Church on Sunday to deliver important messages. In 1978, I lived in a branch with nearly 500 members. Neither the branch president, the elders quorum president, nor the Relief Society president had telephones. We did just fine.

russellhltn
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Re: Teaching technologically challenged leaders

Postby russellhltn » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:43 pm

lajackson wrote:Neither the branch president, the elders quorum president, nor the Relief Society president had telephones.

I'm sure that made their lives less stressful. Are you sure they didn't have phones before they were called to that position? [big grin].
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

lajackson
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Re: Teaching technologically challenged leaders

Postby lajackson » Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:21 pm

russellhltn wrote:
lajackson wrote:Neither the branch president, the elders quorum president, nor the Relief Society president had telephones.

I'm sure that made their lives less stressful. Are you sure they didn't have phones before they were called to that position? [big grin].

The Relief Society president actually did have a phone. A backhoe cut through the 600 pair phone cable the day the branch president was sustained.

We just had to plan ahead, that's all. It seems to be a lost art in many places, but there were not Saturday night emergencies for Sunday needs. Everything had to be planned out several weeks in advance.


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