Critical GIS Skill # 6: The Power of Questions

Posted by Intermap Technologies on Aug 16, 2016 7:00:00 AM

A GIS degree is technical and often attracts like-minded people. Schools do a great job of teaching those aspects of GIS including giving practical experience in GIS software applications like ESRI’s ArcGIS. However there are a lot of skills critical to a career in GIS that are not taught during the degree program, and that is what this blog series is designed to address.

Critical GIS Skill #6: The power of questions

If you have children at home around the ages of 3-4 or older, you probably remember the “Whys?” Why do I have to go to bed at 8? Why can’t I watch TV? Why do I have to eat lima beans (I’m sure I often asked that one)? That is our first introduction into asking questions. But, were you ever taught how to ask empowering questions? I doubt it. Parents often welcome questions initially, but after the 5th why or so, it gets old. So as children we often pick up the subliminal message that you should not ask too many questions. As we move to grade school and beyond, teachers are often concerned more about getting through a curriculum rather than helping children to ask effective questions. So by the time we enter adulthood and college, we are often conditioned to not ask questions, not even good questions.

I still remembering listening to Tony Robbin’s “Personal Power” audio program many years ago. One of the most impactful concepts he discusses in the program is the power of questions. It was my adult education on asking empowering questions. While you were earning your GIS degree, I’m sure some professors welcomed questions, while others considered them a nuisance. But were you ever taught how to ask effective questions? Questions that get to the heart of a client’s problem rather than just revealing the surface problem? I’ll bet not. In my college classes that contained projects, I was always given the problem. There was never a lecture on asking effective questions. Asking the right questions throughout your career will be one of the major determining factors in your success as a GIS professional. Here are some strategies for asking more effective questions.

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Topics: GIS, technologies, Skill

Critical GIS Skill # 5: Broaden Your Circle of Influence

Posted by Intermap Technologies on Aug 9, 2016 7:00:00 AM

A GIS degree is technical and often attracts like-minded people. Schools do a great job of teaching those aspects of GIS including giving practical experience in GIS software applications like ESRI’s ArcGIS. However there are a lot of skills critical to a successful career in GIS that are not taught during the degree program, and that is what this blog series is designed to address.

Critical GIS Skill #5: Broaden your circle of influence

Have you ever noticed that most people at work associate with those in their own profession or at least those they work with on a regular basis? In other words, they surround themselves with like-minded people. Those who think like them, talk like them, and know roughly the same information about their agency or organization. GIS professionals have lunch and associate with other GIS professionals. It’s natural since they have roughly the same interests and backgrounds, but this will not help your career.

Circle of Influence: For the purpose of this article, we will use the following definition. “Your circle of influence are those people at work and in your industry who know you and/or your work.” It’s the people you have a relationship with or influence with. A critical skill you need to advance your GIS career is to broaden your circle of influence.

Broaden Your Circle of Influence: Broadening your circle does not have to be hard or awkward. It can be fun and entertaining. Here are some steps you can take to grow your influence and grow your GIS career.

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Topics: Professional Services, GIS, DEM, Skill

Critical GIS Skill #4: Become a Problem Solver

Posted by Intermap Technologies on Aug 2, 2016 7:00:00 AM

A GIS degree is technical and often attracts like-minded people. Schools do a great job of teaching those aspects of GIS including giving practical experience in GIS software applications like ESRI’s ArcGIS. However there are a lot of skills critical to a successful career in GIS that are not taught during the degree program, and that is what this blog series is designed to address.

Critical GIS Skill #4: Become a problem solver
In more technical fields like GIS, problems are often looked at as roadblocks, with the phrase “I can’t because…” muttered frequently. But the proficient GIS professional knows that problems are nothing more than opportunities to try a different strategy. Problems are a time for you as a GIS professional to shine for your agency by thinking creatively…by thinking outside the box. It’s a chance to tap into different skills. Anyone can improve their problem solving skills.

Here are some steps you can take to do just that.

Reframe the Problem: Too many people “freeze” when they encounter problems or feverously try to avoid them. Welcome problems. Sometimes something just as simple as looking at a problem as an opportunity can get you thinking creatively. The higher up in an agency you go, the more critical your problems solving skills will be to your career success. Welcome problems.

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Topics: Professional Services, GIS, Career, Skill

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