The Subtle Art of Not-Convincing People

Next to my regular job as either developer/architect I enjoy teaching classes about SharePoint. Ultimately, when I do that, my goal is to inspire people. If I can’t attain that goal, at least I want to explain the concepts included in the course as clear as possible and add some additional related topics in the mix so students can place a topic in better perspective and hopefully provide some depth most other teachers wouldn’t bring to the table. So, that way, when I wasn’t the one who actually wrote the material of a course (which is often the case), at least I personalize the course to my liking to give it a unique flavor.

I always offer my students a chance to start earlier or continue after the official end of the day, I don’t mind working longer if I find a student is eager to learn more about SharePoint. In addition, I also offer students to stay later if they want to learn about additional SharePoint topics not included in the course. Surprisingly, at least to me, it is rare that someone accepts this offer, maybe only 1 person out of a 100.

The opposite is also true. I find that an extensive and high quality lunch and stopping exactly on time (or better: finish a little bit earlier) are key factors for a succesful course. It’s not that I’m a bad teacher, which would explain why people are intent to leave as soon as possible, because I get excellent reviews. So, I’ve come to understand and accept that not everybody is as enthousiastic as I am about SharePoint (nor should everybody be).

However… There is one fact that I would like to change. Whenever I teach an end user SharePoint class and whenever I reach the part about blogs and wiki’s, I’d really like my students to share some of my enthousiasm about these topics, I’d really like my students to see the value in those concepts, and I’d really like my students to understand the value of blogs and wiki’s in an enterprise environment. Up until now, I get a “I feel your passion about this topic, but I don’t think it’s something for me or my company”.

This blog post is read by an audience which shares my enthousiasm about blogs and wiki’s, and I would be most interested to hear what you would say to convince end users to get enthousiastic about blogs and wiki’s in an enterprise environment?

Comments (6)
  1. Durval Ramos says:

    Well Margriet, I want you to know that your enthusiasm influences people, maybe not in response time that you expect, but generates the need to stimulate people (their students and the group of people they live together) to try at least once, to do you are presenting as a solution or guidance of their knowledge. Maybe you can see the result of their enthusiasm only after a few years when refind some of these people. Maybe the student that you least expect a good performance, can be what more will surprise you in a close contact.

    The only certainty I can say, is that so strange sometimes, we influence people. You influenced me before (I’ve talked about it with Ed a few weeks ago) and this influenced me one more time now. Congratulations Margriet.

    We are proud to live in the TechNet Wiki as you!

  2. Thanks Durval for your kind words!! Happy to be a part of the TechNet Wiki community!

  3. Margriet, do you use links to your SharePoint articles on TechNet Wiki as part of your class or “homework”? Thanks!

  4. Hi Ed, of course. I always show my students TechNet Wiki and some of my SharePoint articles 😉

  5. David Wilkinson says:

    Hi Margriet,
    Love your work. I have been doing SharePoint for 15 years.
    I think blogs and wiki’s are a great idea for creating and sharing content. I share your passion about them, however there are some non-technical corporate environments where I get significant pushback on these types of SharePoint sites. Most of the management
    staff is over 40 and is not technical. Most of these do not have a blogging culture and usually 1 or 2 wiki’s in the IT department. I have been able to show the value of Wiki’s and have had some success at user adoption. What I do is create a demo wiki and
    load it with corporate content as a way of showing how wiki’s can be used for policies and procedures, corporate technical manuals, etc, This usually does the trick for wiki’s. But there seems to be a fear that blogging is not "productive" and this is a hard
    one to crack so far.

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