“Please pose all questions in the form of a compliment”

please pose all questions in the form of a compliment

I have just had the amusing experience of reading an article in the Nonprofit Quarterly, entitled “Thanking Your Nonprofit Techie:  A Holiday Wishlist,” and finding that none of the gift suggestions listed there appealed to me very much.

If I were in the market to brighten the life of a nonprofit organization’s nptech professional, I definitely would not toss a E-Waste CD Clock from Hipcycle into the shopping cart.  No.  The really satisfying gift might be an intangible.  For example, a realistic line item for information and communication technology in the organization’s annual budget, or a substantial shift in organizational culture toward including ICT staff in the crucial conversations where strategic decisions are made.  No elaborate announcement or ritual would be needed; just do it.

But if I were in the market for an object that I could wrap up and present to a loyal, resourceful, hard-working, knowledgeable, dedicated nonprofit techie, it would be the desk plaque that says, “Please pose all questions in the form of a compliment.”  Or if you’d rather not spend $10.00 on a purchase, just promulgate it as an official staff policy.

Regardless of whether you mark the holidays with a gift to the nptech professionals in your organization’s life, and regardless what you might choose to give, I wish one and all a very happy holiday, and a joyous new year!

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2 thoughts on ““Please pose all questions in the form of a compliment”

  1. thinkdata 12/21/2012 at 12:46 am Reply

    This is such a great idea, care to give some examples? 🙂

  2. Deborah Elizabeth Finn 12/21/2012 at 7:48 pm Reply

    I’m working on it, Doug! Here are a couple:

    “Since you are such an effective manager, wouldn’t it be best if we asked you to tell us what you think would be an ample technology budget for the coming year, so that we could then raise the money for it?”

    “Since you have so much insight into how our tech infrastructure supports our operations and mission, would you be willing to help us formulate our overall strategic plan for next year?”

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