May 6, 2020


Crystal Washington: Hello, I’m Crystal Washington, Technology Strategist, and Futurist

Karen McCullough: and I’m Karen McCullough, the millennial evangelist who helps you deal with change. And today we want you to rethink it forward

Crystal Washington: And by rethinking it forward, we mean that there are things that have worked for all of us in the past that aren’t going to work for us in the future. And if we’re, to be real honest, you’re not even necessarily working for us right now.

Karen McCullough: No, especially this topic today. This topic is called technology scares me. Technology scares me. Yeah. Oh no. Yeah. I asked for this one. Uh, I don’t know if technology scares Crystal, but um, technology has always scared me. I get very, very nervous and I thought it was just me and I did my very first keynote a few weeks ago and I pulled the audience and I found out that technology scared them too. These are business owners who are looking at the customer today and they’re all at home using their technology and they’re realizing that those expectations when this is over are going to be there. Like, why can’t we do this for Joe? Why can’t I see your products virtually? Why aren’t you making it easier for me to buy from you? And so they’re realizing that they have to up their game and there’s scared.

Crystal Washington: I, here’s what’s interesting. I mean, this is coming from someone who teaches technology. So I run into this fear all the time. It is my perspective that most people aren’t actually scared of technology. They’re afraid of being irrelevant. They’re afraid of not being able to use the technology in being left behind. They’re afraid of making mistakes and looking foolish. So it’s that. It’s more about how technology reflects who we are that we’re afraid of. Then this like no one’s actually scared of this by itself. Like it’s not like, Ooh, you know, it just bit me. But it’s, it’s what it represents and what it means about us if we can’t master it. And so I think, you know, we have to be really gentle with ourselves. And Karen, you know what’s interesting is, is I like to give examples when I’m speaking of the fact that when a new piece of technology rolls out, Karen, we all have the same amount of knowledge on that thing, right? Like we all don’t know it. The difference is that some generations and people who have been used to adapting very fast, they look at the new piece of technology and they’re like, alright, let me figure this out. And they’re willing to make some mistakes and mess some stuff up. [inaudible] they just kind of figure it out. Trial and error, and then other people, because they’re not used to agile technology where you, where you have to constantly keep changing what things they want it to be done right the first time. Right.

Karen McCullough: Right.

Crystal Washington: Yes. I mean you were that kind. How is that kind of how you were raised a lot of your peers where if you’re gonna do something, you do, you get it done? Right? Right.

Karen McCullough: I have a fear of looking stupid. You know, I had this big fear that if I don’t get it, I remember there are so many things that when you spoke that triggered me. I’ll talk about the right now. So my nephew, my grandson, I said nephew, my grandson Jack is in first grade and my daughter Meredith has a four-year-old also. And so I made, I volunteered to help Jack one every, an hour a day, do one of his programs or create something or do some fun just to, just to get him off of Meredith. And um, yeah, so she got him an iPad. He, she wasn’t going to do that. But now he has an iPad. And what I’m noticing is he can use every single piece. And then I’ve had, we’re going to do, today we’re going to do the whiteboard grammar. And then he starts writing and he goes, okay, now you take half an eye take. And he’s teaching me. And I noticed that when he makes a mistake, he could care less unless he turns it off. And then Meredith has to come back and restart it. There is no fear. Yeah. And there’s no, and he doesn’t apologize when he makes a mistake, he goes, whoops, whoops. Try that again. And I noticed that even with me in a seven-year-old, I’m apologizing, I’m sorry I did that. And so I have to really stop. I quit apologizing. Yeah. And realize that everybody, everybody, especially with the new technologies, just trying stuff out. And the more you try it out and the more you don’t care about being perfect, I think the better. But there’s, there are so many pieces to that.

Crystal Washington: I agree. And I think you hit on something about this fear of looking foolish. I’ll give a similar example to help people that maybe can’t see exactly where I’m coming from. Learning languages to learn a language. Well, you have to be willing to look foolish. There’s no way you can practice and not look foolish. And I remember Karen doing a speaking engagement in Dominican Republic last year and being chided by a woman who’s doing my nails saying, you have to practice your Spanish. I can tell you can speak some Spanish. And she made me speak to her in Spanish the entire time. And she said you know what your problem is? She said it’s not that you can’t speak Spanish. She said you’re scared that you’re going to look bad and you can’t be scared. And similarly, Karen, my nephew, who gets 50% of his instruction in Spanish, now when I practice with him, he corrects my Spanish. And so I have to be okay like you letting a small child correct me. And once I got over that, now I’m willing to practice more.

Karen McCullough: Yeah. So, so I talk about, I’ve been thinking about this. I think it’s, I’m going to stop saying I’m not good at technology. So I think, you know, I speak on mindsets and everybody’s into mindsets right now. But think about this many of us, and it doesn’t matter what your generation is if you are nervous that you’re going to look foolish on the technology. I’m not saying that you’re afraid to learn it. I’m saying that you’re afraid of how you’re going to come across. I think that we have a mindset and that mindset is that we’re not good in technology. My mindset is I get very nervous. Just, that’s just who I am and we begin to own that negative piece and a growth mindset is what I’m working towards right now because like I told you in other episodes, I’m challenged every day. This weekend I had to video myself in my studio with the camera and the lighting and the microphone and then making sure the picture was good. There were so many moving parts to it and I had to just push it through. My fear of messing up and take 27 takes.

Crystal Washington: Yeah,

Karen McCullough: 30 takes whatever it’s, it means I can push through and keep learning and I think we’re in a place right now where it doesn’t matter whether you’re younger, old Jack is learning every day how to use the technology as am I. That we have to develop a mindset that says we are excited about this because when this is over, we will have learned something

Crystal Washington: And messing up is actually what helps you learn. I mean, everyone knows, everyone watching us knows this. They, they can think of an example where they messed up on something bad and as a result of that mess up, they really understood what the, whatever that subject was. And I think we just have to have that going forward. And also realize there’s levels to this. There will always be more technology. Anybody right now, Karen that is with us is good at technology because they’re watching a YouTube video, right? Use a phone, they know how to work their lights, which they know how to drive a car. There are no people right now that can possibly viewing us that aren’t good at technology. They just might not be at whatever next level. And the same thing goes for me. I teach technology. Karen, I’m getting an IBM certification right now in data science. I’m in courses with people who have been writing in code for 20 plus years. Guess what? I don’t know. Python, I don’t know are, those are languages. And so my stuff looks like little kitty stuff compared to theirs. But I’m okay with it and I’m just moving with it and I’m learning every day. And so no matter what technology you learn, there’s always going to be the next level up. So you’re good at technology. It’s just that maybe you want to learn a little bit more.

Karen McCullough: Yeah, I love that you’re taking that. You’re, you impress me. You keep pushing me. I guess I’d like to close with a quote from one of our viewers. You know the Chris Smith?

Crystal Washington: Yes.

Karen McCullough: Okay. So Chris is, um, he’s, um, takes my online course and me, every month I give them a call, a zoom call, and the last zoom call I messed it up. I’m the teacher and they’re teaching me how to use all of these things. I mean, everything that could go wrong would went wrong. And Chris said something that helped me so much. He said perfection isn’t the goal. The goal is to learn and innovate. And if you take all that you messed up with and you look at it right now, when we’re done with the call, those are the things that you can improve on and the next time it will be better. I have now a big sign in my office that says perfection is not the goal. Well, cause I think the goal right now to keep learning and to become more innovative. So what, Chris, thank you and with that, we’ll shut it down.

Crystal Washington: See y’all on fun Friday.

Karen McCullough: Don’t be scared.