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 Award-winning business author and broadcaster

Leadership trainer and coach

Keynote speaker

  • Writer's pictureAudrey Tang

Sometimes a good worker NEEDS to blame (and upgrade) their tools!

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

From March 2020 onwards all my training went online...and the first thing I did - buy a decent computer which I knew could stream! Why? I'm not a gamer, I don't need HD pictures of open worlds...but if my students' learning was to be frustrated any further, it would not be by me - I needed good picture, good sound, and my husband kindly connected me directly to the LAN cable.

Sometimes, we actually DO need the tools to do the job.

In my first book "Be a Great Manager Now" I talked about needing the will, skills and "fitting the bill" of a job to thrive within it...and under skills, I not only looked at one's personal abilities, but the elements they had been afforded by the organisation to work with. How can you, for example, expect a whole company to go online if the wifi is not going to cope with that? How can you ask people to work from home if they don't have access to essential files on the office system? How can you expect people to do certain jobs without correct PPE!?

The same can be applied to wellbeing.

You may want to start running, but go for that first run in "fashion trainers", and forget the difficulty of the cardio, you may have already done damage to your legs and feet!

Of course I'm not saying you need to spend loads to have the best of the best, but I have noticed that buy buying myself a running jacket and gloves I'm much more likely to go outside, and swimmers ear plugs, a swimming hat and leave in conditioner are an essential part of my bleached blonde hair swimming regularly!

But how do you know what to invest in? Try these tips:

1.Buy decent, but not top of the range

As long as your equipment gives you the support you need, then it may be worth starting lower to try something out, then upgrading if you enjoy whatever it is you are doing. (I still have my top of the range skates my dad bought back in 1990 when I had progressed to competing...and they still serve me well today!) There is one potential caveat for this, and that is high ticket items that you want to replace anyway. With something like a laptop, unless you are definitely sure you won't need anything more than word processing, you might save yourself paying double by getting one that can cope with things like video calls...just in case you need it.

2. Think about your usage long term

What might you need in a year's time, especially on the high ticket purchases? When I bought my computer I didn't plan for "until the pandemic ends", I realised early on that moving to a hybrid blend was likely, so over the year I accumulated the microphone, the lighting and redid my office to boot.

3. Seek advice from people at your level

We will often recommend to others what we are using ourselves...this makes sense, and is helpful because clearly someone has had a positive experience with it. But if we are all at different stages albeit on similar paths, not everyone will say "I use x now, but I started with y...and if you only need z, then try..." Speaking to those who are working at a similar or just slightly higher level than you (especially if you hope to progress) may be the most helpful.

4. If you have spent, don't waste...

If you can return something, do so, if you can't then consider - if appropriate - donating it to a group who can make the best use of it, or of course, resell it yourself. I personally have benefitted from a "nearly new/factory reset" Swim2 watch which was under half the RRP, which again allows me to follow tip1 until I decide where my swimming is actually going to take me (if anywhere!)

5. Remember that not having the tools can sometimes impede our ability to learn

I am working with a lovely gentleman who until last week thought he was simply too old to learn...the truth is, his laptop was. It could barely sustain email let alone downloading zoom. However, being erudite, motivated and certainly capable, it was not that he couldn't learn to use online platforms, it was just that his laptop was so unresponsive he would press something, think it wasn't working, press something else and then confuse the system...and himself. It really wasn't him, it was his tools. So far he's been able to learn to open pdfs, to zip files, and what a QR code is, and I'm excited for him to upgrade to really get him connected with the world.

Place responsibility where it needs to lie, because the more we can discern what we need, the more effectively we are going to progress.

Dr Audrey Tang is a chartered psychologist and author with a specialty in the "how to take action", rather than just giving explanation and advice. Listen to her podcast Retrain Your Brain here; and catch her practical masterclasses Psych Back to Basics on DisruptiveTV & Energy Top Up for resilience. For self development tools based within positive psychology: click Her YouTube Channel . Twitter/IG @draudreyt


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