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The IT Professional's Business and Communications Guide: A Real-World Approach to CompTIA A+ Soft Skills

ISBN: 978-0-470-12635-6
240 pages
April 2007
The IT Professional
Get the communication skills you need for career success with this unique book. Preparing you for exams and beyond, the valuable content delves into the issues that you’ll face in corporate, retail, and remote support environments. The book offers more than fifty scenarios depicting typical workplace situations, possible responses-and appropriate solutions to guide you. With this approach, you’ll gain valuable insight into becoming a team player and learn strategies to communicate more effectively with coworkers and customers.
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Introduction xxvii

Chapter 1 Interacting with Customers 1

The Angry Customer 2

Scenario 3

Background 3

Overview 3

Key Concepts 4

Resolution 5

Skills for the A+ Exam 6

Rude and Ruder 6

Scenario 7

Background 7

Overview 8

Key Concepts 8

Resolution 9

Skills for the A+ Exam 10

Impatience: Not Quite a Virtue 11

Scenario 11

Background 11

Overview 12

Key Concepts 12

Resolution 13

Skills for the A+ Exam 14

Assertive Intelligence 15

Scenario 15

Background 15

Overview 16

Key Concepts 16

Resolution 16

Skills for the A+ Exam 17

The Challenged Customer 18

Scenario 18

Background 18

Overview 19

Key Concepts 19

Resolution 20

Skills for the A+ Exam 20

A Quiet Case 21

Scenario 21

Background 21

Overview 22

Key Concepts 22

Resolution 23

Skills for the A+ Exam 23

Easing Tension 24

Scenario 24

Background 24

Overview 25

Key Concepts 25

Resolution 26

Skills for the A+ Exam 26

Summary 27

Chapter 2 Working with Professionals 29

The Inquisitive Coworker 30

Scenario 30

Background 31

Overview 31

Key Concepts 32

Resolution 33

Skills for the A+ Exam 33

Dealing with Sexual Harassment 33

Scenario 34

Background 34

Overview 35

Key Concepts 35

Resolution 36

Skills for the A+ Exam 37

The Lazy Worker 38

Scenario 38

Background 38

Overview 38

Key Concepts 39

Resolution 40

Skills for the A+ Exam 41

An Issue of Trust 41

Scenario 41

Background 42

Overview 42

Key Concepts 42

Resolution 43

Skills for the A+ Exam 43

Working with Your Manager 44

Scenario 44

Background 44

Overview 45

Key Concepts 45

Resolution 46

Skills for the A+ Exam 46

The Technical Professional 47

Scenario 47

Background 48

Overview 48

Key Concepts 48

Resolution 49

Skills for the A+ Exam 49

The Business Professional 50

Scenario 50

Background 50

Overview 51

Key Concepts 51

Resolution 52

Skills for the A+ Exam 53

Summary 53

Chapter 3 Using Proper Phone Techniques 55

Focusing Distraction 56

Scenario 56

Background 57

Overview 57

Key Concepts 57

Resolution 58

Skills for the A+ Exam 59

Comforting a Crier 59

Scenario 59

Background 60

Overview 60

Key Concepts 61

Resolution 62

Skills for the A+ Exam 62

Handling Offense 63

Scenario 63

Background 63

Overview 64

Key Concepts 64

Resolution 65

Skills for the A+ Exam 67

Soothing Frustration 67

Scenario 67

Background 68

Overview 68

Key Concepts 68

Resolution 69

Skills for the A+ Exam 70

Creating Satisfaction 70

Scenario 71

Background 71

Overview 72

Key Concepts 72

Resolution 73

Skills for the A+ Exam 73

Callers with Accents 74

Scenario 74

Background 75

Overview 75

Key Concepts 75

Resolution 76

Skills for the A+ Exam 76

Interoffice Phone Conversations 77

Scenario 77

Background 77

Overview 78

Key Concepts 78

Resolution 79

Skills for the A+ Exam 79

Summary 80

Chapter 4 Security in Communication 81

Ethics in Security 82

Scenario 82

Background 83

Overview 83

Key Concepts 83

Resolution 84

Skills for the A+ Exam 85

What Can I Throw Away? 86

Scenario 86

Background 87

Overview 87

Key Concepts 88

Resolution 89

Skills for the A+ Exam 89

Confiding in Your Superiors 90

Scenario 90

Background 91

Overview 91

Key Concepts 91

Resolution 93

Skills for the A+ Exam 93

Caution with Coworkers 94

Scenario 94

Background 94

Overview 95

Key Concepts 95

Resolution 96

Skills for the A+ Exam 96

What If It Isn’t My Customer’s Computer? 97

Scenario 97

Background 97

Overview 98

Key Concepts 98

Resolution 99

Skills for the A+ Exam 100

Phone and E-mail Security 100

Mini-Scenario 1 100

Mini-Scenario 2 101

Mini-Scenario 3 101

Mini-Scenario 4 102

Resolution 102

Skills for the A+ Exam 102

Social Engineering 103

Scenario 103

Background 103

Overview 104

Key Concepts 104

Resolution 105

Skills for the A+ Exam 106

Summary 106

Chapter 5 Workplace Communication and Practices 107

Slang and Vernacular 108

Scenario 108

Background 109

Overview 109

Key Concepts 110

Resolution 111

Skills for the A+ Exam 111

Gender Barriers 112

Scenario 112

Background 113

Overview 113

Key Concepts 114

Resolution 115

Skills for the A+ Exam 116

Conflicts 116

Scenario 116

Background 117

Overview 118

Key Concepts 118

Resolution 121

Skills for the A+ Exam 122

Tone and Mood 122

Scenario 122

Background 123

Overview 123

Key Concepts 123

Resolution 125

Skills for the A+ Exam 126

Teamwork 126

Scenario 126

Background 127

Overview 127

Key Concepts 128

Resolution 129

Skills for the A+ Exam 129

Staying Appropriate 130

Scenario 130

Background 131

Overview 131

Key Concepts 131

Resolution 133

Skills for the A+ Exam 133

Apologizing 134

Scenario 134

Background 135

Overview 135

Key Concepts 135

Resolution 137

Skills for the A+ Exam 137

Summary 137

Chapter 6 Leadership in IT 139

Authority 140

Method 1: Threat of Authority 141

Method 2: Creating Purpose 142

Resolution 143

Discipline 143

Scenario 144

Background 145

Overview 145

Key Concepts 146

Resolution 148

Delegation 149

Scenario 149

Background 150

Overview 150

Key Concepts 151

Resolution 152

Mentoring 153

Scenario 153

Background 154

Overview 154

Key Concepts 155

Resolution 156

Fraternization 157

Scenario 158

Background 158

Overview 159

Key Concepts 159

Resolution 161

Micromanagement 161

Scenario 162

Background 163

Overview 163

Key Concepts 164

Resolution 165

Feedback 166

Scenario 166

Background 167

Overview 167

Key Concepts 167

Resolution 169

Bonus Questions 169

Bonus Question 1 169

Bonus Question 2 170

Summary 170

Chapter 7 Communication in the Real World 173

Plugged In 174

Key Concepts 176

Resolution 176

Being “CAT”ty 177

Key Concepts 178

Resolution 179

Dialing Out 179

Key Concepts 180

Resolution 181

Persuasion 181

Key Concepts 182

Resolution 184

Administration by Majority 184

Key Concepts 185

Resolution 186

Packet What? 186

Key Concepts 187

Resolution 188

Spies Among Us 188

Key Concepts 189

Resolution 190

Summary 190

Index 193

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Steven Johnson, A+, i-Net+, and CWNP, is the managing editor for PrepLogic, a leading training provider focusing on IT certification preparation. As a consultant, he also concentrates on a variety of IT certifications, including Microsoft and Cisco.
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  • Soft-Skills Play a Huge Role in New A+ Exams--In response to hardware and software vendors demands, CompTIA has included questions that deal with communication, professionalism, and customer interaction in their upcoming A+ exams. (20% of the questions in the CompTIA A+ Remote Support Technician are on soft-skills).
  • Highly Desired Skill--96% of those surveyed said communication and interpersonal skills are the most important  the most important contributor to achieving career success, according to IT. 53% of the companies surveyed by CIO magazine said they offer their IT staff non-IT training on a variety of soft skills.
  • Poor Soft-Skills Can Prove Disastrous--Dissatisfied customers tell an average of 10 other people about their bad experience and 12% percent tell up to 20 people.  However, 19 out of 20 customers will not tell a company that they are dissatisfied with its service. Fourteen of the 20 will simply take their business elsewhere. Up to 90% of dissatisfied customers will not buy again from the company, and they won't bother to tell the business why. (TARP Study, Washington DC)
  • Perfect Companion to CompTIA A+ Complete Study Guides--This book takes the exam topics one step further by focusing on providing IT professionals the know-how in dealing with a variety of customer interaction scenarios.
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